Stephen Curry returns to the NBA All-Star weekend. Sabrina Ionescu will be waiting for you.
The penalty shootout that both wanted is officially a reality, the NBA announced this Tuesday. “Stephen vs. Sabrina” will take place as part of the Saturday Night All-Star Game in Indianapolis on February 17. Curry, the NBA’s all-time 3-point shooting king, will take on the current WNBA and single-season 3-point shooting queen. record holder Ionescu.
“The stage is set! Let’s do it,” Curry posted on social media.
Ionescu responded simply: “Let’s go!”
This confrontation took months to prepare. Curry was on a microphone for Golden State’s game Thursday night against Sacramento and had a conversation with Warriors teammate Brandin Podziemski about Ionescu, who scored a near-perfect 37 points in the 3-point contest the WNBA last summer. That surpassed Curry’s best-of-31 NBA 3-point contest.
“I think I have to challenge her,” Curry told Podziemski.
Ionescu responded on social media: “Let’s do it!! See you at the 3-point line.” In fact, she technically started the challenge: Ionescu posed for a photo imitating Curry’s famous lights-out pose while she held her trophy at the WNBA All-Star event and raised the possibility of a showdown.
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 lots of cash for charities: Curry’s Eat.Learn.Play. The 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 3-pointers, $2,000 for money-ball 3-pointers and $3,000 for deeper 3-pointers from nearly 30 feet) will bring a donation from State Farm to the NBA Foundation “to support the economic empowerment of the Black community,” the league said.
Curry has four of the five highest single-season 3-point totals in NBA history, with his record 402 coming in the 2015-16 season. Ionescu led the WNBA with 128 three-pointers last season, while shooting nearly 45% from long range.
“I’m picturing a 1973 Bobby Riggs versus Billie Jean King, so maybe it’s the modern battle of the sexes,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “I know those two are close. Since Sabrina is from the Bay, we have seen her in our games before her and everyone loves and supports her. So it will be fun to watch them shoot each other.”
It’s no surprise: Victor Wembanyama is heading into his first All-Star weekend.
The San Antonio rookie and first overall pick in last year’s NBA draft was one of 28 players chosen for the Rising Stars games, which will take place on the Friday of All-Star weekend, the 16th. of February.
No. 2 pick Brandon Miller of Charlotte and No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson of Portland join Wembanyama among the rookies selected for the games; The format is a mini-tournament with seven-player rosters and a championship game after two semifinals. Henderson is at the event for the third time, after being selected twice when he played for the G League Ignite in 2022 and 2023.
Also chosen from the rookie class were Oklahoma City teammates Chet Holmgren and Cason Wallace, Washington’s Bilal Coulibaly, Utah’s Keyonte George, New Orleans’ Jordan Hawkins, Miami’s Jaime Jaquez Jr., Dallas’ Dereck Lively II and Podziemski of Golden State.
From the sophomore class are Orlando’s Paolo Banchero, New Orleans’ Dyson Daniels, Detroit teammates Jalen Duren and Jaden Ivey, Utah’s Walker Kessler, Indiana’s Bennedict Mathurin, Sacramento’s Keegan Murray, Portland’s Shaedon Sharpe, Jabari Smith Jr. of Houston and Jalen of Oklahoma City. Williams.
Reigning dunk champion Mac McClung was one of seven G League players chosen for the event, along with Izan Almansa, Matas Buzelis, Ron Holland, Tyler Smith, Oscar Tshiebwe and Alondes Williams.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba