With an NBA 3-Point Shootout lineup headed by last year’s champion, Devin Booker, two-time league MVP Stephen Curry and one-time MVP Dirk Nowitzki, it was safe to say Joe Harris of the Brooklyn Nets was a heavy underdog on Saturday in Charlotte. But Harris showed the same grit his team has displayed all season in overcoming the odds to claim the trophy.
"To be honest, everything happened so quickly," Harris said of his win. "Obviously, I’m coming in just trying to knock down shots, very similar to my mental approach when I’m in the game, and everything kind of happens in a blur. I think I was lucky to be the first guy to shoot because I was able to get kind of warm beforehand, and you don’t really have a ton of anxiety because you can’t have time to think about it. You’re going right into it, right into shooting."
Harris scorched the competition with 25 in the first round, followed by 26 in finals to top Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield. Hield posted 19 in the final round, while Curry settled for second with 24.
"I guess on that last championship round, Steph got hot and [then] missed a few there, and then I thought we were still going to go to the tiebreaker, and I kind of got a stroke of luck on my side that he missed one of the corner ball shots," Harris said.
Harris shared the credit for the win with his team.
"You look at the makeup of our Brooklyn Nets team, and it’s a lot of guys that were sort of cast off and had a second opportunity," Harris said. "I personally was one of those guys, and I got lucky going into a situation, going to a Nets organization that had such a strong value and emphasis on culture, skill development, and I’m sort of a byproduct of that system."
While he topped Curry, Harris lauded the runner-up as a legendary sharpshooter.
“Steph is the greatest shooter of all time," Harris said. "But, again, shooting off of the rack for a minute is not indicative of being a better shooter than Steph Curry."