What do you give a 6-foot-5, sharp-shooting NBA player for his 30th birthday?
The Nuggets’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has an easy answer to that question. He wants the chance to light it up during the 3-point shooting contest Feb. 18 during All-Star weekend at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
“Yeah, I’d be down,” he said. “It would be a great birthday present for me. My birthday is actually on the 3-point contest, Feb. 18. So I’m excited if I get a chance to be in it. It would be my first one.”
Caldwell-Pope, in his ninth year in the NBA, certainly has the credentials.
He entered Tuesday night’s game against New Orleans at Ball Arena shooting 46.4% from behind the arc, ranking third-best in the league behind the Clippers’ Luke Kennard (47.2%) and the Suns’ Damion Lee (47.2%).
Caldwell-Pope has been dealing with a right wrist injury for much of the season, so time off during the All-Star break would be a welcome respite. But if he gets a chance to strut his stuff, he’s going for it.
“I just want to have fun and I want to be able to compete,” he said.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone recently floated the idea of Caldwell-Pope competing in Salt Lake. It remains to be seen if the guard will receive an invite.
“I know (Malone) said he was going to mention it in one of his interviews,” Caldwell-Pope said. “My team is on it but I still haven’t heard anything. I’m still waiting on that.”
The Nuggets, who had lost two games in a row and three of their last four, were attempting to get back on track Tuesday night against the Pelicans. Ball Arena has been a sweet home for the Nuggets, who held a two-game lead over Memphis in the Western Conference and were 22-4 at home entering Tuesday night.
The Pelicans, playing without injured young star Zion Williamson, came to Denver in a deep slump, having lost eight straight and posting a 3-13 record over their last 16 games.
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