Top 5 Performances in NBA 3-Point Contest History
The Three-Point Contest is one of the staples of All-Star Saturday night, and unlike the Slam Dunk Contest, it is an event that never seems to get old. Larry Bird started us off in the mid-'80s by winning the first three titles, but there have been some standout performances since then.
Players have gotten into rhythms that make them look like they will never miss a shot again, and others have come and just put up bricks. There have been some veterans who have shown they have ice in their veins when they start pulling balls from the rack.
This year’s contestants include Stephen Curry, Steve Novak, Ryan Anderson, Matt Bonner, Kyrie Irving and Paul George. Will any join the ranks of the elite Three-Point Contest marksmen?
Jason Kapono, 2008
Jason Kapono was the reigning champion entering the 2008 contest. He never stood out too much for his play on the court, but he excelled in shooting the three-pointer.
Kapono had a career average of 43.4 percent behind the arc during his nine-year NBA career, but what really made him a star was his performance in the 2008 shootout. As you can see from the video, Kapono was dead-on after missing his first two shots.
Kapono hit 10 shots in a row, including hitting each of the two-point money balls to tie the record high (25) set by Craig Hodges. Kapono is also the only two-time champion to win the contest with different teams (Toronto and Miami).
Peja Stojakovic, 2003
Peja Stojakovic is primarily known for his play with the Sacramento Kings. He was their deadly shooting threat, converting outside shots when given the ball from Mike Bibby or Chris Webber.
As the defending champion coming into the 2003 contest, Peja breezed past Wesley Person in the final. He had the contest wrapped up before he even got to the final rack.
Back problems forced him to retire from the game too soon, but Stojakovic was certainly one of the top three-point shooters the NBA has ever seen.
Mark Price, 1994
Mark Price was a sharpshooter for the Cleveland Cavaliers who never lost a Three-Point Contest (1993 and 1994). The four-time All-Star put together a very strong performance the year before by leading all three rounds of the shootout.
He beat Dana Barros in the final round by a score of 24-13. It wasn’t even close in the two competitions that Price entered; he knew how to shoot, and he was clutch when it mattered.
He finished his career shooting 40.2 percent from long range.
Craig Hodges, 1991
Craig Hodges is legendary in the world of the Three-Point Contest.
He was there for the very first shootout, where he set a record for having a 25-point round. Fast forward to 1991, and Hodges was on his way to setting another record, hitting his first 19 three-pointers.
Hodges took out legendary competition in that contest by defeating Jim Les, Terry Porter and Reggie Miller to capture the title.
He is remembered for winning back-to-back-to-back Three-Point Contests. He was even given the chance to defend his 1992 title as a free agent at the 1993 All-Star weekend in Utah.
Larry Bird, 1986
As you can see from his triumph in 1986, Larry Bird did not use the jump shot to win; instead, he used a steady motion to hoist up the threes.
He played the competition smart as he waited out Craig Hodges' monster second-round total of 25 points to qualify for the final round.
Larry Legend does this in style with the “Miami Vice” music in the background, wearing the All-Star jersey and tossing one of the three-pointers off the glass.
Bird retired from the competition after winning it three straight times.