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Three-point milestones transform NBA career of Hield

H

e was deserving of an all-star selection. Chavano “Buddy” Hield would have become the first born-Bahamian in that category. However, despite excellent credentials, inclusive of averaging over 20 points per game, he was not identified as one of the designated all-stars during the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) glamor weekend this past February in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

Hield did shine, nevertheless, in the three-point contest, although he did not win. He was a finalist.

I’m of the view that Hield should be picked on one of the 2018-2019 All-NBA Teams. The NBA’s Second Team would be justifiable, but the NBA’s Third Team should be definite. Will his true accomplishments this past season be honestly recognized? If so, he would indeed be an All-NBA selectee.

If not, wait for next season. Barring injuries, and if he remains in the right situation, Hield will make the star-status push emphatic. He is a high NBA-caliber performer without a doubt.

So, on Wednesday night, all he did while his team the Sacramento Kings was losing 136-131 to the Portland Trail Blazers, was reinforce his position as one of the finest three-point shooters in NBA history. Hield started the game tied with Portland’s guard Damian Lillard at 599 three-pointers over the first three seasons of an NBA career.

It is important to compare the paces utilized by the sharpshooters. Lillard in his first three seasons, accumulated his 599 from beyond the arc on 1,629 attempts for a solid .368 percentage. Going into Wednesday’s game, Hield had amassed his 599 in 1,433 attempts, at the superstar pace of 41.8 percent. He went 3-for-5 in hiking his three-year total to 602. Nobody else has hit the 600-barrier over the first three seasons of an NBA career.

The three long-range shots left Hield at 278 for the season, enabling him to climb past Klay Thompson for seventh place on the all-time one-season total. Thompson popped 276 three-pointers during the 2015-016 season.

Earlier this year, Hield became the Kings’ single-season record holder for three-pointers, when he eclipsed the mark of 240, set by Peja Stojakovic, during the 2003-2004 season. Boxing great Evander Holyfield coined the phrase the “Real Deal” and Hield could also be described as such.

Basketball folks acknowledge his ascendance as one of the game’s true stars. Lillard was quoted indicating that his expectation was that Hield would be a star in the NBA after watching him at the University of Oklahoma.

Hield’s former coach when he was with the New Orleans Pelicans, Alvin Gentry, reportedly called the Bahamian shooting guard the hardest worker in the league. Following is a direct quote from Gentry from a Jason Anderson article:

“He works so hard that anything he accomplishes is not a big surprise to us because we saw him in his early stages, and the work that he put in, you just had to know he was going to be a good player in this league. He was not going to let himself fail. So, I think it’s (600 three-pointers in the first three seasons) an unbelievable thing to accomplish. When Damian Lillard’s name is connected to anything and you surpass that, you’ve done something pretty special.”

Interesting! Did Gentry feel the same way about Hield, when he coached him in New Orleans?

Kings Head Coach Dave Joerger appreciated what he had, however, and was delighted in the achievement of the Grand Bahama native. He said as much, according to Anderson’s article.

“He works at his game, and, he just has a charisma and an energy that’s fun to be around every day. He loves to play and he loves to work, so what a great accolade to surpass those names (Thompson and Lillard),” Joerger was quoted as saying.

Continued best wishes Buddy!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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