Stephen Curry is headed back to NBA All-Star weekend. Sabrina Ionescu will be waiting for him.
The shootout that both of them wanted is officially a reality, the NBA announced Tuesday. “Stephen vs. Sabrina” will happen as part of All-Star Saturday Night in Indianapolis on Feb. 17. Curry, the NBA’s all-time 3-point king, will take on the reigning WNBA 3-point shootout queen and single-season record holder Ionescu.
“Stage is set! Let’s get it,” Curry posted on social media.
Ionescu responded simply: “Let’s go!”
This matchup was months in the making. Curry was wired with a microphone for Golden State’s game last Thursday night against Sacramento and had a discussion with Warriors teammate Brandin Podziemski about Ionescu, who scored an almost-perfect 37 points in the WNBA’s 3-point contest last summer. That topped Curry’s NBA 3-point contest best of 31.
“I think I’ve got to challenge her,” Curry told Podziemski.
Ionescu responded on social media: “Let’s getttttt it!! See ya at the 3 pt line.” In fact, she technically initiated the challenge: Ionescu posed for a photo imitating Curry’s famous lights-out pose while holding her trophy at the WNBA All-Star event and raised the possibility of a matchup happening.
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 a lot of cash for charity — Curry’s Eat.Learn.Play. 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 3s, $2,000 for money-ball 3s and $3,000 for deeper 3s from nearly 30 feet — will bring a donation from State Farm to the NBA Foundation “to support economic empowerment in the Black community,” the league said.
Curry has four of the five highest single-season 3-point make totals in NBA history, with his record of 402 coming in the 2015-16 season. Ionescu led the WNBA with 128 made 3s last season, while shooting nearly 45% from distance.
No surprise here: Victor Wembanyama is headed to his first All-Star weekend.
The San Antonio rookie and No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA draft was one of 28 players picked for the Rising Stars games, to be held on the Friday of All-Star weekend, Feb. 16.
No. 2 pick Brandon Miller of Charlotte and No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson of Portland are joining Wembanyama among the rookies selected for the games — the format is a mini-tournament with the seven-player rosters, and a championship game after two semifinals. Henderson is in the event for a third time, after being picked twice when he played for the G League Ignite in 2022 and 2023.
Also picked from the rookie class was 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 Golden State’s Podziemski.
From the second-year 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, Houston’s Jabari Smith Jr. and Oklahoma City’s Jalen Williams.
Reigning slam dunk champion Mac McClung was one of seven G League players picked 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