Isaiah Joe snubbed for NBA Three Point contest

Isaiah Joe #11 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images)
Isaiah Joe #11 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Amanda Loman/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder have a fun weekend ahead. As the NBA pauses in a few days for the NBA All-Star Break, a trio of OKC Thunder players will be in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the 2023 NBA All-Star festivities. However, Isaiah Joe should have been the fourth representative.

With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander set to play in his first All-Star game on Sunday, along with Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams reuniting as teammates at the rising stars event on Friday, Isaiah Joe was snubbed from representing the Thunder at the three-point contest. An event he told me he wanted to participate in.

The Oklahoma City Thunder see Isaiah Joe snubbed, not named a three-point contest participate this weekend in Salt Lake City.

Isaiah Joe leads the NBA in three-point percentage shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc on nearly five attempts per game (4.7) from three-point land. The free agent signing is shooting 51 percent from the corner (which ranks in the 95th percentile) and 45 percent on non-corner threes (94th percentile). When you eliminate garbage time or heaves according to cleaning the glass, you improve the 23-year olds three-point percentage to a 46 percent clip.

The NBA announced a field of players that does not include a single player that ranks in the top ten of three-point percentage and a pair of Pacers teammates.

Tyrese Haliburton (41%), Tyler Herro (37%), Buddy Hield (42%), Kevin Huerter (39%), Damian Lillard (38%), Lauri Markkanen (41%), Anfernee Simons (38%), and Jayson Tatum (36%) represent the three-point contest participants this Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

Those are the participants cleaning the glass percentages, which take out heaves, shot clock flings, and garbage time. Now to break down this horrendous sub, we must balance out context and numbers.

Jayson Tatum, Damian Lillard, and Lauri Markkanen are non-negotiables. Tatum and Lillard provide much-needed star power, and any time a star wants to spend their time participating in an event, you have to include them. For Markkanen, on top of a great percentage and a fun story, he is the hometown player, which is needed to help give the local fanbase someone to identify with, which is a practice as old as the All-Star weekend event.

Including Anfernee Simons is a joke, a player that shoots below 40 percent from distance and does not provide much more name recognition than Joe. While Simons is by far the more recognizable name for us NBA fans, he is not forcing someone to turn on the TV, so at that point, lean towards the 45 percent three-point shooter.

Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton get a pass, with the only knock being they are teammates, but that is how the cookie crumbles. Tyler Herro and Kevin Huerter getting in is the wrong decision.

Despite shooting worse, Herro has more of a case over Joe than Huerter does because at least Herro is a social star and has dedicated fans, and people who have a fandom about him on and off the floor as a public figure, not just a basketball player.

Kevin Huerter has been excellent for the Sacramento Kings and is arguably one of the best off-season acquisitions to help lead a charge for the Kings to break a 20-plus-year playoff drought. That is a fantastic story, and Huerter deserves his flowers, but this is a three-point contest, and a better three-point shooter is sitting on the sidelines who wants to participate.

While this does not matter in the grand scheme of things, and if I had to guess, the NBA sided with their choices over Joe due to the Thunder already having three participants throughout the weekend, it still is a massive bummer for Isaiah Joe.

Next. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander win Western Conference Player of the week. dark