Luke Babbitt vs. Wesley Matthews, mano y mano
It was a simple question for Wesley Matthews: Who would win in a 3-point contest between Luke Babbitt and (Blazers assistant coach) Hersey Hawkins?”
Answered Matthews: “Me.”
In this case, Matthews actually did misunderstand the question, but whether it’s making bets on shots from behind the backboard or while sitting on the bench, he is never one to pass up a challenge — or pass up challenging someone for that matter.
So with Babbitt still on the court as Thursday’s practice wrapped up, it was on — Wesley vs. Luke in a 50-shot 3-point shootout.
The format was as follows: Each player takes 10 shots from one spot on the floor, starting with the right-side corner. Whoever makes the most out of 10 wins that round, and then they move onto the next of five spots. There is no carryover from one spot to the next. Whoever takes the most rounds wins the contest.
Matthews said that when Babbitt gets in a groove, he can make 92 out of 100 3’s while shooting by himself, but Wesley was undeterred when he coaxed Luke into the contest. This blog post will not say whether there was money on the line.
Babbitt went first and knocked down 7 out of 10 from the corner.
Solid, but no match for Matthews’ 9 out of 10. Round 1 to Wes.
Babbitt then hit 9 apiece from his next two spots, rattling several in from the top of the key. Matthews came up short from both locations, but not before complaining that Luke was getting lucky bounces while he was not.
Score: 2-1 Babbitt.
Wesley took the next round — hitting nine 3’s to Luke’s seven. Now it was tied at 2-2 with one location left.
Throughout the contest, Oregonian reporter Joe Freeman was needling Matthews, ensuring him that there was no way Luke was going to lose. Matthews made a gesture with one of his fingers. It was not a thumbs up.
On the final spot — the left-side corner, Luke nailed 8 out of 10, leaving a small window for Wesley to triumph.
Matthews made his first five. Then a brick. Then a clank. Then another miss. Five for eight. Game, set, match Babbitt.
“I was just so ready to talk trash to you because I knew you were rooting against me,” Matthews told Freeman after the loss. “I could see the finish line.”
The moral? Matthews learned Thursday what the rest of the NBA — scratch that — the rest of the world should already know.
Do not freakin’ mess with Luke Babbitt.