Top 5 Three-Point Shootouts Ever
Before tonight’s latest installment of the Three-Point Shootout, let’s reflect on the five best contests in history.
HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: If there is anything we’ve learned, anybody can win, regardless of reputation entering the contest.
Before we get to the list, a quick factoid. Do you know who has the lowest score in contest history? Amazingly, Michael Jordan with five points in 1990. Wowza.
1986- Larry Bird
The first contest ever was basically the beginning of Bird asserting himself as the most successful and entertaining of any three-point contestant ever. Bird made a then-competition record of 11 straight shots. When he won the contest and received his over-sized check, Bird quipped, “That check has had my name on it for a week now.” He dominated eventual three time champion Craig Hodges in the final round 22-12 and set the standard for what was expected in ensuing competitions.
1991- Craig Hodges
This contest was arguably the deepest ever, right there with the 1995 version. The field consisted of champ Hodges, Drazen Petrovic (RIP), Dell Curry, Jeff Hornacek, Mitch Richmond, John Stockton, Craig Ehlo and Jim Les. In this contest, Hodges set the all time record for consecutive shots made with nineteen, and looked like a completely unstoppable robot, IE like the T-1000 in the original Terminator.
1988- Larry Bird
Bird only had seven pints with 25 seconds left with two racks remaining but would rebound to win making the final shot and generating the signature image of him extending his index finger as the final, event winning ball went through the net. Bird beat Dale Ellis 17-15 in the final round and created an indelible image in the process. Poor Dale Ellis. He competed in each of the first three contests and could never beat Bird, who won all three of them.But don’t feel too bad for Dale, he eventually won the contest in 1989.
2002/2003- Peja Stojakovic
Peja’s two wins were in back to back years, both ending in overtime. both times victorious over Wesley Person, younger bro of “The Rifelman” and fellow three-point alum Chuck Person. In 2002, Peja and Person outlasted Steve Nash in the Finals, tying at 20 before Person lost in the finals en route to Stojakovic’s first title. The following year, they tied again in the finals after beating Brent Berry. Stojakovic would win that math-up as well, winning his second consecutive title. And the fans won by getting to watch an entire extra round of shots being hoisted up.
2007- Jason Kapono
Kapono gets no respect for his back to back titles, because his shot wasn’t particularly pleasing to the eye and he was a journeyman as a player. But in 2007 he locked horns with Jason Terry for one of the most exciting competitions in history. Terry fought his way into the finals by winning a shootout with Mike Miller, then tied with Kapono in the Finals to earn an extra session. Both players were hot from start to finish and it was fun to watch. The tiebreaker didn’t disappoint either, with Kapono besting Terry 24-19.
Image Credit: Creative Commons