Steph Curry and Sabrina Ionescu.
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images (left), Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images (right)

Sabrina Ionescu Declines Advantage in 3-Point Contest Against Steph Curry

Two superstars in the NBA and WNBA will go head to head in the three-point challenge, but Sabrina Ionescu doesn't need an advantage.

The 3-point challenge that NBA star Stephen Curry proposed to WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu prior to a game last week has been both accepted by Ionescu and confirmed to be occurring during NBA All-Star weekend in February.

Ionescu was initially offered an advantage in the challenge — although she declined that offer, instead preferring an even playing field.

The official 3-point challenge announcement — which was was made Tuesday morning — included a separate post for the challenge's format. While all aspects of the format looked identical for Curry and Ionescu at first glance, there was one subtle difference noted at the bottom: Curry would be shooting from the NBA 3-point line (23 feet, 9 inches), and Ionescu would shoot from the WNBA 3-point line (20 feet, 6 inches).

However, when Ionescu posted the announcement on her Instagram story minutes after it was made, she wrote, "I'll shoot from the NBA line... Let's get it." 

This proposed advantage that Ionescu declined proves that the New York Liberty star guard has supreme confidence in her long-range shooting ability — even when she's matched up against the best 3-point shooter of all time. 

This confidence is warranted, considering that Ionescu has not only produced the best 3-point contest performance in basketball history but also shot an absurd 44.8% of her attempts from beyond the arc during the 2023 WNBA season. She also averaged 0.6 more 3-pointers made per game more than anybody else in the league. 

Of course, Curry — the Golden State Warriors' star point guard — is no slouch from beyond the arc either. The four-time NBA champion is a career 42.6% NBA 3-point shooter; and his best 3-point shooting season came in 2011-12, when he drained 45.5% of attempts.

All of which is to say that we'll see the best male and the best female 3-point shooters in the world — and perhaps in history — square off Feb. 17. 

The "Stephen vs. Sabrina 3-Point Challenge" also has a major philanthropic component. As the NBA's X account noted, Curry's Eat.Learn.Play nonprofit and Ionescu's SI20 foundation will receive a donation from the NBA and WNBA when the challenge takes place. In addition, the NBA Foundation will receive a donation from State Farm after each shot Ionescu and Curry make; the money will go to help support economic empowerment in the Black community.

This challenge might end up being the most intriguing event of NBA's All-Star Weekend — especially with Ionescu insisting on an even playing field. 

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