I really like to watch NBA and sometimes a commentator says "~from downtown" or "~from way downtown". Is it an expression used in NBA, or the basketball? Or is it one of the expressions of any kind of sports? Or is it a common expression in US?

2 Answers 2


It is sporting terminology particular to basketball. I couldn't see this definition in Webster's dictionary, but it was easily found on Google.

This is a term that refers to the area behind the three-point line. Any basket that is scored beyond the three-point line, or downtown, is worth three points. (source).

Apparently "way downtown" means that the player is considerably further past the three-point line, making the shot even more remarkable.


This expression has been used for a long time in basketball, and I think it goes back even to before the 3-point line. In general, it means "very far from the basket," so of course, with a 3-point line you would have to be at least that far away.

I am speculating, but I suspect that originally you were to imagine the player having left the arena, driven downtown, and taken the shot from there - it was basically that far away. So a bit of exaggeration.

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