3-for-all: Kapono to defend title
NEW YORK -- It's all 3s all the time for Jason Kapono.
The Toronto Raptors forward will be looking to become the third player to win three 3-point shootouts when he takes on five challengers in the event during the NBA's All-Star weekend.
Kapono will match 3-pointers against Eastern Conference All-Star reserves Danny Granger of the Indiana Pacers and Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic, as well as Mike Bibby of the Atlanta Hawks, Roger Mason of the San Antonio Spurs and Daequan Cook of the Miami Heat.
The shootout is Saturday, Feb. 13, the night before the All-Star game in Phoenix.
"It's a very veteran group. I'm the youngest player in it by far," Cook said. "It's going to be a tough competition."
Cook had some reservations about the shootout, primarily because plucking balls from a rack is easier for a set shooter, not someone who takes a full leap in his shot -- like himself.
Plus, Cook isn't even traveling with the Heat this week because of a bruised thigh.
"Right now I'm just doing a lot of treatment and recovering, not just for the 3-point shootout, but for the rest of the season," Cook said. "I've got a few more days off to recuperate and I'm taking it one day at a time, but I'll back within the next few days."
The three-time, 3-point shooting winners are Larry Bird (1986-88) and Craig Hodges (1990-92).
The players will compete in a two-round competition, with the top three finishers from the first round advancing to the finals. Five shooting stations will be set up around the 3-point line, and each player has one minute of shooting time.
Lewis leads the group with 137 3-pointers this season, followed by Granger with 120, Bibby with 114, Cook with 105, Mason with 103 and Kapono with 52.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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