While on vacation, Stephen Curry did something that challenges our understanding of what a basketball player, or even a human being, is capable of. Something you find it hard to believe even after watching the whole thing on video.
Stephen Curry has hit 105 three runs in a row.
I counted them all myself and can confirm that it hits 103 straight on video. (The team say he actually hit 105 in a row, and the camera didn’t start rolling until after attempt number three.) Watching the entire clip from start to finish is a truly conflicting experience: On the one hand, Steph is the greatest three-point shooter who has ever lived, so of course any shot given is likely to come in. But even after repeated viewing, you would expect it to hit number 28, or number 51, or number 60. It must be missing number 74., right? It must end.
No, he continues. In fact, once he manages to attempt the number 80 at around 4 minutes, he achieves superhuman levels of accuracy with most of his shots barely disturbing the net. I don’t know if I have ever seen an athlete look more like machines. I can’t get over it.
What are the chances of this happening? Well, Steph has been a .434 three-point shooter throughout his NBA career. Obviously, we have to throw this out the window, because those conditions are completely different: he’s not facing any defense, his buddies are there to reload him and keep him in his rhythm, and he has the luxury of taking every shot of the same way. square. Yet while we’re here, let’s appreciate the qualifications of the man.
Curry put together three seasons of three-point filming that felt like they had arrived from the future. James Harden has since managed more than three in a season, but no one has ever been so effective at something close to this volume. Again, he’s the greatest three-point shooter of all time, and that’s one of the few things no one ever debates.
But what, exactly, are his chances of nailing 105 (we only saw 103, but I can easily believe 105) from practice in a row three? We can’t know, because outside of this particular feat, we don’t have an “undisputed three corners in a T-shirt” shooting percentage. What we can do is calculate the odds for any possible shot percentage.
Across the world of sport, what commonly held statistical percentage tends to give the best results? The Secret Base team spent a few minutes throwing things at the wall – NHL goalie save percentage, NFL extra points percentage before moving back the line, et cetera – and ultimately went for the percentage. of MLB players.
Outfielder Jon Jay holds the record with a career percentage of .9958. I can’t do better than this. Hit him the ball 10,000 times, and he laughs at 42 of them. It’s ludicrous to imagine that a three-point shooter could execute as reliably as an outfielder catching a pop-up, but let’s do that anyway.
The odds of Jay hitting 105 consecutive balls without error are 64.3%. If Curry’s shooting percentage were just as high as the highest percentage of anything anyone records in the sport, he would have less of a 2 in 3 chance of doing what we just saw him do.
Just for fun, let’s try using this video, and this alone, to spit out what his shot percentage is for that particular shot.
Suppose instead of playing in the NBA, Steph spends all day spinning exactly that shot. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of shots, which gives us a percentage shot with a huge sample size. If that shooting percentage was 0.900, which is hard to imagine in the first place, his chances of hitting 105 in a row are one-thousandth of one percent – virtually impossible. If that shooting percentage was .950, his odds are still well below one percent. It must be 0.975 to have a chance to puncture. It must be .995 be even likely by any stretch of the word.
Look at Steph right after making attempt number 106.
Steph himself seems half happy, half irritated with himself. Her boyfriend is in despair. A few more circle the gymnasium, clearly unaware of what just happened at the other end of the room. Did this guy just take our understanding of what is and is not within human capacity and knocked him down on his knee? Hey, hard to tell from here, but he looks really crazy about something.
Previously on Dorktown: