Do you remember where you were on April 17, 2013? It was during that night that Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, set the record for 3-pointers in a season (previously set by Ray Allen in 2005-2006). I remember watching that game, then proceeding to social media to tweet and post updates about what I’d just witnessed. When I got there I realized I wasn’t the only one, the entire internet was abuzz with the news of Curry’s record.
Why do we care? Why is it so fascinating? Simply put: it's because 3 point shots are hard. Really hard, and watching someone successfully complete so many of them will always be amazing. This brings me to the NBA All-Star Three-point Shootout.
• Like the slam dunk, the 3-point shot was initially a marketing tool, introduced by the ABA to compete with the NBA.
• The NBA officially adopted the 3-point shot during the 1979-1980 season
• Chris Ford (Celtics) made the first 3 pointer in NBA history (1979-1980 season)
• The three-point line is 23 feet, 9 inches (22 feet at the corners)
• The first Three-Point Shootout was held during the 1985-1986 season
• Larry Bird was the first ever Three-Point Shootout winner
• Bird and Craig Hodges are the only two players to win three times (and did so with consecutive wins)
• A perfect score in the Three-Point Shootout is 30 (25 is the closest anyone has gotten to it)
• Michael Jordan has the lowest score ever with just 5 points in one round
So if you’re a brand new basketball fan, or you’ve never gotten the opportunity to catch the NBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout, the premise of the contest is simple (once you know how the rules!).
There are two rounds, qualifying and finals. In each round, each player tries to score as many points as possible. There are five different racks, containing five balls each, spaced from one corner of the 3-point arc to the other corner. Out of the five balls, the first four are worth one point for each shot made, with the last ball or the ‘money ball’ at the end of each rack worth two (a maximum of six points per rack). The kicker is that each player gets one minute to bank in as many shots as possible. This makes the contest as much about speed, as it is about accuracy.
At the end of the qualifying round the players with the top three scores move onto the final round which is played in the same way as the qualifying round. In the event of a tie additional rounds are played. In the end the player with the most points wins!
Probably one of my favorite reasons for the watching the NBA All-Star Game is because of the various events that take place all weekend. The Three-Point Shootout is such a high skill contest that it’s become a fan favorite and has made and broken records time and time again.
Most Points in a Round
Craig Hodges (1985) – 25
Jason Kapono (2008) – 25
Most Points in the Final Round
Jason Kapono (2008) – 25
Mark Price (1994) –24
Jason Kapono (2007) –24
Kyrie Irving (2013) –23
Larry Bird (1986) –22
Peja Stojaković (2004) –22
Steve Kerr (1997) –22
Most Consecutive Shots Made
Craig Hodges (1991) –19
Larry Bird (1986) –11
Hubert Davis (1996) –11
Kyrie Irving (2013) –10
Jason Kapono (2008) –10
Ray Allen (2011) –10
Player with the most Three-Point Shootout Wins
Larry Bird (3)
Craig Hodges (3)
Mark Price (2)
Jeff Hornacek (2)
Peja Stojaković (2)
Jason Kapono (2)
Player in the most Three-Point Shootouts
8 - Craig Hodges
7 - Dale Ellis
5 -Reggie Miller*
*Reggie Miller is the only player with 5 or more appearances to have never won the title
While there hasn’t been an official announcement regarding the participants of the 2014 NBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout, the feeling among NBA enthusiasts is that Stephen Curry will be back to try to secure the title. With so many talented three-point shooters in the league, next year’s contest is sure to be as thrilling as any of the past.
Where will you be when the next Three-Point Shootout champion is crowned?