Back in December, Karl-Anthony Towns told The Athletic that he's "the greatest big-man shooter of all time." He's got a case. He's just under a 40 percent career 3-point shooter. This season, he's shooting 41 percent from 3 on over five attempts per game. And unlike most big men with range, Towns isn't just a standstill shooter. He fires on the move.
He put all that into play in the 3-point contest on All-Star Saturday Night and he came out the winner.
Towns posted a final-round record of 29 to take home the trophy that goes a long way toward validating his claim.
Despite Towns' known marksmanship, he was the field's longest shot to win. Caesars had him at 13-1 and on all the respective boards he was the lowest. Even with the way big men shoot these days, it's still hard for people to bet on a center in a shooting competition.
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Technically, Towns, who's listed at 6-foot-11, is the first center to win the 3-point contest. If you want to cast a wider net and include all really tall guys, Dirk Nowitzki, listed at seven feet, won in 2006. You can call Kevin Love, who won in 2012, a big man, but he's 6-foot-8. Towns is a center. He just plays outside-in, and he's a better 3-point shooter than Dirk, who finished his career at 38 percent from deep.
I disagree that Towns is a better overall shooter than Nowitzki, who was about as pure a shooter from everywhere on the court that you'll ever see. But Towns has every right to believe he's the best. He's a remarkable marksman. He proved it again on Saturday. Oh, and this apparently was also a walk-off performance.
Riding off into the 3-point sunset. You have to love it.