Why Sabrina Ionescu Proved She Belonged With Steph Curry In NBA Three-Point Shootout

750 The Game Staff

Former Oregon Ducks star and New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu gave Steph Curry all he could handle in the much-anticipated “Stephen vs. Sabrina” showdown at NBA All-Star weekend.

Sabrina shot from the NBA three-point line and drilled each of her first seven shots en route to finishing with a score of 26. Curry followed, entered his final rack with a score of 21, but connected on his last four shots to pull out the 29-26 win.

Ionescu’s performance was largely praised. But attention also drifted to TNT’s tone in covering the event, especially from Kenny Smith, who said multiple times that Ionescu should have shot from the WNBA three-point line and not the NBA distance.

John Canzano discussed the event and TNT’s coverage on the Bald Faced Truth (Afternoons 3-6 p.m.) and said Smith and TNT missed the point with their commentary.

“They just miss out on so much,” Canzano said on 750 The Game. “It’s clear they don’t know her story. They don’t know who she is. They don’t know that she’s a twin. She’s got a brother. We’ve had her on the show and talked to her about competing against her brother in the driveway and how he made her better. And her parents deserve some credit, too. Anybody who knows Sabrina Ionescu’s parents or has talked to them, and I have, understands there was no ceiling for her. And she’s at where she’s at by her own hard work and all of her virtue and her talent. We had her on during the pandemic and what was she doing? She couldn’t get in the gym, she was lifting grocery bags filled with canned goods in her parents kitchen. She’s just a competitor.”

Canzano said Ionescu more than proved that she belonged on the same competitive landscape as Curry, and it made the event exciting to watch.

“I was rooting for her to win the thing. But not in a charitable way, like the little engine that could,” Canzano said. “I actually thought that if Steph Curry didn’t shoot well, like, really well, he was going to get beat. And that is, to me, very exciting to see a player of Sabrina’s caliber shooting against Steph Curry. And then to watch the competition and see Damian Lillard and others score exactly what Sabrina did. It just jumped out at me like, she belongs there.”

Reggie Miller pushed back on Smith’s WNBA take during the broadcast of the event, and Canzano has an idea as to why.

“I think it’s a skill what Steph Curry is doing when he’s shooting a three,” Canzano said. “And I think Reggie Miller gets it, because Reggie Miller was probably in the cul de sac shooting against his sister Cheryl, and if he didn’t bring his A-game, Cheryl beat him. I think that’s why Reggie gets it.”

Canzano’s full commentary and listener reaction in the opening hour of the show podcast below, starting at the 13:30 mark.

John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.