Patty Mills Ready for 3-Point Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend

In his 13th NBA season, Patty Mills is headed to NBA All-Star Weekend for the first time as one of eight participants in the MTN Dew 3-Point Contest on Saturday night.

“I’ve never been in this situation before, so I think I’m just going to kind of learn on the fly and I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity to test it out before but I’m looking forward to a new sort of basketball environment being, I guess, the only one out there,” said Mills. “Everything is on yourself and how you perform. All in all, this is just a fun weekend and I’m excited to experience it.”

Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant will also be on hand in Cleveland as captain of Team Durant as the leading All-Star Game vote-getter among Eastern Conference players, though he will be unable to participate due to injury.

The 3-Point Contest is the second of three events as part of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge tipping the evening off and the AT&T Slam Dunk contest closing out the night. Coverage will begin on TNT at 8 p.m.

Mills’ competition for the night includes New Orleans’ CJ McCollum, Atlanta’s Trae Young, Chicago’s Zach LaVine, Memphis’ Desmond Bane, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Toronto’s Fred VanVleet, and LA’s Luke Kennard. The top three scorers from the opening round will advance to the championship round.

“I think it’s going to be totally different, so I’m going to have to feel it out and see how it goes,” said Mills. “From what I’ve been hearing, it is a different beast, I guess, from what you’re used to in a game but looking forward to it. I’m just going to have some fun and try to enjoy the process.”

Mills will be the fifth Net to participate in the event, following Joe Harris (2019 and 2020), Joe Johnson (2014), Anthony Morrow (2012) and Drazen Petrovic (1992). Harris won the event in 2019, as did Kyrie Irving in 2013 while he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Mills said he had checked in with both for tips on navigating the contest.

In his first season with the Nets, Mills has crushed his own career highs in 3-point shooting. He’s made 186 3-pointers on 444 attempts with 23 games remaining, surpassing last season’s top career marks of 161 3-pointers on 429 attempts. The 186 makes are the fourth-highest single-season total in Nets history and are the fourth-most in the NBA this season. Mills is shooting 41.9 percent from 3-point range, 10th in the league.

“I think this is one of those – it’s essentially an individual event, so it’s kind of like, you just have the opportunity to lock in and focus on yourself and whatever happens elsewhere, happens,” said Mills. “It kind of reminds me of back in the day of being a youngster and doing individual sports – you know, running track and field, cross country and that type of thing. At least I think that will be my mindset – just do what you do and whatever happens with the other guys happens.”