Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith unhappy with being left out of 3-point contest

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith said he knows he can't change the NBA's decision not to include him in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, but he hopes the league reconsiders how it chooses participants for future All-Star festivities.

"Other than stats and analytics and everything they use on everything else, I hope they just use better judgment," Smith said Friday morning when asked what criteria should be weighed when making selections.

Golden State's Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, J.J. Redick of the Los Angeles Clippers, Houston's James Harden, Milwaukee's Khris Middleton, Toronto's Kyle Lowry, Miami's Chris Bosh and Phoenix's Devin Booker were invited to participate in the event.

Smith ranks 18th all-time in 3-pointers made with 1,584 as of Friday and is ninth among active players. Of the eight active players ahead of him on the all-time list, only two of them (Jamal Crawford and Vince Carter) have never been invited to the contest, like Smith, a 12-year veteran.

Smith's 39.6 percent from 3 this season also ranks ahead of Bosh (36.6) and Harden (34.6), and his 109 made 3s are more than Bosh (78), Booker (53) and Middleton (100) each have.

"There can't be too many guys in the field that has more career 3s or more games with eight or more made in a game that's actively still playing now," said LeBron James, who publicly stumped for Smith's inclusion last month. "It is what it is. There's nothing we can do about it."

As James referenced, only Curry (20) has more NBA games in his career than Smith (14) with eight made 3s or more.

"I might take the Marshawn Lynch approach on this one, so I don't get fined," Smith said, noting the Seattle Seahawks running back's notoriously brief comments to the media. "I got a lot to say about it, but I'm not going to say anything because it's not going to help it."

Smith then pointed to the Cavs' first-place position in the Eastern Conference standings as a reason for solace.

"At the end of the day, it's not my decision," Smith said. "I really can't be mad, I guess. Well, I can, but I try to not let that bother me. We're in first place in our division, so at the end of the day, this is about wins and losses for us, not about who is going to All-Star Weekend."

One thing is for sure: The league leaving him out did nothing to affect Smith's confidence.

"I feel as though I'm one of the best 3-point shooters to play, regardless if it's this year, last year or when I was 4-years old," Smith said.