Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry passed Hall of Famer Reggie Miller for the second-most made 3-pointers in NBA history after making his 2,561st career 3-pointer early in the second half of a 127-108 loss to the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
Curry is now just 411 made 3-pointers behind Hall of Famer Ray Allen for the most in NBA history.
Miller offered Curry his congratulations in a surprise visit during the postgame video call with reporters. “You are an inspiration to so many little ones like mine,” Miller said while holding his young son, Ryker, who was wearing Curry’s jersey.
Curry was clearly touched by Miller’s postgame appearance, which came in the middle of an answer in which Curry was discussing just how much it meant for him to pass Miller on the list.
“It’s special,” Curry said. “I was trying to enjoy it in the middle of the game because I knew it was on the horizon and I knew how much I looked up to him growing up, watching him play, playing against my dad. Emulating a lot of things he did moving without the ball. I always said him and Steve Nash, I always tried to put those two players together …”
When Miller appeared on the screen, Curry stopped in mid-sentence. “Oh! What up, Reg!” Curry said with a smile. “That’s pretty dope.”
Curry said he honored Miller by throwing up his number 31 after hitting the three that tied the pair on the list.
“I think I threw up the 31 after I made the third one,” Curry said, “because I knew that was a big one, and then to make that fourth one in the third quarter was pretty special. So something I have been looking forward to for a very long time. Him and Ray were shooting the basketball, and it’s kind of weird — I always said their longevity and accuracy, just being able to stretch the limits of what it means to shoot the 3-ball at this level, it’s pretty crazy to be at this point now.”
Miller, who has long been a fan of Curry’s game, told Curry that he always respected the way he handled his business on and off the floor.
“I know what goes into that,” Miller said, after offering his congratulations. “I know the countless hours when it’s easy to go hang with your boys, hit the club, sleep, do other things, but you’re in the lab getting your work done, so the sacrifices obviously with your family, you’re an unbelievable father and family man, and I know there’s sacrifices that come with that. And the blend that you have your family and basketball and Dub Nation, the Millers are very proud of you, especially this little guy. He is your No. 1 fan. So thank you so much for what you have done, my friend.”
Curry, who finished with 24 points and was 5-for-10 from beyond the arc in Saturday’s loss, appreciated the kind words from the Indiana Pacers great.
“That means a lot, Reg,” Curry said. “I appreciate it. Like you said, I know I have a lot more in the tank. But try to live out all those — that competitive juice, the work that goes in, the appreciation of every game I get to play and to shoot the ball at this level, obviously doing a lot of other things, but to follow in your footsteps in that regard, it means a lot, so I appreciate the support. You and Ray have been — if I’m chasing any record, to have two guys that have reached back and encouraged me the way that y’all have means a lot, so I’ll pass that torch on as well, but I appreciate you, man. And thanks for all the support. It means a lot.”
Curry caught Miller in record time. It took Miller 1,388 career games to reach 2,560, while it took Allen 1,074 games to reach 2,561. Curry passed that mark in just 715 games.
Just before Miller left the call, he had a playful message for Curry, telling him not to “leave too much room” because Miller’s young son was going to try to break his records. Miller even held up his son’s arms with his famous follow-through.
“All records are meant to be broken,” Curry said. “We know that.”
Curry, 32, has changed the modern game in how far he has extended the range for himself and younger shooters who have come after him. He takes great pride in the time he has invested in his own game to become arguably the greatest shooter in basketball history.
After Miller left the call, Curry was asked whether he thought he would change the game in the manner in which he did.
“No, but I knew I had a certain style of playing the game that I loved, and like he said, I love to put the work in,” Curry said. “And that’s something that I hope people understand. Obviously, the next generation of kids, it’s great to try to shoot the ball like that, to have all that creativity to stretch your range, but fortunate for me I grew up in the game and understood what went on behind closed doors. If you’re not really posting the workout videos, than that still means that you’re grinding and you’re putting time in, so that’s something that I pride myself on for sure and then it shows in the game.
“Obviously for me, not being the most gifted athlete in terms of [not] being able to jump and run faster than everybody, that’s what I rely on, so that goes as much into it as much as anything.”