Steph Curry and his Threes: More than just Points

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By Kyle Cheves, @pkcheves (Southern Methodist University)

Stephen Curry has made a record 288 3-pointers in 2016. Credit Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Stephen Curry has made a record 288 3-pointers in 2016. Credit Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The three-point line was first added to basketball in the ABL in the 1960’s before the concept folded a year and a half later. This idea of a three-point line was eventually added to the basketball’s premier league, the NBA for the 1979-1980 season. Once the three-point line was adopted by the NBA, all other levels of basketball decided to follow suit. This change would forever affect the spacing, strategy and how the game was played. In 1994, the three-point line was extended from the initial distance set in the 1979 season.

Though the three-point line has been included in mainstream basketball for over 35 years, the positives and negatives of three point shot and line to the wellbeing of the game are still often debated by basketball's finest, especially when comparing great teams and players. The “three pointer” is also put in a spotlight today due to current players shooting the shot more than any time up to date. These three point specialists include players such as J.J Redick, Kyle Korver, Klay Thompson and most notably, the back to back MVP, Stephen Curry. The three-point shot has undoubtedly added an extra variable of skill to the sport that many top tier players have nearly perfected.

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Curry is currently regarded by many experts and analysts as the greatest shooter in the game today. Because of his ability on the court, viewers can easily see how the sport of basketball has evolved. But what cannot be seen from Curry’s shooting ability, is the impact of the three-point shot off the court. Curry is involved in United Nation Foundation’s NothingbutNets, a campaign for malaria prevention in Africa through the distribution of life-saving bed nets. He has made a pledge to donate three bed nets for every three-point field goal he makes in the regular season. This campaign is known as “Stephen Curry’s Three-For-Three Challenge.”

In the 2012-2013 season, Curry set the NBA record for most three-point field goals made in a season at 272, a record previously held by former NBA star Ray Allen. Off the court, his record season resulted in 816 bed nets donated through NothingbutNets. Since Curry’s record-breaking season in 2012-2013, he has gone on to surpass the 272 three-point field goal number three times, while also breaking his own record twice.

This season, Curry has taken criticism for what many people are perceiving as a down year, due to slightly lower scoring statistics. This criticism seems unfair due to the fact that six more games remain in the regular season and his performance has already accounted for 915 mosquito bed-nets from his 305 three-point field goals.  Curry has made 33 more made three-point field goals than his first record season, yet he is still shooting above 40 percent from behind the arc this season. It appears that Curry’s critics have become accustomed to the back to back MVP’s elite level of play, similarly to the fans of the sport becoming more accustomed to the implementation of the three-point field goal. Nevertheless, Curry has not only had a huge impact on the sport of basketball by glamorizing the “three-pointer”, he has also made a huge impact off the court through his Three-For-Three campaign to combat malaria in Africa.

About the Author: Kyle is a junior at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, double majoring in History and Sports Management and minoring in Chinese. In the future he hopes to work in college athletics or possibly in the field of law after attending law school. You can find him on Twitter here.

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