On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, Stephen Curry achieved a milestone that he’s been aiming for nearly his entire career. Sinking a three against the New York Knicks, Curry surpassed NBA legend Ray Allen’s total of 2,973 to become the all-time leader in total 3-pointers made during the regular season.
It’s a moment worthy of celebration that’s also seemed inevitable for years. Widely regarded as the best shooter in the league, Curry already holds the single-season record with 402 3-pointers sunk during the 2015-16 season, and surpassed Allen’s 3-point totals for regular and post-season play in November. Just this season, he’s been averaging 5 made 3-pointers per game and managed to surpass Allen’s regular-season record in 500+ fewer games, claiming the record in just 786 games, compared to Allen’s 1300.
For Curry, the shot that has transformed professional basketball in his time has become an effortless extension of his talent.
“There is literally zero thought about the mechanics or anything that goes into the shot,” said Curry. “It's just a natural flow from the time you see either I'm dribbling, or the ball is coming on a pass, to the time the ball hits my hand, and I know I'm going to shoot.”
Behind the record-breaking moment lies the work of a lifetime for Curry, who as a child was already testing his skills at long range.
“I could always shoot when I was growing up,” said Curry. “That was something that kind of came naturally. I had a certain touch and feel for putting the ball in the basket, extending my range, even when I was nine or ten years old to the high school three-point line.”
His favorite player as a kid was Indiana Pacers shooting guard and Hall-of-Famer Reggie Miller, who held the 3-pointer record himself until it was broken by Ray Allen in 2011. It’s a moment Curry remembers vividly.
“I watched it again very recently just to kind of feel that excitement and the energy that was in that building,” said Curry. “He caught the ball on the right wing. He knocked it down and you could just see, he reacts a little bit, he's as animated as I am, but you could see right away, as soon as that ball went in, he knew exactly what three it was. He knew what that moment meant, and you could just see it like oozing out of him.”
For his own moment, Stephen was met with a standing ovation from the crowd as he hugged teammates and family and took a second to let the record really set in. In a heartfelt moment, Curry walked the record-breaking ball over to his father, Dell Curry, a former NBA all-star in his own right
About 2,200 of Curry’s threes have been logged since his partnership began with Under Armour — a collaboration that, among other things, has produced the most technically innovative basketball shoes of all time. Built on the game-changing UA Flow tech, the Curry Flow 9 basketball shoes give Curry a lightweight, high-traction feel on the court, allowing him to sprint, stop, cut, and jump more effectively and comfortably than his competitors.
In addition to game-day performance, the Curry Flow footwear has actually improved Stephen’s postgame as well. A lightweight, low-impact shoe means less wear and tear on the muscles, ensuring a faster recovery time – and many more years of 3-pointers to come.
When a record like this is broken, it’s more than just a new number. It’s a cause for celebration and a chance for everyone to raise our game and impact others. In the lead-up to the record, Under Armour provided three Impact Grants. One provided basketball registration fees for 45 youth through a partnership with Every Kid Sports, another funded basketball programs in each of the 30 NBA cities in partnership with Good Sports, and the third provided 15 coaches training workshops in NBA cities through Positive Coaching Alliance by the end of the 2021-2022 season.
Now that the record is broken, Under Armour will continue the celebration with basketball court renovations taking place in three cities: Charlotte, North Carolina, where Curry grew up, Oakland, California, where he has called home his entire career, and New York City where the record was officially broken.
“We couldn’t be more proud to be supporting Stephen on this journey, as we have been for the past nine years,” said Sean Eggert, SVP, global sports marketing at Under Armour. “No one in this game works harder or with more focus. He is an inspiration to his fans, teammates, and all of us at Under Armour, and we look forward to our continued work together to change the game for good.”
To commemorate Stephen Curry’s achievement, Under Armour will be releasing its first ever digital good in the form of 2,974 NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, that are digital replicas of the game day shoe Curry was wearing when he broke the record – the Genesis Curry Flow. Each digital shoe can be worn in three pre-programmed gaming ecosystems (Gala Games, Decentraland, and Sandbox), making it the first functional metaverse shoe. To bring this project to life, Under Armour partnered with Berlin Cameron, a boutique creative agency with a history of creating culturally impactful creative for blue chip brands.
“While NFT and Metaverse have become the buzz words of our industry this year, most brand work has basically been about jpegs you can use as a profile picture,” said Ewen Cameron, Berlin Cameron founder. “With the stature of Stephen’s achievement, we wanted to do something that truly ‘changed the metaverse game for good,’ and so the notion of the first sneaker that can travel across the platform and have genuine functionality and performance was born.”
All of the net revenue from primary sales of these first-of-their-kind NFTs will be donated to organizations that support access to sport, including providing access to programs, coaching development, safe places to play, and equipment and gear – all of which can act as barriers to performance. Bringing the joy of sport to kids across the globe is something that is near and dear to Curry and is the founding purpose behind Curry Brand.
The Genesis Curry Flow can be purchased for $333.00 at 2974.currybrand.com starting at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.