Shooting the basketball is a relatively easy act once you grasp the basic mechanics. While some players are naturally good at shooting the ball, you have other players who just are not good shooters. Often this can be seen in the shooting form of a player, good or bad. The thing that separates the best shooters in the world though often can be seen in any mechanical quirk. The thing that separates the elite shooters is mentality. With the rise of the pace and space era in the NBA, three-point shooting has become more important than ever. You don’t have the traditional “big man” in the post anymore, power forwards are no longer asked to shoot mid range baseline jump shots. With players of all positions, shapes and sizes getting in on the long range shooting act, the topic of who is the best of all time seems more relevant than ever.
Who is the greatest three point shooter of all time? The greatest three point shooter of all time is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Drafted in 2009 he has played 13 season’s in the NBA. On December 14th 2021 he surpassed Ray Allen’s 2,973 regular season makes to claim the NBA record. Allen shot 40% on just 5.7 attempts per game. Curry has made 43% on 8.8 tries a game.
Totals aside, Curry is the best 3 point shooter because of how he makes his shots. The degree of difficulty, his responsibility as the Warriors Primary creator, the DISTANCE he can hit from and the way the crowd goes WILD when he’s on his stroke. Curry is a shooter like the league has never seen before.
Not convinced. Check out how relaxed he is during the 2022 Allstar Game below.
What about Reggie Miller?
Reggie was great but he still only ranks third on the all-time list with 2,560 three pointers made. Hitting them at a 40% clip on 4.7 attempts per game. You probably remember him from his demolition of the New York Knicks, when he told super fan Spike Lee all about it.
Sure Reggie has big numbers, he was definitely clutch. He was absolutely a great shooter and maybe, in this age he’d have put up even more shots, made more and have a bigger total. He still didn’t release the ball with the ease of Curry. Curry is able to wiggle out of any gap and get his shot off with almost no space. Anything Reggie could do, Curry can do better.
Ray Allen was more than just numbers though, right?
Ray Allen would play three years at the University Of Connecticut. Assistant Coach Karl Hobbs recruited Allen out of high school to come play for the Huskies.
Allen won the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year award in his Junior season in 1995. He was also named first-team All-American and won the prestigious Big East Player of the Year Award during his senior season.
After Allen finished his impressive college career he ranked third in Connecticut’s career scoring list with 1,922 points. He also holds the Huskies single-season school record by making 115 three-pointers during the 1995-1996 season. He was a great shooter when he was young and he carried that through in the pro’s. You will all remember “The Shot” to sink the San Antonio Basketball Machine in the 2013 Finals?
40 seconds into the clip above you can see just how great Allen’s footwork was. His toes are the only part of his foot that hits the floor, he gets outside the line, coiled like a spring, able to go straight into his hot on balance. He shot that like it was part of his pre-game warm up. Put the tape away Texas, it was never in doubt.
But Curry. Well he’s a different animal all together.
If you don’t pick Steph Curry up before he crosses the timeline, you’re probably giving up 3 points. Especially when it matters the most. In 2014 they said a “jump shooting team” couldn’t win the NBA title. From 2015 if you weren’t a jump shooting team you didn’t have a shot. Curry is the only unanimous MVP ever (Sorry Shaq) and he’s done it from deep.