Legler Wins 3-Point Shootout
SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Two years ago, Tim Legler won the CBA 3-point shot contest and got two airline tickets to Disneyland.
The basketball vagabond, who has played for six NBA teams and three minor league professional clubs, earned $20,000 Saturday night by winning the NBA All-Star Game 3-point shootout.
``My body is numb,″ said Legler of the Washington Bullets. ``I’m almost overcome by this. My first child was born nine days ago and now this. It has been an unbelievable year.″
It was a big payday for Legler, who is making the NBA veteran minimum of $250,000. He signed a two-year contract with the Bullets last summer, and is the NBA’s most accurate 3-point shooter this season at 51.3 percent.
``This is going right into my daughter’s education fund,″ Legler said. ``Maybe she (Lauren) can use it in about 18 years and I can tell here how I made it.″
Legler, 29, set a blistering pace that no other competitor could match. He scored 23 points in the first round, followed it with 22, and posted 20 in a final shootout with Dennis Scott of the Orlando Magic, who won $10,000 with rounds of 19, 19, and 14.
``I thought back to how I won that CBA shootout when I was playing for Omaha,″ Legler said. ``I tried to remember how I did it back then. I didn’t get any money. I just got two airline tickets. Me and my wife (Jennifer) went to Disneyland.″
Legler’s wife went to an extreme to make sure her husband wouldn’t miss this weekend. She had her labor induced so Tim could be present for the birth of their daughter on Feb. 1.
``It was her idea,″ Legler said. ``The doctor said there was no risk if she did it. I owe this to her. I can’t wait until I call her back in Maryland and tell her we won.″
``This makes up for a lot of things that have happened to me,″ he said. ``Several teams in the NBA just gave up on me without giving me a chance.″
Legler also has played for Phoenix, Devner, Utah, Dallas and Golden State.
Defending champion Glen Rice of Charlotte was knocked out in the first round when he scored only 17.
Steve Kerr of Chicago and George McCloud of Dallas tied for third and split $8,000.
Three rounds of competition reduced the eight-man field to four contestants, then two, and then to a champion. Each competitor had one minute to shoot as many balls as he could from five stations around the 3-point arc.
Five balls were in each rack. Each successful shot paid off a point except for the last ball, colored turquoise, black and white, which was worth two points.
Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics won the shootout in the first three years of the event starting in 1986. Craig Hodges matched Bird’s feat from 1990-92 and Mark Price won back-to-back in 1993 and 1994.
Dale Ellis was the winner in 1989.
The event was sponsored by AT&T.