If there's any consolation, Matt Bonner's mustache was glorious. But that doesn't take away the sting.
Kyrie Irving caught fire in the championship round of Saturday's three-point shootout, dropping in 23 points and drinking the tears of everyone in the audience hoping for a Red Mamba celebration. Under the bright lights, Bonner's 20 final-round points were good enough for most nights, but apparently Irving hates happiness, social networking and redheads.
On top of that, the pressure was a bit too much.
"You do everything you can to prepare for it, but when you're shooting and Drake's sitting right next to you, and Nick Cannon from America's Got Talent is right there interviewing you, it makes you a little nervous," Bonner, the greatest shooter to ever live, said. "I think I did a good job managing it, putting up solid scores. Kyrie was hot."
And not fun. Also he doesn't have an actual heart. Or warm blood.
"20's nothing to shrug off. It usually would win, but not tonight," Bonner said with his mustache dripping with sweat. "It's disappointing, but maybe I can get back in it somehow."
The #LetBonnerShoot campaign was as successful a Twitter movement as we've seen, especially in the Spurs' world. For a guy who's put up incredible percentages from deep for his entire career, it was a well-deserved opportunity to showcase his picture-perfect shot-put basketball form. It was his first chance at the age of 32, and hopefully not his last.
"I have nothing right now. My mind's still racing, my heart's pounding. That was one of the biggest adrenaline rushes I've ever had, and to put up a 19 and a 20 under those circumstances, I'm shocked I didn't air-ball every shot," Bonner said. "Probably have to start another social media campaign, #LetBonnerShoot...again, or something like that."
Still, he's learned from this, and still contends this contest should be his to lose. And what would he tell future three-point contest rookies?
"I stick by my story. I think most years I would win. If anything, having a year under my belt of experience, maybe I'll be a little less nervous and be able to score a little more," Bonner insisted. "I wouldn't tell them anything, because hopefully I'm in it, too, and I'd want to beat them."
But as he sat there in the glow of the lights and cameras, he wondered a more important question.
"I got the Cliff Paul mustache ... I don't know if y'all noticed that."
I guess if Bonner would have won while sporting a mustache, we would have all exploded. So he was just looking out for us after all.
Thank you, Matt, for sparing us. And #LetBonnerShootAgain. About that 'stache going forward down the season's final stretch, don't count on it being there.
"If I want to sleep on the couch for the next 28 games, I'll stick with the mustache."
What a bittersweet evening.