High school career
Novak attended Brown Deer High School in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. As a junior, Steve averaged 22.2 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots per game. During his senior season, Novak averaged 20.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. Throughout his high school basketball career, he earned four letters. In 2002 Novak was named the Wisconsin High School Boys' Basketball Player of the Year
Novak began his college basketball career at Marquette University in 2002–03. He saw action in all 33 games and averaged 6.7 points per game. He wore jersey number 20. He also shot 50.5% from the three-point line. As a freshman, Novak played in the Final Four, alongside future NBA players Dwyane Wade and Travis Diener.
Novak started 29 of the 32 games in the 2003–04 season. He averaged 12.5 points per game along with 4.6 rebounds per game. Novak also shot 91.2% from the free throw line.
During the 2004–05 season, Novak started 29 of the 31 games. He improved his average to 13.5 points per game and also was third on the team with 4.1 rebounds per game.
The 2005–06 season saw an overall improvement in Novak's game. He led the team in points per game by averaging 17.5. In addition to this he averaged 5.9 rebounds per game and shot 97.4% from the foul line. Novak's top performances included a 41-point, 16-rebound effort in Marquette's 94–79 upset of then #2 UConn in Marquette's inaugural Big East contest, and a game-winning 18-foot jumper with 1.1 seconds left to cap a 28-point effort in a 67–65 victory over Notre Dame.
In March 2006, Novak competed and won the ESPN college three-point shooting contest at Hinkle Field House in Indianapolis, Indiana.
He graduated with a BA in Communication studies from Marquette University where he met his wife, Christina.
On June 28, 2006, he was selected by the Houston Rockets in the NBA Draft with the 32nd overall pick (2nd pick in 2nd round). Novak ended his rookie season (2006–07) with averages of 1.5 points and 0.7 rebounds in 5.5 minutes per game. He was not active on the Houston Rockets' playoff roster.
During the 2007–08 season, Novak was assigned to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, a NBA Development League team. On December 16, 2007, the Rockets recalled him from the Development League, where he had spent a month.
In 2008, the Rockets traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers for the option to exchange second-round picks in the 2011 NBA Draft. On February 13, 2008, Novak scored a game winning 3-pointer vs. the Sacramento Kings to win the game 89–87 with 2.5 seconds left, keeping the Rockets' historic 22-game winning streak alive. It was his only basket of the game. On March 15, 2009, Novak hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat the New Jersey Nets, 107–105.
On September 22, 2010, Novak signed a free agent deal with the Dallas Mavericks. On January 5, 2011, he was released by the team. On February 4, 2011, Novak was acquired by the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League, but only three days later he was called up by the San Antonio Spurs on a 10-day contract. On March 4, 2011, the Spurs signed Novak for the rest of the season.
After his release by the Spurs on December 19, 2011, Novak signed with the New York Knicks for the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million on December 21. At the end of the 2011-12 NBA season, Novak led the league in 3-point percentage at 47.2% and tied Kevin Durant for third in total 3-point shots made (133).] He became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. On July 9, 2012, Novak agreed to re-sign with New York for a four-year deal worth $15 million. While playing with New York, Steve Novak has accrued a large fanbase. Walt Frazier has nicknamed him "Novakaine" after the drug Novocain
Achievements and awards
- 2001–02 – Gatorade Wisconsin High School Boys Basketball Player of the Year
- 2002–03 – Conference USA All-Freshman Team
- 2002–03 – Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year
- 2004 – NIT All-Star Team
- 2005–06 – Big East All Conference First Team Unanimous Selection
- 2005–06 – NCAA 3-Point Shootout Winner
- 2005–06 – Number 20 retired at Brown Deer High School
- Holds Marquette career mark for three-point field goals made (354)
- Holds Marquette record with 68 consecutive free throws made (3rd best in NCAA Division I history)
- 2011–12 – Led the NBA in three-point field-goal percentage