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Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will participate in the 3-point contest before the NBA All-Star Game.
The much-debated NBA All-Star Game will be taking place on March 7 in Atlanta, along with the Slam Dunk Contest, the Skills Challenge and the 3-Point Contest. Unlike in years past, the Slam Dunk Contest will be taking place during halftime of the All-Star Game, while the 3-Point Contest and Skills Challenge will occur pregame. In regards to the 3-point shootout, we have our first official participant.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard will be a participant in the 2021 3-Point Contest.
Lillard one of the top 3-point shooters in the league this season
This season, Lillard is one of the top long-range shooters in the game. Through 30 regular-season games, the Trail Blazers point guard has made the third-most 3-pointers in the league with 105, trailing only Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry (140) and Blazers teammate CJ McCollum (106). In addition, Lillard has shot 38 percent from behind the arc.
This will now be Lillard’s third appearance on the 3-Point Contest. He participated in 2014 and 2019, but was eliminated in the first round both times.
As mentioned earlier, the NBA will hold the first All-Star Game in the pandemic era of professional sports. MLB and NHL cancelled their All-Star contests altogether, while the NFL turned the Pro Bowl into a virtual Madden competition. Players like LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke out against holding the All-Star Game, but Lillard said he is fine with whatever the NBA decides.
The starting lineups for Eastern and Western Conference teams will be announced this Thursday, while the reserve players will be announced on Feb. 23. Either way, Lillard will likely be a member of the Western Conference squad but will try his hand at winning the 3-Point Contest for the first time ever.