Trae Young’s long All-Star weekend caught up with him in a hurry.
Participating in the NBA 3-point contest Saturday night at United Center, the second of his three consecutive All-Star events, Young struggled from the get-go and was eliminated in the first round.
“The thing about shooting, and shooting that many times, is you’ve got to have legs. ... It’s been a long day, long weekend so far, and that’s what it was,” Young said. “I just didn’t have any legs.”
Young finished with a score of 15, which was the lowest of the contest, and was the first to be eliminated from contention. He had the unenviable task of having to shoot first.
“That’s another reason why it’s so hard,” Young said. “When you go first, you don’t necessarily know how it’s going to go, you don’t know the rhythm, the flow of everything.”
Sacramento’s Buddy Hield, Phoenix’s Devin Booker and Washington’s Davis Bertans had the highest scores after the first round and moved onto the second, with Hield edging Booker on his final shot and taking home the title with a score of 27.
Friday night, Young had crossed the Rising Stars challenge off his list, adding 18 points and a team-high seven assists in Team USA’s win vs. Team World. Sunday, with the 3-point contest behind him, the second-year player will make his first appearance in an All-Star game, starting for Team Giannis against Team LeBron.
That’s the main event, and the thing Young has been most excited for.
“This has been what I’ve been looking forward to since I was a kid, and to be able to experience it tomorrow is going to be the headline of my weekend,” Young said.
Young is shooting 36.9% from 3-point range this season. This year’s contest featured two new required shots located six feet behind the 3-point line, which had the potential to help him, since he’s made a habit of shooting from logos, but he missed both of those attempts.
After the contest, Young was good-natured about his rough showing and joked he’d be more prepared in future 3-point contests -- that is, if he gets the nod again.
“I think now, if I ever get invited back again, it’ll be good, because I know what to expect,” Young said. “I mean, obviously, going first is tough. But I think it was fun being in this atmosphere, obviously having someone from Atlanta out here, it was fun.”
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