All-Star Weekend showdown: Curry vs. Ionescu in Indy for 3-point shootout

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(Image courtesy of NBA)

Stephen Curry is headed back to NBA All-Star weekend. Sabrina Ionescu will be waiting for him.

The shootout that both of them wanted is officially a reality, the NBA announced Tuesday. “Stephen vs. Sabrina” will happen as part of All-Star Saturday Night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Feb. 17. Curry, the NBA’s all-time 3-point king, will take on the reigning WNBA 3-point shootout queen and single-season record holder Ionescu.

“Stage is set! Let’s get it,” Curry posted on social media.

Ionescu responded simply: “Let’s go!”

This matchup was months in the making. Curry was wired with a microphone for Golden State’s game last Thursday night against Sacramento and had a discussion with Warriors teammate Brandin Podziemski about Ionescu, who scored an almost-perfect 37 points in the WNBA’s 3-point contest last summer. That topped Curry’s NBA 3-point contest best of 31.

“I think I’ve got to challenge her,” Curry told Podziemski.

Ionescu responded on social media: “Let’s getttttt it!! See ya at the 3 pt line.” In fact, she technically initiated the challenge: Ionescu posed for a photo imitating Curry’s famous lights-out pose while holding her trophy at the WNBA All-Star event and raised the possibility of a matchup.

The NBA was more than happy to make it happen.

Curry will shoot from the NBA 3-point line with NBA basketballs, and Ionescu will shoot from the WNBA 3-point line with WNBA basketballs. At stake: bragging rights and a lot of cash for charity — Curry’s Eat.Learn.Play. nonprofit and Ionescu’s SI20 Foundation will receive a donation from the NBA and WNBA for participating.

Every shot they make — $1,000 for regular 3s, $2,000 for money-ball 3s and $3,000 for deeper 3s from nearly 30 feet — will bring a donation from State Farm to the NBA Foundation “to support economic empowerment in the Black community,” the league said.

Curry has four of the five highest single-season 3-point totals in NBA history, with his record of 402 coming in the 2015-16 season. Ionescu led the WNBA with 128 3s last season, while shooting nearly 45% from distance.

“I’m envisioning a Bobby Riggs versus Billie Jean King from 1973, so maybe it’s the modern-day battle of the sexes,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I know those two are close. Sabrina being from the bay, we’ve seen her at our games before and everybody loves her and pulls for her. So it’ll be fun to see them shooting against each other.”

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One thought on “All-Star Weekend showdown: Curry vs. Ionescu in Indy for 3-point shootout

  1. This does have Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs vibes for sure. The 3-point contest is one of the more fun events of all-star weekend frankly, and this elevates that with a cherry on top even more! Good idea, good times!

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