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Buddy Hield will not defend his 3-point contest title

Hield won the 3-point contest in Chicago last year.

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

In the midst of a disastrous night for the Sacramento Kings, Buddy Hield made a little history. With his seventh 3-pointer against the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday, Hield made his 1,000th career 3-pointer. It took 350 games for Hield to reach that mark, which is the fewest amount of games it’s taken any player to make 1,000 career 3-pointers by 19 games. Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry previously held the record at 369 games.

Hield talked about his achievement after the Kings’ loss on Sunday.

“It’s a humbling to be one of the guys that’s the first to 1,000 [3-pointers],” Hield said. “Me, being in college, watching guys like Steph and Ray Allen — the greats at shooting the 3-ball — and how Steph evolved the 3-ball. Everybody wants to, like, not be like him, but shoot like him, pull up threes like him, you know? Those are the guys that set paths, this generation: him, Reggie Miller and all of those guys that came long before us.

“It’s a humbling experience, but if I had shot the ball better earlier in the season, I probably would have been up there, for sure, quicker, but I’m grateful and I’m thankful.”

Hield will have the opportunity to pass Curry on another list later this month if he chooses to. After the game, Hield revealed that the NBA has invited him to defend his 3-point contest title despite the fact that he’s shooting a career-low from behind the arc this season. If Hield wins it again this year, he’ll become the only active player with multiple 3-point contest titles and only the seventh player in NBA history to win more than one.

But as tempting as that might be, Hield isn’t sure that going to Atlanta for All-Star Weekend would be safest thing for him and his family.

“I’ve been having mixed emotions,” Hield said. “You know, COVID rules and especially because I don’t have no time with my family. I’m just trying to see how the COVID rules and the boundaries are set up. No clear cut yes yet, I’ll just see in the next couple of days.”

The NBA All-Star Game will take place on March 7 and air on TNT at 5 p.m. PT.

UPDATE: Hield has officially declined to participate in this year’s event. The rest of the field is exclusively comprised of 2021 All-Stars who are already in Atlanta. Per Sean Cunningham, Hield is the first defending champion not to return to the competition since Kevin Love in 2013.