Opinion: No, the three pointer isn’t ruining the NBA

CADEN SHEA, Sports Editor

On Dec. 14, 2021, a packed Madison Square Garden bore witness to one of the greatest records in basketball history. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors broke the career record for the most three-pointers in NBA history. Curry hit his 2,974th career three-pointer to the roar of a raucous Garden crowd. This feat was talked about all over the sports world as many applauded Curry for what he has done for basketball. However, there were also a lot of people who have been very critical of Curry and his play style, saying that he has ruined the game of basketball with his shooting ability. They argue that the game is no longer a game of skill and competition between athletes, but a game of three-pointers where the winner of the game will be the team who has better shooters. With the 75th anniversary of the NBA occurring this year, a very crucial question has to be asked: Over the years, has the evolution of the use of the three-point shot ruined or improved the National Basketball Association?

In 1979, the NBA introduced the three-point line to change the game forever. The line was designed to introduce an increase in shooting range, expanding the range of the court, making the paint underneath the hoop less crowded. The athletes didn’t know how to react to this new rule and the line remained relatively untouched for several years. Suddenly, teams discovered how much of a difference three-points can make in a game, and started training their players to expand their shooting range and utilize the line more frequently. Players like Larry Bird and Reggie Miller started shooting from farther out, slowly changing the way the game is played. 

Miller was one of the first players to make a true difference in the use of three-point shots. He could change the outcome of a game by making a few three-pointers and put his name on the map due to his excellent shooting abilities. Many others joined to make their name synonymous with the three-point shot. These names include Ray Allen, Kyle Korver and more. But the one who has become most synonymous over the years thanks to his ability to shoot from any spot, from any range, doing unreal things night after night is Curry. Alongside his teammate, Klay Thompson, the duo became known as the Splash Brothers and changed everything about the game. They could space the floor and get hot from a distance at any time, making both of them a threat from deep for the entirety of the game. 

This style of play led to many other teams and athletes to change their entire game around the three-point shot. Big man centers can now hit from behind the arc, shooting guards are now nearly impossible to guard and shooting off-the-dribble has become more prevalent than ever before. But I do not feel like this ruins the game, it evolves it. The more that every aspect of the game becomes utilized, the more fun it becomes to watch. Nobody wants to see a player that dominates the game like games of old. They want to see the utilization of teams and all their different skills that can bring them to victory over their opponents. The three-point revolution has only just begun, and if you’re not on board, you’re going to be left behind.