General Question

Kurtosis's avatar

Why does "downtown" mean the area farthest from the hoop in basketball?

Asked by Kurtosis (95points) March 6th, 2008

When someone shoots a three they say he is shooting “from downtown”. Doesn’t this sound backwards? You would expect “downtown” to mean the center of the action, i.e. “in the paint”. Outside the 3-point line should be “the suburbs” or better yet “outside the beltway”. Any idea who started this expression and why?

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2 Answers

sferik's avatar

I think the idea is that the shooter is so far away from the basket that they are no longer within the confines of the stadium.

Or perhaps it comes from the idea that center court is “downtown”.

The expression gained popularity with the arcade game NBA Jam, in which the announcer would say "from downtown" every time a player took a three-point shot.

PupnTaco's avatar


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