Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu Set To Make History With 3-Point Shootout At All-Star Weekend

The two sharpshooters will compete in the first competition of its kind during All-Star Saturday Night.

What happens when you put two of the best shooters in the game of basketball in a head-to-head competition? Fireworks.

At NBA All-Star Weekend (Feb.16-Feb.18) in Indianapolis, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty will face off to decide who is the greatest shooter in the world.  For the first time in the history of the All-Star festivities, the "Stephen vs. Sabrina 3-Point Challenge" will take place on  All-Star Saturday Night.

Up until Saturday night, can vote on who’ll shoot first in the highly anticipated event with NBA stars from Kevin Durant to Kyrie Irving sharing their expert opinions on who they believe will be the ultimate shooting champion.

Both shooters bring a wealth of experience to the contests.  Ionescu, who grew up idolizing Curry,  won the 3-point contest last July at the WNBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas. In an amazing display of shooting, she scored 37 of a possible 40 points knocking down 20 shots in a row at one point. Curry, is a two-time 3-point champion and set a contest’s final round with 28 points in 2021.

In a media session with reporters on Zoom, Ionescu shared how the shootout came to fruition after some playful banter between her and Curry on social media.

“I think the day that it happened, we got on the phone and were laughing and talking about how crazy this moment was,” Ionescu said.I was still in shock a couple of hours after that. We were figuring out if both are available to do it and we understand that we're able to highlight the W (WNBA) and kind of using this opportunity in Indiana as the opportunity to do so and you know, knowing that we're able to have our own contests.”

“It's not like I'm joining the NBA three-point contest but we're having our own with  the significance and importance of  having that idea stem from a joke,” she added, “Now being able to see it come to life is going to be a great experience for us both and exciting to see obviously who the winner is but what it's going to mean for basketball as a whole.”

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Curry is not only looking forward to the competition but the opportunity to use the platform of one of the NBA’s most popular events to spotlight the WNBA. In 2025, Golden State will welcome its own WNBA franchise and Curry continues to be a strong supporter of the league making the contest even more special.

“Every day you look for opportunities to continue to just raise the bar on what it means to be a basketball fan,” Curry said. “Watching what Sabrina  did at All-Star Weekend, watching what the WNBA season was like and how it continued to grow, and then understanding that there's a nice connection here with a competition between two great shooters who’ve had success in the three-point contest and now you're trying to level the playing field to see who the best shooter is on a given night.”

Curry also spoke about those who may be worried if he loses the competition but those narratives have not affected the two-time MVP as he anticipates a great night of legendary shooting.

"I think a lot of people are either on one side or the other of their reactions, like this dopest thing in the world, it's the first of its kind and it'll be something that kind of changes the narrative of what it looks like," Curry said. "But then also, there is the camp that's like ‘Oh, you've got a lot on the line. You really want to take on that challenge? What if you lose?' There's a lot of fear attached to it, really, I guess. This is what sports is about. However it plays out, this is what sports is about right? It’s about competing whatever the format is. She’s the champ and I'm the contender so let's lay it on the line.”

Although the WNBA's 3-point line is shorter at 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches at the top of the key, compared with the NBA's which is 23 feet, 9 inches, Ionescu requested to shoot from the NBA line and is unbothered about the longer distance

"Personally, I shoot from that range to begin with," Ionescu explained "I practice from that range in wanting to just be a better shooter, a better basketball player, and get better as a whole. It was a no-brainer from when it was first presented that I wanted to shoot from the NBA line. And continue to just prove that we're capable, and we're willing. Very thankful that I was given that opportunity, and I'm gonna capitalize on it."

Interestingly, this is not the first head-on-head encounter between Curry and Inoescu. The two played a game of HORSE in San Francisco, it was pretty clear that Ionescu was victorious in the duel

“That’s why I called her the champ,” Curry explained.

In this shootout that’s been a long time in the making, whether Curry and Inoescu comes out on top, the true winner will be basketball fans across the globe who get to witness a historic contest between two of the game's brightest stars.

State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will begin at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.

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