Stephen Curry is back for NBA All-Star weekend. Sabrina Ionescu will be waiting for him.
The shootout that both wanted is officially a reality, the NBA announced Tuesday. “Stephen vs. Sabrina” will take place as part of All-Star Saturday Night in Indianapolis on February 17. Curry, the NBA’s all-time three-point shooting king, will face the WNBA’s reigning three-point shooting queen in a single season. record holder Ionescu.
“The stage is set! Let’s go,” Curry posted on social media.
Ionescu replied simply: “Let’s go!”
This confrontation lasted for months. Curry was plugged into a microphone for Golden State’s game Thursday night against Sacramento and had a chat with Warriors teammate Brandin Podziemski about Ionescu, who scored a near-perfect 37 points in the 3-man contest WNBA points last summer. That surpassed Curry’s NBA game-best 31 3-pointers.
“I think I need to challenge her,” Curry told Podziemski.
Ionescu responded on social media: “Let’s go!! See you at the 3-point line.” In fact, she was the one who technically started the challenge: Ionescu posed for a photo mimicking Curry’s famous lights-out pose while holding her trophy at the WNBA All-Star event and discussed the possibility of ‘a match.
Curry will shoot from the NBA three-point line with NBA basketballs, and Ionescu will shoot from the WNBA three-point line with WNBA basketballs. At stake: bragging rights and big money for charity – Curry’s Eat.Learn.Play. nonprofit and Ionescu’s SI20 Foundation will receive a donation from the NBA and WNBA for their participation. Every shot they make – US$1,000 for the par 3s, $2,000 for the money-ball 3s and $3,000 for the deepest 3s at nearly 30 feet – will earn a donation from State Farm to the NBA Foundation “to support the economic empowerment of the Black community,” the league said.
Curry owns four of the five highest single-season 3-point totals in NBA history, with his record 402 coming during the 2015-16 season. Ionescu led the WNBA with 128 made 3s last season, while shooting nearly 45 percent from distance.
No surprise here: Victor Wembanyama is heading into his first All-Star weekend.
The San Antonio rookie and No. 1 pick in last year’s NBA draft was one of 28 players selected for the Rising Stars games, which will take place on the Friday of All-Star Weekend, Feb. 16 .
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’ Derek Lively II and Golden State’s Podziemski also been chosen in the rookie class.
The sophomore class includes 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, Shaedon Sharpe of Portland and Jabari Smith Jr. of Houston. and Jalen Williams of Oklahoma City.
Toronto Raptors first-round rookie Gradey Dick missed his game.
Reigning Slam Dunk champion Mac McClung was one of seven G League players selected for the event, along with Izan Almansa, Matas Buzelis, Ron Holland, Tyler Smith, Oscar Tshiebwe and Alondes Williams.