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Who is the best three-point shooter in the world, a woman or a man? Sabrina Ionescu challenges Stephen Curry


Who is the all-time sharpest shooter in basketball? Sabrina Ionescu, the leading scorer of the WNBA women’s basketball league, challenges her male counterpart Stephen Curry. Saturday’s match in Indianapolis brings back memories of the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes.”

Actually, it’s already a done deal. Sabrina Ionescu made history last year during the All Star weekend of the American WNBA league by scoring 37 points during the traditional three-point game. Only two of her twenty-seven attempts failed to clear the ring. The 26-year-old American player from the New York Liberty improved Stephen Curry’s record of 31 among men. Curry is the guard of the Golden State Warriors who took the NBA game in a different direction with his three-pointers. He has scored 3,585 points from behind the three-point line in his career.

After her performance, Ionescu playfully challenged Stephen Curry on social media. She celebrated her victory with the “goodnight” gesture that Curry uses for important titles or victories. But what started as a joke turned serious. Curry accepted her challenge and the commercial teams of the NBA and WNBA were quick to organize a head-to-head match.

In Indianapolis, where the NBA’s All Star weekend takes place this weekend, Ionescu and Curry will compete against each other. The match, dubbed “Sabrina versus Stephen,” inevitably brings back memories of the 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” between 29-year-old tennis star Billie Jean King and 55-year-old Bobby Riggs.

King, who fought for equal prize money for women, was challenged by Riggs, a former Grand Slam winner who was in need of money due to a gambling addiction. He claimed that at 55 he could still beat any woman. He defeated Australia’s Margaret Court, but lost to King in September 1973. The victory went around the world and would lay the foundation for the successful development of women’s sports. In 2017, a film was released starring Emma Stone as King.

In 2024, the battle between the sexes will be less heated. Ionescu and Curry get along well and only tease each other in a friendly manner. The proceeds do not go to Riggs’ gambling addiction, but to charity. Still, the male and female basketball players are crossing their fingers for a victory for their side. Female basketball players in the US still earn less than their male colleagues.

Against the Cats

The difference between Riggs and King is that Curry and Ionescu are both at the top of their sporting abilities and will compete even more on an equal footing. The three-point line in the WNBA is 6.75 meters instead of 7.24 centimeters for men. But Ionescu already announced that he wanted to shoot from NBA distance. She may also use the NBA ball, which is slightly larger than the WNBA ball.

Ionescu was in Antwerp last week where she played with the US against the Belgian Cats. She only came on in the second half, after which she turned the game in the US’s favor with her three-pointers. After the match, she spoke for the first time about her match with Curry. “I’m a big fan of his because I grew up in the Bay Area (around San Francisco, where the Warriors have their home base, ed.). I have always studied his technique and I love that I can compete with him. None of us are taking this match very seriously. But I would still like to reduce the gap between men’s and women’s basketball.”

If she loses to Curry, Ionescu will definitely want revenge. “This is the first but hopefully not the last time we will compete against each other.”

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