What is the NBA 3-Point Contest?

What is the NBA 3 Point Contest

When the NBA 3-Point Contest was first held in 1986, it joined the All-Star Game and Slam Dunk Contest, helping turn the All-Star Weekend into the exciting three-day festival it is today. In a timed competition, the league’s best shooters try to make as many three-pointers as possible. Keep reading for more details on one of the most fun and fast-paced events of the NBA All-Star Weekend.

  • Venue: Vivint Arena (changes yearly)
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah (changes yearly)
  • First Held: 1986
  • Most Wins by Player: Larry Bird and Craig Hodges (3 wins each)
  • Most Wins by Team: Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls (4 wins each)


The NBA 3-Point Contest was first held in 1986, two years after the NBA Slam Dunk Contest was added to the All-Star Weekend. The winner of that very first contest (and the next two iterations) was Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics. In a similar fashion to the Dunk Contest, the 3-Point Contest contest has grown in popularity throughout the years and has become a cherished tradition as one of the annual skills events that make up NBA All-Star Saturday Night.

Rules and Regulations

Here are the rules of the NBA 3-Point Contest:

  • Eight players take turns attempting to make as many three-point shots in 70 seconds as possible.
  • Positioned at different locations along the three-point line are five racks with five balls each.
  • Four of the balls on each rack are worth one point each, with the fifth colored ball (“the money ball”) worth two points.
  • The fifth rack consists only of “money balls” that are worth two points each. Players can choose which rack they want to be their money ball rack.
  • There is also the MTN DEW Zone, an area with two available shots worth three points each that is well beyond the three-point line.
  • There are 27 total balls and a maximum possible score for each round of 40 points.
  • The three highest-scoring players in the first round advance to the final round, which is scored in an identical manner.
  • The player with the highest score in the final round is the winner.

2023 3-Point Contest Players

Eight players are selected by the NBA and given invitations to the 3-Point Contest. Typically, the best shooters in the league are picked. Here are the participants for the 2023 NBA 3-Point Contest:

  • Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
  • Tyler Herro (Miami Heat)
  • Buddy Hield (indiana Pacers)
  • Kevin Huerter (Sacramento Kings)
  • Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
  • Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
  • Julius Randle (New York Knicks)
  • Jayson Tatum        (Boston Celtics)

*Julius Randle of the New York Knicks will be replacing injured Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers.


What is the NBA 3-Point Contest?

The NBA 3-Point Contest is an annual exhibition event in which professional basketball players compete for the title of NBA’s best three-point shooter. Every year, as part of the Saturday skills events on NBA All-Star weekend, the league chooses a few of its top three-point shooters (as well as eligible players from the G league) to compete in the contest.

Who has won the most NBA 3-Point Contests?

Larry Bird and Craig Hodges have won the most NBA 3-Point Contests, each having won three times. Bird won the very first NBA 3-Point Contest in 1986 and then consecutively won the next two 3-Point Contests in 1987 and 1988. Hodges then won in 1990 and also won his next two 3-Point Contests consecutively in 1991 and 1992.

When does the NBA 3-Point Contest take place during All-Star Weekend?

The NBA 3-Point Contest takes place on Saturday night during All-Star Weekend. It is the second event of All-Star Saturday Night, which begins at 8 PM ET.