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Three Ball

The History of Basketball's Three-Point Shot and How it Has Taken Over the NBA

An in-depth review on the origins of the three pointer and how it's changed today's NBA.

Begun as a goof, the three-point shot was often considered a sideshow act from the proper way basketball was to be played. It was considered to be for those teams who were not as skilled to stay in a game, using it as a last-ditch effort to recover from a large deficit.

After the shot gained prominence in the ABA during the 1970s, it still took the NBA three years (after the two leagues merged) before becoming a mainstay. Even then, the shot had many critics.

However, that’s all in the past. Today, the three pointer is the key to almost every team’s offense and to every ballplayer’s arsenal. While some, in the past, may have been benched for shooting too much from behind the arc, they’re now encouraged to shoot at will…and that’s not just the shooters. In fact, if most big men plan on staying in the league, it’s “recommended” they gain some range on their shot.

But why the change? What sparked such a revolution? Does it have to do with more foreign-born players with range coming into the NBA? The drafting of sharpshooter Stephen Curry? The use of advanced analytics by teams? Perhaps it’s all of the above.

In Three Ball, author Sam Amico does a deep dive into the origins of the trey and follows its evolution throughout the game’s storied history. From trick shot to top priority, Amico talks with players, coaches, and executives—past and present—to determine how the game has changed and why more players are pushed to shoot from downtown.

With new records being set every season, hear from those directly involved as to how, why, and what’s in store for the future of basketball.

More books from this author: Sam Amico