Caitlin Clark Sabrina Ionescu Stephen Curry Sabrina Ionescu’s 3-point battle vs. Steph Curry makes us wonder what the future could hold.

Stephen vs. Sabrina held up its end of the bargain during NBA All-Star Saturday night. The enthralling 1-on-1 3-point contest between WNBA superstar Sabrina Ionescu and NBA legend Stephen Curry provided plenty of entertainment in Indianapolis. Viewers at home liked what they saw, although they didn’t care for the extracurriculars afterward.

The ratings for the event have yet to be released. You imagine, though, that the event did well with the NBA’s usual All-Star excitement combined with rising interest in women’s basketball (and sports alike). Naturally, a follow-up emerges: “What’s next?”

The NBA offered proof of concept that a ‘Battle of the Sexes-type event’ can work and get significant attention. Billie Jean King broke barriers long before, and WNBA infusion into All-Star Weekend isn’t unfamiliar. But this was the first time they went 1-on-1 in the NBA like this, and they did it without a hitch (amid bad PR provided by Kenny Smith).

Where does the league go next? There are a few interesting ways that they could go with this.

Option 1: A ‘Stephen vs. Sabrina’ Rematch

Curry and Ionescu went down to the wire in their 3-point battle. Ionescu set the pace with a blistering 26 points, which would have been better than nearly every NBA 3-point shooting contest participant this year. Steph just edged her by a point, 27-26, to claim victory and the title belt.

If there was enough interest this weekend, does the league play the rematch card? The Bay Area will play host to All-Star Weekend in 2025, with San Francisco’s Chase Center serving as the hub. So it’d be a home game for Curry (although after she arrived in America, Ionescu’s roots aren’t too far either).

That would potentially make for massive excitement and a television event if they built up to it.

Option 2: A New Challenger Emerges

Hello, Caitlin Clark.

Since Sabrina couldn’t get it done, would the NBA and WNBA turn to its next incoming superstar? Clark recently became the NCAA all-time leading scorer and is developing a noticeable audience and fandom around her.

Her popularity is unlike many college stars before her, and it’s shown in TV ratings for Iowa women’s basketball games. Clark will likely be the No. 1 pick in this year’s WNBA Draft and is likely to call Indianapolis her home.

If the NBA and the WNBA want to make a new star in an instant, leveling Clark up to that moment could be the way to do it. It’s a lot to ask of Clark, who’ll just be a rookie.

But there’s no denying her star power, and these decisions are made with those types of ideas in mind.

Option 3: An Entirely New Challenge

While the attention surrounded Curry and Ionescu, Damian Lillard put his stamp on All-Star Weekend on Saturday night too. Lillard won his second consecutive NBA 3-Point Contest with a blistering performance.

A Bay Area native, Lillard noted, according to Chris B. Haynes, that he might be open to competing in the 3-Point Contest next year.

Hypothetically, let’s say that he doesn’t. Curry is known as the NBA’s greatest 3-point shooter. Damian Lillard is the reigning 3-Point Champion and a star in his own right. So, could the 3-Point Challenge shift to Lillard instead? It would take a different level of conception, obviously.

Stephen vs. Sabrina was built as a Battle of the Sexes between one superstar and one living legend. To pull this off, attention from the league and no doubt its broadcast partners would have to go to Lillard for his 3-point prowess.

It’s probably not that difficult to pull off, but of the options, this might be the unlikeliest one. However, considering the circumstances and the fact that it’s Dame’s hometown, it makes you wonder even a little.

Option 4: Kick It Out to the W

The next NBA All-Star Weekend isn’t until next February. So, we ask: Why wait? The 2024 WNBA All-Star Game will take place in Phoenix this July. If the Association wants to keep the train going, and if they want to put even more attention on that event and embrace these ‘rivalries?’ Why not just continue the series during WNBA All-Star Weekend?

Curry has voiced support for the WNBA before, and it’s likely he wouldn’t take himself seriously to the point that he wouldn’t compete. It would be a great opportunity for himself, Ionescu, and the WNBA at large to rake in interest and potentially attract new fans.

What this decision would also do is keep it fresh in everybody’s minds. “Out of sight, out of mind” is quite the phenomenon. If this was a success, it might behoove them to keep it going. And it might behoove them even more to strike while the iron is hot.

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022