The most asked question around NBA All-Star weekend: Stephen Curry or Sabrina Ionescu?

2024 NBA All-Star - NBAE Media Circuit Portraits
2024 NBA All-Star - NBAE Media Circuit Portraits

INDIANAPOLIS — It's the most asked question in Indianapolis this weekend:

Stephen Curry or Sabrina Ionescu?

"I've been asked that question three times over the last three weeks and my final answer today is Steph," Kevin Durant said, but then moved on to what really matters.

"I just think the fact that you got the men's and women's game coming together to just help celebrate the game of basketball, it's always good. Sabrina is such a great ambassador for the women's game... I wouldn't even call the women's game, just the game of basketball in general. Steph is such a great ambassador. So we will get them both on the floor together and shoot some basketballs, that's always gonna be fun. So looking forward to it."

Durant is right — the winner here is the sport of basketball. In a week where Caitlin Clark showed she is the biggest name in college basketball, the friendly Northern California rivalry between Steph and Sabrina has blown up and captured everyone in Indiana, the heart of basketball in the Midwest. The media crowd around Ionescu Saturday at All-Star media day was as big or bigger as the ones for Nikola Jokic, Luka Doncic, and any other NBA superstars.

"I don't know what's going to come out of it, but me and Sabrina talked about how cool of an opportunity it is to do something that's never been done before in our game," Curry said. "And for her to have a presence on this stage is going to do a lot to inspire the next generation of young boys and girls that want to compete and see themselves in either one of us.

"Wherever it goes from there, we know we can kind of plant our flag as doing something really special."

Make no mistake though, both of them want to win.

"There's only one outcome — that I win," Curry said on NBA TV.

"He wants to beat me. He was out there booing me yesterday when I was going through my practice and trying to get in my head," Ionescu said.

The genesis of this Steph vs. Sabrina shootout started when Ionescu won the WNBA All-Star 3-point contest scoring a record 37 points (out of a possible 40) in the final round, then Tweeted this out:

Curry was down with this, and the NBA knows a good marketing opportunity when it. As for the format, both Curry and Ionescu will shoot from the NBA 3-point line (23 feet, 9 inches), at her request. This shootout will follow the NBA 3-Point Contest with five racks of balls spread out around the arc, with the last ball in each rack and one full rack being money balls worth two points (regular balls are worth one).

More than anyone, Ionescu understands what this can mean to young hoopers who gathered in watch parties to see Clark break the NCAA women's scoring record this week, and now will see Ionescu going shot-for-shot with the greatest shooter the game has ever seen.

"Steph's been asked Steph or Sabrina, he has never once thought about if I'm in the WNBA and he's in the NBA, it's it's just let the best shooter win," Ionescu said. "And I think being able to bring that on this biggest stage in terms of both of us viewing the game like that and both being very competitive and wanting to win this competition opens the eyes of a lot of people in terms of how they view these competitions and then in turn, how they view our sport."

Don't think Steph vs. Sabrina is a one-off — next year the All-Star Game moves to San Francisco and the Chase Center, where a rematch between the Bay Area born-and-raised Ionescu and the legend that is Curry would be even bigger. Other players, other stars could be added to the mix.

"I can tell you, if I win he's going to want a rematch. If he wins, I'm going to want a rematch," Ionescu said.

First, they have to shoot it out in Indianapolis. And that's all anyone is talking about.