2023 NBA All-Star Focus: 3-Point Contest History

2023 NBA All-Star Focus: 3-Point Contest History

In 1986, the period in which the NBA was experiencing the silky-rocketing viewership and popularity globally. In that same year, a 3-Point contest was introduced.

NBA: The history of 3-Points

Three point shooting was added to the NBA during the 1979-1980 season – which created many high scoring and exciting games throughout the 80s and revolutionized how the game is played today, opened the door to many superstars including Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Reggie Miller, and Ray Allen. 

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The 3-Points first introduced in a defunct ABA (American Basketball Association) during the late 60s. In the early stage of implementation of this added point lane created confusion and chaos within the league with many coaches during that primordial era of 3-points using the line during the crucial moments or when they needed points. 

“You have to tell your players to remember who the shooters are, and when those guys are 25 feet from the basket, get in their jocks and guard them,” said Hubie Brown, the former ABA and NBA Coach. “Don’t give them the 25-footer, which is something players have been conditioned to all their lives. And as a coach, if you have to give him the freedom to take the 25-footer, which is a philosophy that goals against what you learned as a young coach.”

The Evolution of 3 points

In the 2014-2015 season, Stephen Curry revolutionized the basketball game in the Modern Era with his impressive 3-point shooting that led the Golden State Warriors to an impressive Championship aspiration, and later an actual NBA Championship. He made an outstanding 402 three-pointers in the 2015-2016 season . 

Now, the 3-point line obviously changed the landscape and outlook of NBA Today as the former Basketball player Elmore Smith said: “Guys have become super efficient at the shot. You see the NCAA continue to move the line further back because the players can shoot it. At one time, it was only 19 feet at its shortest point.” 

Nowadays, many players continue to improve, utilize the shot in their favor, and the scoring elevated and evolved with many teams continuing to score 70 points and above at the end of the first half, then ending the game by almost 150 points on the regular basis. Even Forwards and Big Men can hit threes and have become a standard for big men aiming to join the NBA Draft or join the league.

“Now you’re seeing it on the fast break, whereas coaches from old school wouldn’t want you to take that shot on the break. They’d want you to challenge the defense and get the highest percentage shot,” the legend Elmore said in an interview. “… You’re seeing guys now driving to the basket, and even though they have an opportunity to take the layup or a much  shorter shot, they are more willing to kick it out to the wide open three-point shooter. I’m not sure the percentages work from that standpoint, but it’s a trend.”

History: The 3-Point Contest Winners

2021 Stephen Curry 2009 Daequan Cook 1996 Tim Legler
2020 Buddy Hield 2008 Jason Kapono 1995 Glen Rice
2019 Joe Harris 2007 Jason Kapono 1994 Mark Price
2018 Devin Booker 2006 Dirk Nowitzki 1993 Mark Price
2017 Eric Gordon 2005 Quentin Richardson 1992 Craig Hodges
2016 Klay Thompson 2004 Voshon Lenard 1991 Craig Hodges
2015 Stephen Curry 2003 Peja Stojakovic 1990 Craig Hodges
2014 Marco Belinelli 2002 Peja Stojakovic 1989 Dale Ellis
2013 Kyrie Irving 2001 Ray Allen 1988 Larry Bird
2012 Kevin Love 2000 Jeff Hornacek 1987 Larry Bird
2011 James Jones 1998 Jeff Hornacek 1986 Larry Bird
2010 Paul Pierce 1997 Steve Kerr

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