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NBA innovates with historic duel in the All-Star Game.

WNBA three-point tournament record holder faces one of basketball’s all-time best shooters.

All-Star Weekend, a weekend that celebrates the best of the  NBA season , this year has an unprecedented crossover, promising to instigate fans’ curiosity. Stephen Curry , considered by experts and basketball legends as the best three-point shooter in history, accepted the challenge from  Sabrina Ionescu , current long-shot champion in the  WNBA .

The confrontation will take place this Saturday, starting at 10pm (Brasília time), in Indianapolis, during All-Star Saturday Night, a night of events that brings together skill competitions, dunks and three-pointers. The broadcast will be on  ESPN 2 and Star+.

“The level of the WNBA has been growing every year, the league has been gaining more and more attention, and for you to be able to crown this with All-Star Weekend is to enter unexplored territory. It will be a genuine competition, which we are both honored to participate in,” said Curry, revealing that his daughter, Riley, is a fan of the New York Liberty player.

Sabrina, 26 years old, has not only embraced her competitive side, but has already announced that she will compete in the NBA line. While women throw from a distance of 6.75 meters, men throw from 7.24 meters. No problems for her.

“I’m going to shoot from that distance  (NBA) . I already train at this distance to become a better kicker and player as a whole. I will continue to prove that we  (women)  are capable. I am very happy with the opportunity”, highlighted Ionescu, elected twice to the WNBA All-Star and world champion with the North American team in 2022.

It all started with a provocation through social media last year. After winning the three-way WNBA championship with 37 points and, as a bonus, shattering the record for both leagues, which belonged to Curry himself (31), Sabrina took to  Twitter  to call out the Warriors’ idol for a duel.

Their wish has now come true and the crossover should become a trend from now on. After opening its All-Star Weekend competitions to the G-League, its development league, the NBA is expected to give more and more space to women.

“It’s a spotlight that will also have an impact on women’s sport. Many of Curry’s fans have never seen Sabrina play and can now follow all of her talent, even if only on social media. If she manages to beat him, then the repercussion will be worldwide and I believe that other NBA beasts will accept the challenge. It will be great for the sport”, said marketing specialist Fábio Wolff, managing partner of Wolff Sports.

“The NBA is always renewing itself and looking for new formats to maintain the interest of its fans, which can be divided into different levels, from the most frequent to the casual. The event arouses everyone’s interest, as no organization on the planet promotes competitions between men and women. It will be an event that will resonate everywhere, probably even more than the main course, the All-Star Game on Sunday”, added Renê Salviano, also a specialist in sports marketing and CEO of Heatmap.

Sabrina grew up in the so-called Bay Area, close to San Francisco, and has always followed the Warriors and Curry’s success. When she started acting in college, the franchise star even took his two daughters, Ryan and Riley, to watch one of her games for Oregon.

The two protagonists of this Saturday’s duel have met before and even played a game of “HORSE”, a common game in the USA, in which a player who is unable to complete a basketball challenge stipulated by the other wins a letter. Whoever completes the word “HORSE” loses. According to Curry, Sabrina won. “That’s why I always call her a champion.”

However, for this Saturday’s contest, the favoritism of the four-time NBA champion point guard and record holder for three-pointers is huge. According to some of the main sports betting platforms consulted, such as Reals, Esportes da Sorte, Onabet, Bet7k, Galera.bet, Odds&Scouts and Casa de Apostas, a winning tip on Ionescu earns three times more than one on Curry.

“The bets for All-Star Weekend are not usually so hectic, as it is an event with a more festive rather than competitive character. But this unprecedented challenge should attract the attention of many bettors. Sabrina’s victory is paying three times the value of the investment and could generate a great reward”, said Darwin Henrique da Silva Filho, CEO of Esportes da Sorte.

THE DISPUTE

The rules for the clash will be similar to the regular three-a-side championship. Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu will have 70 seconds each to complete the five carts with the balls, one of them with the colored ones, worth two points each, positioned at their choice. Two long-distance balls, close to the midcourt logo, will be worth three points each.

In addition to this Saturday’s attractions, the NBA promoted the Celebrity and Rookie Game on Friday. The event will culminate with the All-Star Game on Sunday, starting at 10pm, bringing together the players most voted by fans, journalists and the athletes themselves. The coaches chose who completes the benches for the East and West teams. Curry will also be present.

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