The NBA Three-Point Contest is one of the more exciting events of All-Star Weekend, as it showcases a fundamental basketball skill in a simple, but extremely intriguing shootout.
The NBA just released the full list of participants for the 2014 edition of this marksmanship test and it looks to be a great field that will be cutthroat in its competitiveness.
This year’s crop of talent is comprised of eight of the league’s best deadeye assassins all vying for the distinction of being crowned the NBA’s top long-ball shooter. They include Kyrie Irving, Arron Afflalo, Bradley Beal and Joe Johnson out of the Eastern Conference and Kevin Love, Stephen Curry, Marco Belinelli and Damian Lillard representing the Western Conference.
Start Time: Saturday, Feb. 15, at 8:30 p.m. ET (third event of night)
TV: Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET on TNT
Where: New Orleans Arena, New Orleans, La.
Live Stream: TNT Overtime
Mobile: NBA Game Time
The three-point shootout will be determined in favor of the most accurate shooter over the course of two rounds.
The rounds will feature each contestant getting 25 three-point attempts apiece, five shots from each of the five stations set up around the perimeter of the basket. Every station contains four regular balls worth one point each, capped off with a multicolored money ball worth two points.
One minute is allotted for participants to make their way through the stations and score as many points as possible, with the highest score winning.
This year’s version will follow the “new” rules the NBA instituted last year, in which the Eastern and Western Conferences will face off in the final round.
The top scorer after the first round from each conference will advance to the championship to square off against one another. The player with the lowest Round 1 score will go first and a champion will be named after both have finished going around the arc.
|2013||Kyrie Irving, Cleveland|
|2012||Kevin Love, Minnesota|
|2011||James Jones, Miami|
|2010||Paul Pierce, Boston|
|2009||Daequan Cook, Miami|
|2008||Jason Kapono, Toronto|
|2007||Jason Kapono, Miami|
|2006||Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas|
|2005||Quentin Richardson, Phoenix|
|2004||Voshon Lenard, Denver|
|2003||Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento|
|2002||Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento|
|2001||Ray Allen, Milwaukee|
|2000||Jeff Hornacek, Utah|
|1998||Jeff Hornacek, Utah|
|1997||Steve Kerr, Chicago|
|1996||Tim Legler, Washington|
|1995||Glen Rice, Miami|
|1994||Mark Price, Cleveland|
|1993||Mark Price, Cleveland|
|1992||Craig Hodges, Chicago|
|1991||Craig Hodges, Chicago|
|1990||Craig Hodges, Chicago|
|1989||Dale Ellis, Seattle|
|1988||Larry Bird, Boston|
|1987||Larry Bird, Boston|
|1986||Larry Bird, Boston|
Top Performances in Three-Point Contest History
Craig Hodges, 1991
Hodges may not have been a very memorable player in the NBA, but he’s a legend among those who have followed the Three-Point Contest since its inception.
The sniper appeared in the competition eight times during his 10 years in the league, winning three in a row (1990-1992).
While his 25-point round in 1986 still stands as a record, it wasn’t enough to stop Larry Bird from fulfilling his prophecy of winning the event. However, Hodges had his day in the sun when he knocked down a record 19 consecutive three-point shots to capture his second title.
That mark still stands today and was instrumental in guiding the shooter past the likes of Glen Rice and Terry Porter in ’91.
Jason Kapono, 2008
Kapono became the only player in league history to win with two different teams, doing so in back-to-back fashion as a member of the Miami Heat in 2007 and Toronto Raptors in 2008.
His performance in the latter event was especially inspiring, as the marksman was dialed in and at one point connected on 10 straight treys.
It took him two shots to find his range, but eventually he couldn’t miss and sunk every money ball on the way to a record-tying 25-point round.
Kapono was out of the NBA following the 2011-12 campaign, but he sank an impressive 43.4 percent of his long-range attempts during his nine-year tenure in the league.
Larry Bird, 1986-1988
The Boston Celtics legend would go into the annals of NBA history for winning the inaugural Three-Point Contest. It wasn’t enough for the superstar forward, so he participated in and won the next two events as well.
Bird’s intriguing style of shooting in this event—using a rapid-fire, steady motion with little lift—differed from most of his peers and isn’t anything like what we see today, but it’s hard to deny his effectiveness.
The Hick from French Lick certainly did not lack confidence, famously entering the locker room ahead of the ’86 contest and announcing that he would win, per ESPN’s Thomas Neumann: “I want all of you to know I am winning this thing; I'm just looking around to see who's gonna finish up second.”
As usual, Bird was right and added some hardware to his collection after surviving that aforementioned 25-point barrage from Craig Hodges in the second round. Bird finished his Hall of Fame career as a 37.6-percent three-point shooter.
Will anyone break Hodges' mark of 19 straight three-pointers?
There is certainly no shortage of marksmen involved in the 2014 Three-Point Contest. It’s extremely tough to predict which one will catch fire and connect on the most three-point attempts, but there are some that have a better chance than others.
Joe Johnson is a good bet to emerge for the Eastern Conference, as he’s drilled 86-of-221 (38.9 percent) long-range attempts this season. He’s a career 37.0-percent three-point shooter, so the basket is looking even bigger to him this season.
Stephen Curry might just be the one to make it through for the West. The triggerman is simply unstoppable from downtown, knocking down 154 of his 383 (40.2 percent) shots from distance during the 2013-14 campaign. Considering he’s a 43.7-percent career three-point shooter, it’s safe to say he’s the favorite to win it all.