When the NBA announced the participants for the 2017 3-point contest Thursday, there was a notable omission: the best shooter in NBA history. Stephen Curry declined to challenge Golden State Warriors teammate Klay Thompson for the title. After the Warriors' 133-120 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Curry told reporters that he'd just like to keep his All-Star Weekend less hectic.
"I've done it six times I think," Curry said, via the San Jose Mercury News' Anthony Slater. "I told myself I was going to do it until I won. And then I won. And then I had to defend. And then Klay beat me. So it's a little bit of an internal battle. But honestly, this All-Star Weekend is kind of the slowest, schedule-wise, I've had and I wanted to capitalize off that rest. So it was a tough decision 'cause I love the spotlight of being out there shooting, competing with the field and yourself. It's so much fun to be out there with the lights and the atmosphere, just you and the rim. But I put a lot of equity into that contest and it's time to kind of move on."
Steph Curry explains his decision not to compete in the 3-point contest at All-Star weekend pic.twitter.com/TS3kVwH4Od— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 3, 2017
Curry actually has competed in the 3-point Shootout five times. He won it in 2015 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and he finished second to Thompson last year at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Thompson likely will enter this year's competition at New Orleans' Smoothie King Arena as the overwhelming favorite.
Two thoughts here:
- Watching him speak, it seems like the competitive side of him regrets saying no. When he talks about the spotlight and the atmosphere, you can tell he really loves it. He obviously has every right to decline the invitation -- only Craig Hodges (eight appearances), Ray Allen (six) and Dale Ellis (five) have done it more than Curry -- but he was clearly torn in making this decision.
- I wonder if he'll even be in the building or if he'll take the entire night off. It would be a little weird to see Curry cheering on Thompson instead of competing with him when he's healthy.