Pierce aims for Shootout title

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce was listed among the participants in the NBA's Three-Point Shootout during All-Star weekend in Dallas later this month.

Pierce, who is third in the league in 3-point percentage (46.7 percent, 77 of 165), had been hoping for a chance to redeem himself after a poor showing in 2002, the only other time he participated in the contest. There is still a chance a recent foot injury could prevent Pierce from competing in the shootout Feb. 13 at Cowboys Stadium or in the All-Star Game the following day, but as of now the NBA has him included in the field.

"If I don't do anything else, I plan on doing that," Pierce said Thursday after receiving an invite from the league. "I'll be fine. I'm excited to have the opportunity to be that. It's a great part of All-Star weekend and I have so many memories of Larry Bird winning the contest years ago, and Ray Allen winning the contest."

Pierce then got playful, showing the same bravado Celtics legend Bird famously showed before competing in -- and winning -- the first 3-point contest.

"I think it's fun and being one of the great shooters in the NBA, I deserve to be in it," Pierce said. After predicting victory, Pierce was asked who would finish second -- as Bird did of his competitors. Pierce kept the jabs coming.

"Second place? Man, I don't know who's in it," he said. "I'm just focused on me winning it this year."

Piece finished tied for last place in 2002, sinking a mere eight shots in the opening round.

"I didn't practice, man. I was out all the night before, too," Pierce said. "My younger days, I didn't get no sleep that weekend. It was first All-Star Game. This time, I plan on getting some rest and I plan on practicing for it. And I plan on going out and winning it."

Pierce and will be joined by the Nuggets Chauncey Billups, defending champion Daequan Cook of Miami, Golden State's Stephen Curry, Phoenix's Channing Frye and New York's Danilo Gallinari.

Pierce's 3-point percentage this season is the highest of his 12-year career; his career mark is 37 percent.

The Celtics haven't had a strong showing in the 3-point contest since Bird dominated the early years of the event, with Antoine Walker doing even worse than Pierce in 2003 with seven first-round makes.

Pierce's teammate Eddie House, who had lobbied for inclusion with a series of YouTube videos, did not get invited, though it will be interesting to see if he draws consideration should Pierce be unable to attend.

Chris Forsberg covers the Celtics for ESPNBoston.com.