Buddy Hield details his approach to the 3-point contest, pride on the line with Haliburton
Hield won the competition in 2020 and knows what to expect. Haliburton is a competitor, but is green to this experience. It sets up for an entertaining battle Saturday night.
SALT LAKE CITY — The highlight of All-Star Saturday night has become the 3-point contest. And bragging rights inside the Pacers locker room will be on the line since Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton are two of the eight competitors.
“Everybody’s going to be watching that closely to see who comes out ahead on that one,” head coach Rick Carlisle said this week. “They’re both gonna try to win it.”
The events begin at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, inside Vivint Arena — first with the skills challenge, then the 3-point shootout and slam dunk contest.
Hield has participated twice before, finishing third in 2019 and winning it in 2020. But he has not competed in it since.
Meanwhile, Haliburton is a first-time All-Star and it’s his first time in the field. Since becoming a pro three years ago, he’s always played alongside Hield. First in Sacramento, and now in Indiana.
Hield grew on him and now they joke about how they’re like brothers, always bickering at one other. Their love and passion for the game is unmatched.
“A lot of pride in this and a lot of trash talk for the rest of the year so I’m looking forward to it,” Haliburton said Saturday morning after All-Star practice. “He won’t tell me how he’s shooting it in practice, but I’m not telling him either so it’s been even.”
During All-Star practice at the University of Utah, Haliburton spoke to Pacers legend Reggie Miller. “He told me I’m his favorite for the 3-point contest. There might have been a little bias in it, but I’ll take what I can get.”
Carlisle said recently that he sees so much of Reggie in Haliburton’s game — from their movements on the floor, to their emotions and how they work. Both Miller and Haliburton are successful shooters with unconventional shots.
“Shooting the basketball is an art,” Carlisle said. “If you come across a guy like Haliburton, just leave him the fuck alone. Let him do what he does.”
“It’s hard because you can’t prepare for it,” said Hield. “Practicing by yourself is different than when the stage is set, and the crowd and the lights. You can’t really simulate the stage. That’s what so interesting.”
Haliburton reviewed film of previous competitions to take mental notes on what worked, and what did not. He had to decide which corner of the floor to start on and which side of the ball rack to stand. As for his biggest competition? That’s easy.
“Because I shoot with Buddy every day so I know what to expect and other guys don’t. But it’s a really good group of shooters.
“I ain’t worry about nobody else. I just got to make shots for myself.”
The field also includes:
Prior to the competition, Hield discussed his process, his battle with Haliburton and what makes the 3-point contest different. Read his full comments below.