With the NBA record all her own, Steph Curry raised her arms and patted her chest. Seconds later, the Golden State Warriors took a break to commemorate the historic moment for their most important player – and the first TV spot during halftime was dedicated solely to the 33-year-old basketball player’s success. The three-pointer at 12:10 on Tuesday was the 2,974th in the point guard’s career. “This number means a lot to me,” Curry told TNT. “I even have them on my shoes.” No one in NBA history has scored from outside the three-point line as often as he has – and the 75th season of the world’s strongest basketball league is underway.
Late in the Golden State Warriors’ 105-96 victory over the New York Knicks, Curry extended the record to 2977 and snapped a photo with former record holders Ray Allen and Reggie Miller. “To be able to do this at Madison Square Garden is something special. I can’t say enough how honored I am by the response here away from this landmark,” said Curry. “It’s a very, very special night.”
People in Manhattan’s legendary ballroom, though mostly Knicks fans, celebrated Curry as if he were one of their own. In doing so, they paid tribute to him for an already unprecedented career. What Michael Jordan pioneered the dunk and Dirk Nowitzki pioneered the one-leg fade, the three-time NBA champion and two-time MVP did for the three-pointer. In Curry’s first season in the 2009/2010 NBA, there was an average of 18.1 three-point attempts in an NBA game – this season that figure per team is 35.4. “He revolutionized the way the game is played,” said NBA boss Adam Silver.
Previous record holder Ray Allen, who congratulated Curry with a hug on the field during halftime, had replaced Reggie Miller ten years ago and needed 1300 games for his final performance. Curry has now risen to the top of the leaderboard after 789 NBA games. “I’m curious to see where the 1300-game record is. Four, five, six years to go. That record will never be broken,” predicted TV commentator and NBA icon Shaquille O’Neal. The day before, Dirk Nowitzki had said, “I don’t think there’s anyone in sight who can break your record.”
LeBron James, Chris Paul, Magic Johnson – all congratulations
LeBron James, Chris Paul, Magic Johnson – current and former NBA players posted congratulations on social media and rejoiced at the milestone of a man who is more popular than almost any other athlete in his class. Aside from his humble nature and ability to not take himself too seriously, this is also because Curry’s body doesn’t give him an exceptional edge. Not everyone can dunk, it mainly depends on body size and jumping ability. Passing and shooting – everyone can learn this in theory.
In a sport where many stars move well above the six-foot mark, Curry is so inconspicuous at 1.88 meters that most universities wouldn’t even offer a scholarship to the son of a former NBA pro. After high school, the understated young talent received only one offer from the highest category: from Davidson College in North Carolina. His coach Bob McKillop took Curry under his wing at the time – and was among the spectators at Madison Square Garden 15 years later when Curry made basketball history.