It’s not easy to upstage Stephen Curry in his hometown — and in his element — but this has been a year of unexpected surprises for the Brooklyn Nets.
And so Joe Harris is the new king of the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest, beating 2015 champion Curry in the Finals by swishing every ball on his money rack, which also happened to be his final rack.
It wasn’t that massive an upset. While Harris doesn’t have Curry’s track record or prestige as the best three-point shooter in NBA history, Harris is making 47.1 percent (132-280) this year, second in the league. Curry ranks sixth at 44.4 percent on an astounding 236-of-531 attempts.
“Steph is the greatest shooter of all time,” Harris said. “Shooting off the rack is not indicative of being a better shooter than Steph Curry. I don’t want anyone to get it twisted at all. For me to come in and win on my first time, it’s surreal. It’s been an honor for me to be here, for me to participate this weekend, and it’s something I’ll remember for a long time.”
In Harris’ first NBA season, he shot 36.9 percent; four years later, he’s one of the most feared three-point shooters in the league. Over his last five games in Brooklyn, Harris is averaging 18.2 points. The 3-point trophy is a just reward for someone having a breakout season — and reflects well a Nets’ team that’s currently in playoff position and also poised for a breakthrough.
“I think if you look at the makeup of our Brooklyn Nets team, it’s a lot of guys who have been castoffs and given a second opportunity,” Harris said. “I personally was one of those guys, and I got lucky going into a situation to a team that had an emphasis on culture, and I’m sort of a byproduct of that system.”
• Devin Booker, Suns
• Seth Curry, Trail Blazers
• Stephen Curry, Warriors
• Danny Green, Raptors
• Joe Harris, Nets
• Buddy Hield, Kings
• Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers
• Khris Middleton, Bucks
• Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
• Kemba Walker, Hornets
WINNER: Joe Harris
Stephen Curry: 27Buddy Hield: 26Joe Harris: 25
Harris: 26Curry: 24Hield: 19
• Official Release: Defending champion, former champs headline 3-Point Contest
MTN DEW 3-Point Contest Winners
1986 – Larry Bird, Boston1987 – Larry Bird, Boston1988 – Larry Bird, Boston1989 – Dale Ellis, Seattle1990 – Craig Hodges, Chicago1991 – Craig Hodges, Chicago1992 – Craig Hodges, Chicago1993 – Mark Price, Cleveland1994 – Mark Price, Cleveland1995 – Glen Rice, Miami1996 – Tim Legler, Washington1997 – Steve Kerr, Chicago1998 – Jeff Hornacek, Utah 2000 – Jeff Hornacek, Utah 2001 – Ray Allen, Milwaukee2002 – Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento2003 – Peja Stojakovic, Sacramento2004 – Voshon Lenard, Denver2005 – Quentin Richardson, Phoenix2006 – Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas2007 – Jason Kapono, Miami2008 – Jason Kapono, Toronto2009 – Daequan Cook, Miami2010 – Paul Pierce, Boston2011 – James Jones, Miami2012 – Kevin Love, Minnesota2013 – Kyrie Irving, Cleveland2014 – Marco Belinelli, San Antonio2015 – Stephen Curry, Golden State2016 – Klay Thompson, Golden State2017 – Eric Gordon, Houston2018 – Devin Booker, Phoenix2019 – Joe Harris, Brooklyn