We’ve all heard of the MLB Home Run Derby causing hitters to go into a slump from all the at bats they take during baseball’s annual All Star weekend. Maybe that’s part of the reason Stephen Curry didn’t want to risk entering the NBA’s 3 Point Contest for a seventh time at the 2017 All Star break in New Orleans. Curry claimed that he was going to keep entering until he won, which he did in 2015. He entered again in 2016 when he finished as runner-up to his teammate Klay Thompson.
Who doesn’t love Ernie Johnson? The guy is a consummate professional, and each and every week he does a great job refereeing Charles, Kenny, and Shaq on Inside the NBA. Perhaps the only NBA on TNT personality any cooler than EJ was Craig Sager. So when Johnson came out and announced that Steph Curry had a chance to make a half-court shot and raise $500,000 for the Sager Strong Foundation, it was a heartwarming moment which seemed like everyone involved was doing the utmost good.
Of course Curry was all in on this challenge, and wanted to make sure Foot Locker would ante up half a million dollars to benefit cancer research and education. All he had to do was hit one shot, which is fairly common for him, especially in practice. Curry said he could hopefully do it in one attempt, but asked for three just to be safe. After he missed the first, he missed the second, and then the third. Things got a bit awkward and he ended up missing nine shots in a row before Johnson went to Plan B.
Everyone has been focused on the devastating injury of Steph’s teammate Kevin Durant, and for good reason. What we may not realize is that Curry might have suffered some sort of injury shooting all those long distance shots in his street clothes, and the numbers back it up. For the 2016-17 season, Curry is shooting 40.4% from three point land, which is 3.4% down from his career average. In his first five games after the All Star break, Curry has gone just 15 for 51 from downtown, or a measly 29.4%. He has also gone 45 for 107 for a field goal percentage of 42.1%, down 4.5% from his season average.
Nobody wants to blame Ernie Johnson, the Sager Strong Foundation, Foot Locker, or even the NBA for Curry’s shooting woes. What was the guy supposed to do, politely decline the offer? Let’s hope Steph is just in a coincidental slump and gets back to being the offensive juggernaut he usually is. For those that don’t know how things turned out, Craig’s son Ryan was boosted up by Shaquille O’Neal to make a layup, earning his father’s foundation the money they truly deserve. As for how the NBA season will play out, that will unfold in the upcoming months.