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Is Daequan Cook the worst All-Star Saturday participant ever?

Feb 9, 2010, 3:17 PM EDT

Due to an interesting wrinkle in how NBA All-Star Saturday works, Daequan Cook was invited to All-Star weekend to defend his title as the champion of the three-point shootout. This means that  Cook gets to participate in All-Star weekend despite the fact he has had very little success at playing basketball this season. In 31 games for the Miami Heat this season, Cook is averaging 4.4 points and 0.8 assists per game while shooting an abysmal 28.8% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc. If Daequan Cook isn’t the worst player ever to ever participate in an All-Star Saturday event, he’s certainly close. 

Cook’s selection prompted me to think about other All-Star Saturday participants who weren’t very good players from recent years. Most of them were having more success than Cook when they participated, but All-Star Saturday has certainly seen its share of interesting characters in recent years. Here are a few that spring to mind for me:
Gerald Green, 2007 Dunk Contest Champion and 2008 Dunk Contest Participant

Green gave the dunk contest some of the best performances it has ever seen, throwing down massive windmills, smooth between-the-legs dunks, one of the few dunks ever done in socks, and the unforgettable “Birthday Cake” dunk, which also introduced Green and Rashard McCants as two players who absolutely should’ve had their own reality show. 
Blessed with otherworldly athleticism and a sweet three-point stroke, Green had all the talent required to be a superstar in the NBA, but he never came anywhere close to putting it together. He had no idea what to do if the ball wasn’t in his hands, and was a stunningly inept defender and passer. During his final NBA stint in Dallas, Green somehow managed to record only 15 assists in 38 games, which goes beyond selfishness and into performance art. 
Damon Jones, 2007 Three-Point Shootout Participant

Jones got into the contest by openly begging for an invite; the self-declared “Best Shooter in The Universe,” Jones’ main NBA goals were to win a three-point shootout and be part of a three-man booth while playing in a game. Jones was a valuable contributor to the Miami Heat once upon a time, but during his stint with the Cavs he was known for literally doing nothing but shoot catch-and-shoot threes. Although Jones was supposedly a point guard, he had a hard time just bringing the ball up the floor, and his defense was nonexistent. His shooting was never good enough to make up for his deficiencies as an overall player, but his All-Star invite is a testament to how anything is possible if you’re shameless enough. 
Desmond Mason, 2001 Dunk Contest Champion and 2002 Dunk Contest Participant

To be fair to Mason, he was a productive enough player when he was actually participating in the dunk contest. Since that time, however, Mason has become the poster child for what happens to one-dimensional athletes when they age without evolving their game. He’s been one of the worst rotation players in basketball for the last few years; last season, he somehow managed to record a PER of just over seven, which is less than half the league average of 15. 
Antoine Walker, 2003 Three-Point Shootout Participant

Again, out of fairness to Walker, he was a very good player when he was invited to the shootout. This choice stands out because it rewarded Walker’s penchant for three-point shooting, even though he was perhaps the most egregious chucker from beyond the arc in the history of the NBA. The year Walker was invited to the contest, he only shot 32.3% from beyond the arc, but was firing seven and a half threes a game. Antoine got a three-point contest invite when what he needed was a three-point intervention, and that’s why he makes the list. 
  1. Pat - Feb 9, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Fred Jones?

  2. Jake - Feb 9, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    No one thought Cook would win it last year. As a huge Miami fan I admit that Cook is having a HORRIBLE season and currently do trust his shot in game time minutes.
    However, he is a shooter – and shooters shoot, I don’t care if he is a Miami player or not, or hadn’t made a 3 all year. It’s only fair to have him defend his title.
    I believe the Bulls had a player defend his title the following year after he retired.
    It’s only fair.

  3. John Krolik - Feb 9, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    Fred Jones is a good one.

  4. Adam - Feb 9, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    You must be thinking of Craig Hodges (the former Bulls player). I think he competed in a generic red, white and blue NBA uniform.

  5. Jake - Feb 9, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    I’m sorry I meant to say I DO NOT trust Cooks shot in game time minutes.
    He had the shoulder injury in the offseason and has played very limited minutes, but he went from 3 pt specialist and 6th man of the Heat to Daeq-who?
    He’s is to the Miami Heat what Ted Ginn Jr. is to the Miami Dolphins.
    Ohio State players who have had high expectations and let their respective fan bases down. We here in Miami believed in Cook so much but he just hasn’t done a thing since hoisting that 3pt Trophy.

  6. action - Feb 9, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    What about when Craig Hodges defended his title in 93 and had been cut?

  7. Steve - Feb 9, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    Who could forget Harold Miner, aka Baby Jordan?

  8. ChuckD - Feb 9, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    In all fairness, Antoine Walker was a three-time allstar. He doesn’t deserve to be on this list.

  9. qa - Feb 9, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    Pierce made 2 baskets Walker made one. There is no difference but you chose to mention Walker.
    Walker didn’t even want to do the 3 point contest he was forced into it

  10. Anthony - Feb 10, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    Bob Sura in the Dunk Contest because it was in Cleveland (the year Kobe won). Seriously-Bob Freakin Sura, in the dunk contest. If I’m not mistaken, his most “creative” dunk was him bouncing the ball from the three point line and trying to catch near the rim and dunking with one hand. He failed to do this. In fact, I don’t know if he landed any dunks.

  11. Jay - Feb 15, 2010 at 4:42 AM

    Jason Kapono. The end.

  12. Arthur Ashburn - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:49 AM

    Very interesting and useful article.

  13. can i buy acai berry in stores - Mar 2, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    Hrmm that was weird, my comment got eaten. Anywho I wanted to say that it’s nice to know that someone else also touched on this as I had trouble finding the same information elsewhere. This was the first place that helped me understand this. Thanks.

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