Savage & Cohen's Great Debate: Three-Point Shootout
While Magic fans can hope that both J.J. Redick and Jason Richardson are invited to attend All-Star Weekend to participate in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout, Dan Savage and Josh Cohen debate which one should partake if only one is allowed.
All-Star Weekend is about one thing and one thing only: the fans.
So when it comes down to which players should be in the slam dunk, three-point and skills competitions, the contestants should be NBA stars that hoops heads around the globe want to watch on their big-screen TVs.
They should be players that are admired, adored, loved and even ones that cause obsessions among the deepest and most fanatical basketball observers.
Based on those criteria, there’s no player that’s more of an ideal fit for the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout than the Orlando Magic’s own J.J. Redick.
Everyone knows J.J. and everyone loves J.J. Even the tons of people who don Tar Heel blue and claim to hate J.J., secretly love him. It’s a proven fact that can’t be dismissed.
Aside from the tremendous fan fare that surrounds former Duke superstar, let’s not discount the fact that he’s simply a deadeye shooter.
Redick leads Orlando in both triples made and 3-point percentage this season, knocking down 69 treys on 41.8 percent shooting from downtown.
He’s possesses amazing shooting form and his post-practice shooting displays are that of NBA legend.
After all, he’s star one of the most famous basketball instructional video of all-time – Better Basketball with J.J. Redick – for a reason.
And while my counterpart over to the right makes legitimate points when arguing for Jason Richardson – who would also make a serviceable contestant – when matched against Redick, it’s simply no contest.
“I dress better and my shot looks better,” Redick explained. “You know if you go strictly on numbers, he might deserve it, but in terms of all the intangibles, I think I have him beat.”
Not just beat J.J. Beaten, bruised and battered.
Follow Dan Savage on Twitter here
The purpose of this debate is certainly not to discourage the NBA from permitting two members of the Orlando Magic to participate in this season’s Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout.
Both J.J. Redick and Jason Richardson deserve to be included in the competition – because of their outstanding 3-point shooting this season and for the reason that both players are established names in the league.
Among all players who have attempted at least 150 shots from long distance thus far (until Feb. 1), Redick ranks ninth in the NBA in 3-point percentage (.418). Richardson, meanwhile, is second among all players in the NBA behind Golden State’s Dorell Wright for most 3-pointers made (113).
It would also be appropriate for J-Rich to finally be a participant in the Three-Point Shootout after years of being one of the best long distance shooters in the league. In his only full season with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2007-08, Richardson led the league in 3-pointers made (243). In every season since 2004-05, the former NCAA champion has buried at least 100 treys.
While it’s practically impossible to forecast who would have a better chance of winning the contest if either was elected to partake, the addition of J-Rich could allow for the possibility of NBA history to be made.
Never before in league history has a player won both the Slam Dunk Contest and Three-Point Shootout in their careers. That includes some of the greats of all-time including Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Only nine players have participated in both contests during their careers. Ray Allen is the only Three-Point Shootout winner to have ever partaken in the dunk competition. Jordan and Brent Barry, on the other hand, are the only players to win the dunk contest and participate in the long distance shootout.
Already regarded as one of the best dunk competition winners of all-time, J-Rich is one of only four players in history to win the contest twice. He mesmerized spectators in Philadelphia with a few innovative jams in 2002 and repeated as victor with more dazzling dunks in Atlanta in 2003.
Winning one competition is hard enough, but capturing titles in both of the prized All-Star Saturday Night contests is an achievement that would be remembered forever.
Follow Josh Cohen on Twitter here
Who do you prefer to see in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout?