There was a fair amount of complaining and commiserating after the All-Star reserves were announced. To be fair, a lot of guys who deserved to be All-Stars didn't make the squad, which is a testament to the amount of talent in the NBA (especially among Western Conference guards). Life, as my mother often told me as a child, isn't fair.
But you know what REALLY isn't fair? James Jones not being invited to participate in the three-point shootout at All-Star weekend. When I first heard that James was passed over for the contest despite having a three-point shooting percentage better than all but one of the announced participants, I thought that maybe it had something to do with his knee injury. And what's more, I thought that James might have told someone at the league that he didn't mind sitting out the contest. Turns out I was wrong on both accounts.
"My name is too plain," said Jones after the Chicago game. "It’s just one of those things. It’s the All-Star game, it’s the three-point contest and it’s a fan event. The league understands who the good shooters are and they want to put the best field of candidates that will represent the quality shooting in the league and represent the players that the fans want to see at an All-Star event."
"But James," I said, "you're no less of a name than Jason Kapono or Daniel Gibson."
"I know," replied James, "but those are the two guys out of five. You can’t stuff all of us in there. Someone is going to get left out, it just happened to be me, but from my end it’s disappointing, but for the rest of those guys I’m excited and happy that they have an opportunity to please the crowd and give the fans a nice showing."
"But would you have gone if you had been invited?" asked KXL's Jay Allen.
"I mean, probably," says James. "I figure I’ll be fine by then but it’s an after-thought. The knee pretty much preempted all of that. I kind of had a sense prior to that that it wasn’t going to happen anyway, just knowing the way things go, you could see that."
So James had a feeling all along that he was going to get the short end of the three-point stick.
At this point, Jay Allen notes that James lead the league in three-point percentage for much of the season, prompting Jones to give his opinion of the evaluation process.
"Evidently (being a league leader in three-point percentage) doesn’t matter. Or it matters very, very little. I’m not the only guy. Anthony Parker, who I thought deserved a shot to be there, you know, second in the league with a lot of makes, I thought he deserved to be there too. But, like I said, there are only six spots and so many deserving guys; somebody had to be left out. It just sucks that it had to be a Blazer."
Darn straight. If the goal is to find out who the best long-rage shooter in the league is, then the criteria should consist of nothing more than taking the top percentage guys and maybe a few of the players with the most three-point makes. To pick players based on superstar status or prior reputation is lame.
So you're free to do what you please but I'm boycotting the three-point contest, because in my opinion, there's no such thing as a 2008 Footlocker Three-Point Shootout without James Jones. In my eyes, it lacks legitimacy.