‘Buddy’ Hield deserves support
It’s an easy process.
Go online to NBA.com or simply google NBA All-Star 2019, find the Sacramento Kings and tick the box next to Buddy Hield.
Voters are allowed 10 selections per day and there are almost two weeks left before the January 21 deadline for casting votes. During his first two seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), first with the New Orleans Pelicans and then the Kings, on principle, he was not deserving of an all-star berth. A rising star though, he factored as a selection on the foreign-born squad in the NBA Rising Stars game. Last year, Hield was also a part of the skills challenge contest. So, he is familiar with the all-star atmosphere. This time though, he no doubt wants to be with the big boys, and he should.
The 26-year old shooting guard has come into his own this season and has the Kings in contention for a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference of the NBA. On a team that has veteran strong forward Zach Randolph and point guard whiz De’Aaron Fox, Hield is still, arguably the best player.
All-Star activities will take place February 15, 16 and 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Hield is playing at an all-star level. He could become the first Bahamian to become an all-star in the NBA. Two seasons ago, his fellow Grand Bahamian, Jonquel Jones, a standout with the Connecticut Sun of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WBNA), hit the milestone first.
The third year could very well be the charm for Hield. Bahamians should rally behind him and vote daily. If he doesn’t get the number to be selected outright by the fans, then hopefully he will be added by the league’s coaches.
Hield is having a breakthrough year. In just about all categories he has improved. In particular, his deliveries from behind the three-point arc have been commendable. Hield was the No. 6 selection in the NBA Draft out of the University of Oklahoma three years ago and was noted for his three-point shooting. During his first two seasons in the NBA he didn’t really live up to his college reputation for the long ball.
This year though, Hield has found a groove. He has become one of the most feared shooters in the NBA. He is averaging 20.5 points per game and his scoring is efficient, 47.5 percentage from the field and 44.1 percent from three-point land. He is incredibly active on both ends of the court and has become a true, authentic star in the league.
The Kings have slipped a bit lately, and at press time, were in the 10th slot in the West standings. If Buddy can lead a surge to the all-star break, his chances for a role in the all-star game would be quite good, in the eyes of the coaches, I submit.
Meanwhile, let’s vote for Buddy! With his quality play and fine attitude, he has heightened The Bahamas’ sports brand.
• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.