All-Star Advice (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday February 13, 2007 9:29AM; Updated: Tuesday February 13, 2007 5:35PM
MASTER CLASS WITH LARRY BIRD
If you're Larry Bird -- who won the three-point shootout three times -- remind people Bird famously walked into the locker room before the 1986 contest and said, "Which one of you guys is going to finish second?'"
Adjust your shot "It's more of a set shot. I'd used more legs in a game. Even on spot-ups in a game, I would sort of leap forward, but not there."
Settle in "If I got through the first round, I thought I was going to win it. The first round is toughest because it's loud in there and there's a lot of anticipation. The further I went, the more rhythm I had and it was easier."
Cash in on the money balls [worth two points instead of one] "You've got to make it. I made about all of them."
Get a feel for the clock "My fourth contest, I couldn't believe I didn't get around there quick enough. [He left four balls in the rack.] I guess my concentration wasn't good enough, because that's uncalled for."
TIPS FROM THE TOPS
Find peace and quiet "You're going from one place to the next all weekend, and cameras are in the locker room all the time. I try to sneak away into the training room and hide." -- Dirk Nowitzki, 2006 champ
The money ball feels weird "Last year it was a different material, and it was heavier, so you had to shoot it a little harder." -- Quentin Richardson, 2005 champ
A teammate motivates you "I shoot threes with Jet [Mavs guard Jason Terry] after practice all the time. In last year's contest we had a bet, and we talked smack. We say we bet, but nobody ever pays." -- Nowitzki
GOLDEN RULES FOR THE SKILLS CHALLENGE
The hardest of the eight tasks is the jumper from the top of the key "Last year I missed five or six, and I was out. Get on a cold streak and it'll cost you." -- Steve Nash, 2005 champ
Don't hurry your passes ... "The passing stations are key. The bounce pass, the baseball pass and the chest pass -- you've got to spend a lot of your time making the appropriate pass." -- Baron Davis, 2004 champ
... but fly through the cones "I'd tell anyone to rush through the cones. You can even get cones out [at home] and practice." -- Jason Kidd, 2003 champ
Do not, under any circumstances, finish last "There are four guys. If you place in the top three, you're cool. The fourth one, you don't want to be. Chris Paul placed last [in '06]" -- actually it was Nash, but don't tell Dwyane Wade -- "We've talked trash to him all year." -- Wade, 2006 champ