No Heat All-Stars, but will they be part of weekend’s festivities? Wayne Ellington still has a chance

Miami Heat’s Wayne Ellington (2) reacts to making a basket against the Charlotte Hornets during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

MIAMI — It looks like the Heat won’t be represented in this year’s All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Feb. 18, but there’s still a chance they will be part of the weekend’s festivities.

The Heat have pushed for Wayne Ellington to earn a spot in the 3-point contest for the past few weeks with the social media hashtag of #WE2LA. The Heat have also made it known that first-round pick Bam Adebayo deserves a spot in the Rising Stars Challenge, which is a game that consists of 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world.

But Adebayo was not one of the 10 USA players voted in by NBA assistant coaches when the Rising Stars Challenge rosters were announced Wednesday night, with Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, Dallas’ Dennis Smith, Los Angeles’ Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, Chicago’s Kris Dunn, Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, and Atlanta’s John Collins from Cardinal Newman High in West Palm Beach making up the USA roster instead.

But Ellington still has a chance of making it to Los Angeles. Participating in the 3-point contest has been an individual goal for Ellington since he was drafted into the NBA in 2009, and he’s made a good case for himself to be a part of it this season.

Ellington ranks fourth in the NBA in 3-pointers madewith 140 behind only Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and James Harden. And among the 33 players averaging six or more 3-point shot attempts, Ellington’s 3-point shooting percentage of 40.6 ranks seventh-best in the league.

“I feel like I put the work on,” Ellington said after Wednesday’s practice. “‘I’ve never been in it before so maybe I didn’t put enough work in. But it’s not going to stop anything [if I don’t make it]. I’m going to continue to work my butt off. Whatever happens, happens.”

Last season’s 3-point contest included eight participants. Five spots are already taken this year with Thompson, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Houston’s Eric Gordon, Cleveland’s Kevin Love and Washington’s Bradley Beal reportedly accepting invitations to take part in the shootout.

“We’re hanging in the wind on that one,” coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday of the possibility of Ellington making the contest. “But I don’t know how you keep that guy out of it. I don’t know if I should be promoting that because he probably wants the weekend off. But I think it would be a really cool thing to experience at least once in your career.”

Six different Heat players — Jon Sundvold, Glen Rice, Jason Kapono, Daequan Cook, James Jones and Mario Chalmers — have combined to make 10 appearances in the 3-point contest in franchise history. Four of those 10 appearances ended with trophies, as Rice in 1995, Kapono in 2007, Cook in 2009 and Jones in 2011 won the event while with the Heat.

“It’s something I definitely want to compete in,” Ellington said. “But we’re looking at the bigger picture here. We’re going to continue to do what we got to do to win games.”

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