The NBA’s Three-Point Contest might not have the strong history of the Slam Dunk Contest, but it remains a popular event from year to year. While the Dunk Contest is often held back by a lack of recognizable names, many of the biggest names in the NBA participate in the Three-Point contest, making it a hit every year.
While some might think the Three-Point Contest is played for glory, the winner does receive prize money. Here’s what you need to know.
History of the NBA Three-Point Contest
The Three-Point Contest began in 1986. Larry Bird was the first champion of the event, and he repeated the feat two more times. One particularly notable event from the contest involved Bird reportedly entering the locker room with his warmups on, asking his opponents which one would come in second.
After Bird retired from the contest, several others got the chance. Dale Ellis became the second winner in 1989, while the Bulls’ Craig Hodges had his threepeat from 1990 to 1992. NBA shooters love to prove their worth in the contest, which does not rely on subjective judging, unlike the Dunk Contest, but actual results.
Sharpshooters like Mark Price, Ray Allen, Peja Stojakovic, and Steph Curry have all raised the trophy. Other names who were not necessarily known for shooting, like Paul Pierce, have shown up at the right time and seen success. Last year’s winner, Joe Harris, defeated a superstar lineup.
The history of the contest is a who’s who of the biggest names in NBA history and forgotten shooters of the past. While bragging rights bring the stars together, there are other motivations, as well.
What is the prize money of the Three-Point Contest?
Players have lots of motivation to make the NBA All-Star Game and its events. Some of it lies in being with the best players in the world. For others, there needs to be an incentive. The NBA offers up incentives for the players, like charitable donations and different strategies that target them. However, another incentive lies in the pocketbook, reports Forbes.
While the Dunk Contest is the most lucrative prize of the weekend, the Three-Point Contest winners take home a cool $50,000. For those making $20 million to $40 million a year, this may be akin to pocket change. For the players like last year’s champion, Harris, this incentive money provides a level of motivation the others see.
There’s no right reason for competing over the NBA All-Star weekend, be it for money, glory, or charitable causes. But by covering all bases, the NBA is speaking to a larger group of players who may not otherwise be interested.
This year’s NBA Three-Point Contest
This year’s Three-Point participants represent a combination of prime stars, up-and-comers, and lesser-known names vying for the prize. Harris will defend his title against Davis Bertans, Devonte’ Graham, Buddy Hield, Zach LaVine, Damian Lillard, Duncan Robinson, and Trae Young.
There may be fewer stars than past years, but with Curry, Thompson, Kevin Durant, and other stars out, these NBA players have a chance to shine.
This event, as well as all of the other Saturday festivities, could breathe life into All-Star Game on Saturday night and add another chapter to a tradition filled with memories.
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