The NBA world may have snubbed Lauri Markkanen out of an All-Star appearance, which would've been his second in a row, but the All-Star festivities will still include the man dubbed the Finnisher by fans. Markkanen will compete in the NBA's Three-Point Contest, one of the highlights of the weekend for the NBA and its fans.
Markkannen is a terrific three-point shooter, hitting 40.1% of his shots from behind the line, and doing so at a high clip. He's 16th in the NBA in attempted shots per game at 8.1, so clearly he isn't just nickel and diming his way to success. He's a bonafide threat from deep.
And it's time the NBA world started recognizing that. The NBA world at large doesn't give the man enough credit as is, and people still doubt his viability of being a franchise-leading star. Yet, despite that, all he has done is drag the Jazz back to relevance over the last two seasons, seasons by the way, which were deemed as rebuilding.
He's now heading to the All-Star Weekend festivities with the idea of winning the Three-Point Shooting Contest. Even if he doesn't win, which he may, he's got a great shot (of winning, and with his mechanics), he should easily take a seat as one of the best three-point shooters in the league, regardless of position.
We know he can score from all three levels (paint, mid-range, beyond the arc), and hit free throws, but if he can somehow manage to outshoot the best of the best in the competition, then maybe he'll get viewed, rightfully, for the player he is. Markkanen's reputation can only be improved by winning the competition, as just being invited proves he's that good.
A big outing during the All-Star Weekend will raise his profile, which will be good for not only his personal brand but the team's as well.