By Evan Brooks
The final money ball shot propelled Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield to his first 3-point shootout championship, beating out Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker and Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans in the final round.
“I felt great,” Hield said. “Like I said earlier, as a shooter, this is on your bucket list. You have to come in, and you want to win a three-point shootout. With a stacked field like that, it makes it even better.”
Last year, Hield posted a disappointing score of 19 in the final round, losing to eventual champion Joe Harris, who took home the trophy with a score of 26.
On Saturday Hield was the final shooter of the night, with another 26-point score — from Booker — standing in the way of victory. Hield had 19 points as he reached his final rack, the money ball rack. He made his first three shots, missed his fourth, then sank the last one to win the trophy.
Hield, a Bahamas native, dedicated this win to his home island.
“When I go back to the Bahamas, I do it for people back home,” Hield said. “Thank God I have the ability to do that. People back home, they enjoy this more than I do. Being from the Bahamas and getting to represent them, it means the world to them.”
With the range of shooters seemingly getting further beyond the arch, the NBA experimented with a new format this year, adding two more shots six feet behind the 3-point line labeled as the Mountain Dew zone. The extra shots counted for three points as opposed to the traditional one-point regular basketballs and two-point multi-colored money balls.
Hield is currently third in the NBA in three-point attempts, only behind Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Rockets guard James Harden. Hield’s full display of shooting was key in a night filled with dropped jaws.