Why Does The NBA Three Point Contest Suck Now?

3 point contest
Why Doesn’t The NBA Three Point Contest Feature Pure Shooters Anymore?

Would anyone even notice if the Three Point Contest was replaced by an off-hand layup drill?

Does anyone really believe Daequan Cook or Paul Pierce are potentially the best three point shooters in league history?

The quality of play/effort level of the NBA All Star Game has declined in recent years. 

Did you know Jason Kapono won the NBA Three Point Contest title in back to back years? The only reason I did is because I Wikipedia-ed it.

If you answered “no” to any of these questions like I did, then you are as desensitized by the Three Point Contest as I am. Which is very sad because I used to love it.

I remember back in the day, i.e. 1993-94, when Zima and silk boxers were king.

I was sitting in front of my VCR, my finger primed and ready to hit the “record” button as soon as the commercials ended. It was akin to trying to “tape” your favorite song on the radio without the DJ cutting in prior to the end to say something snarky.

The other hurdle was having to hold down the “Tracking” button to get the screen cleared up properly.

And though Tracking was a fickle mistress, I gladly endured her swift and irregular mood changes.

And why was I doing this? To “tape” Mark Price reigning three’s like a robot, on his way to winning back to back NBA Three Point Contest titles in 1993 and 1994.

Or to watch Craig Hodges try to win his fourth title when he wasn’t even on an NBA roster and had to wear some weird uniform with the word “NBA” plastered where a team name should’ve been.

From 1986 to about 2000 the Three point contest was won by some of the purest shooters the game has ever seen; Larry Bird, Craig Hodges, Mark Price, Steve Kerr and Jeff Hornacek to name a few.

After 2000 the field and style of competitors changed. Guys who weren’t known as three point shooters began getting introduced to the mix.

Some were because of name and what I’m guessing was an attempt to attract viewers with star power. But many of them were true head scratchers.

Guys like Jason Terry, David Wesley, Pat Garrity, Cuttino Mobley, Richard Hamilton, guys who barely shot three’s in games at all. What happened to the George McCloud’s or Tracey Murray’s or Hubert Davis-essss?

Another beef I have is the endless format changes. In the 2022 Three Point Shootout, why:

  • Why do I need a Mountain Dew Money Ball Rack?
  • Why does the three point contest start with a field of 8 competitors, then immediately go to a final round of 3?
  • Why don’t the guys shoot head to head and compete against each other anymore?
  • Why are there referees and video replays during it? We aren’t effing idiots, I can tell when a shot is good based on the HUMONGOUS red lights built into the glass backboard!

The 3 point contest has always been second banana to the NBA slam dunk contest and that’s fine. But can the Three Point Shootout at least get treated with some respect?

Is it not hyped because the league has changed so much that pure three point shooters just aren’t that important anymore in today’s league where everyone is a slasher looking to drive to the basket?

Would Jim Les make an NBA roster in 2011? Would Craig Ehlo? Would Dana Barros?

I think they would because if anything, the allowance of zone defense increases the need for three point specialists.

Can Eddie House be in it this year, NBA? Or a guy like Shawne Williams who shoots threes 11% better than he does twos?

Tonight, Three Point Contest, I’m going to go home, put on some Zubaz pants, drink some Crystal Pepsi and watch AirWolf on Netflix until the entire stash is exhausted.

You know, just like the good old days, when you were still relevant. You’ll always be relevant to me, baby. I mean that.

List of Three Point Contest Winners via Wikipedia:

Season Location Player Team Final score / max
1985–86 Dallas, Texas  Larry Bird* Boston Celtics 23 / 30
1986–87 Seattle, Washington  Larry Bird* (2) Boston Celtics (2) 16 / 30
1987–88 Chicago, Illinois  Larry Bird* (3) Boston Celtics (3) 17 / 30
1988–89 Houston, Texas  Dale Ellis Seattle SuperSonics 19 / 30
1989–90 Miami, Florida  Craig Hodges Chicago Bulls 19 / 30
1990–91 Charlotte, North Carolina  Craig Hodges (2) Chicago Bulls (2) 17 / 30
1991–92 Orlando, Florida  Craig Hodges (3) Chicago Bulls (3) 16 / 30
1992–93 Salt Lake City, Utah  Mark Price Cleveland Cavaliers 18 / 30
1993–94 Minneapolis, Minnesota Mark Price (2) Cleveland Cavaliers (2) 24 / 30
1994–95 Phoenix, Arizona  Glen Rice Miami Heat 17 / 30
1995–96 San Antonio, Texas Tim Legler Washington Bullets 20 / 30
1996–97 Cleveland, Ohio  Steve Kerr Chicago Bulls (4) 22 / 30
1997–98 New York City, New York  Jeff Hornacek Utah Jazz 16 / 30
1998–99[a] Canceled due to the 1998–99 NBA lockout[a]
1999–00 Oakland, California  Jeff Hornacek (2) Utah Jazz (2) 13 / 30
2000–01 Washington, D.C.  Ray Allen* Milwaukee Bucks 19 / 30
2001–02 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Peja Stojaković Sacramento Kings 19 / 30[b]
2002–03 Atlanta, Georgia  Peja Stojaković (2) Sacramento Kings (2) 22 / 30[b]
2003–04 Los Angeles, California  Voshon Lenard Denver Nuggets 18 / 30
2004–05 Denver, Colorado  Quentin Richardson Phoenix Suns 19 / 30
2005–06 Houston, Texas (2)  Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks 18 / 30
2006–07[11] Las Vegas, Nevada  Jason Kapono Miami Heat (2) 24 / 30
2007–08[1] New Orleans, Louisiana  Jason Kapono (2) Toronto Raptors 25 / 30
2008–09 Phoenix, Arizona (2)  Daequan Cook Miami Heat (3) 19 / 30[b]
2009–10 Dallas, Texas (2)  Paul Pierce* Boston Celtics (4) 20 / 30
2010–11 Los Angeles, California (2)  James Jones Miami Heat (4) 20 / 30
2011–12 Orlando, Florida (2)  Kevin Love^ Minnesota Timberwolves 17 / 30[b]
2012–13 Houston, Texas (3)  Kyrie Irving^ Cleveland Cavaliers (3) 23 / 30
2013–14 New Orleans, Louisiana (2)  Marco Belinelli San Antonio Spurs 24[b] / 34[c]
2014–15 Brooklyn, New York (2)  Stephen Curry^ Golden State Warriors 27 / 34[c]
2015–16 Toronto, Ontario Klay Thompson^ Golden State Warriors (2) 27 / 34[c]
2016–17 New Orleans, Louisiana (3)  Eric Gordon^ Houston Rockets 21[b] / 34[c]
2017–18 Los Angeles, California (3)  Devin Booker^ Phoenix Suns (2) 28 / 34[c]
2018–19 Charlotte, North Carolina (2)  Joe Harris^ Brooklyn Nets 26 / 34[c]
2019–20 Chicago, Illinois (2)  Buddy Hield^ Sacramento Kings (3) 27 / 40[c][d]
2020–21 Atlanta, Georgia (2)  Stephen Curry^ (2) Golden State Warriors (3) 28 / 40[c][d]
2021–22 Cleveland, Ohio (2) Karl-Anthony Towns^ Minnesota Timberwolves (2) 29 / 40[c][d]

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