Despite the immeasurable impact it has now, the idea of utilizing the 3-point shot in the NBA almost never got off the ground. In fact, if were up to some of the folks you’ll hear from in this series, the league would’ve never adopted it at all.
Take Denver Nuggets great Alex English for example, who played for one of the highest scoring teams in the 1980s. In a record-scoring game between his Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons, in which the two teams combined for 370 points, only four 3-pointers were attempted in that game.
But let’s not kid ourselves. The 3-pointer has completely changed the game, and in today’s NBA it has become imperative to not only utilize it, but to do so effectively as a team. That is of course, if you want to have any chance whatsoever to win a championship. After all, could you imagine the Golden State Warriors shooting mid-range shots all night?
And how about the bigs? Remember them? Long gone are the back-to-the-basket days of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the finesse in the paint shown by the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon, or the unstoppable force inside that was Shaquille O’Neal. No, now we’re watching the tallest guys on the floor shooting from its deepest spots.
From the second it was embraced, the 3-pointer has gone through many trials and tribulations ... but there’s no denying its ever growing place in history.
During the course of this five-part series, we share the story, from altering coaching philosophies to advancing analytics, to changing the big man forever.
What began as a fierce debate, has become the “3 Point Revolution.”
Five-part series will run each Monday on NBA TV, beginning Nov. 20:
Part I: The History of the 3-point shot (6:30 ET)
Part II: Adjusting to the 3-pointer
Part III: Analytics behind the 3-pointer
Part IV: How the three has changed big men
Part V: The future of the 3-pointer