Wes Matthews wrote his name into the Portland Trail Blazers' history book on January 17, 2015 when he nailed his 774th three-pointer and surpassed Terry Porter to become the franchise leader in three point field goals.
Matthews' record breaking three was his 3rd of 7 in a road game versus the Memphis Grizzlies. It came with 10:45 to go in the second quarter when he curled around a Meyers Leonard screen, received a pass from Steve Blake at the elbow, and calmly drained the triple over forward Jeff Green. Matthews celebrated with his trademark "bow-and-arrow" salute.
You can see the shot in context in this video.
After the drubbing Memphis gave Portland in the playoffs it's all too easy to forget how much the floor opened when Wes suited up.
Fittingly, Matthews broke the three point record during the season in which his skills as a sharpshooter began to garner national attention. Before an Achilles tendon tear ended his season on March 6, Matthews spent the first 60 games of the year battling with teammate Damian Lillard and Golden State Warriors duo Klay Thompson and Steph Curry for the league lead in three point makes. Despite missing the last 22 games of the season, Matthews would finish ninth in the league in made three pointers with 173. His early season success was acknowledged when the league invited him to its three point contest at all-star weekend to compete against other experts such as Curry, Kyle Korver, and JJ Redick.
Matthews joined the Blazers in 2010 after Utah declined to match the 5 year $35 million contract offer tendered by then-GM Rich Cho. He joined the team as a defensive specialist and presumptive backup to Brandon Roy and Nicolas Batum. At the time many fans openly wondered whether he could live up to the $35 million contract Portland had given him. Those fears were quickly calmed when Matthews filled in for an injured Brandon Roy and scored 30 points, hitting 5 threes in a 100-99 victory over Memphis on November 16, 2010.
His heart and attitude have been on display since day one when he responded to questions about his contract by saying, "My answer to that is that I'll be in the gym." The display continued through the end of this season when he took shooting practice in a walking boot mere weeks after his Achilles surgery.
For long-time Blazers fans, Matthews has become a spiritual successor to ‘80s/'90s franchise star Jerome Kersey. The three-point milestone symbolized the hard work and determination he brings to the team and city. For a franchise littered with dark memories of injury and disappointment, Matthews has been an ongoing bright spot, giving his team a healthy dose of enthusiasm, hustle, determination, and resulting success.