This summer, our Noah Basketball team wanted to have some fun by looking at the best and the worst 3-point shooters in NBA history. Up first, the best.
The game of basketball is becoming more and more a game of three-point shooting as consistency from behind the arc continues to improve. At Noah Basketball, we love the three-point line. It’s our job, as innovative leaders in the sport-specific technology industry, to give players and teams the technology that will improve their shooting game.
The recent spike and growing interest in three-point shooting caught our eye, so we’ve compiled a list of the best shooters in NBA history. It is important to note that while not all of these players necessarily hold the highest percent for made three-pointers, they all possess unique factors that contribute to their designation as one of the greats. For the first time, we’ve outlined in detail what exactly gives each player their ranking.
Best NBA 3-Point Shooters of All-Time
8. Jason Terry
Until recently, only two players in the history of the game - Ray Allen and Reggie Miller - have hit more three-pointers in their career than Terry. Steph Curry and Kyle Korver have joined the two greats ahead of Terry, as of the conclusion of the 2018-19 season. Terry finished his 19th and final season in the league last year, making 2,282 threes and hit over 100 three’s in 14 seasons.
7. Kyle Korver
Sitting at 42.9% from behind the arc, Korver has been one of the most prolific three-point shooters during his 16-year career. He's led the league in three-point percentage four different times, including in 2009-10 when he shot an impressive 53.6% from beyond the arc. On January 9, 2019 Korver re-took fourth place for career three-pointers after passing Jason Terry. From 2012-2014 he hit a three-pointer in 127 straight games, which is second only to Stephen Curry’s streak of 157 straight games.
6. Larry Bird
Bird played in a different era where three-pointers weren't attempted as much as they are now, but his confidence helped him shoot the three-ball like a “well-oiled machine,” as the announcers would say. Bird won the first two three-point contests in NBA history, including in 1988 when he didn't bother taking off his warmup jacket and walked away with his index finger in the air as his last shot sailed through the hoop to give him the win.
Thompson and teammate Curry form the best three-point shooting duo to date. Thompson shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc in each of his eight years and has twice hit 11 three-pointers in a game, including in Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference Finals to save the Warriors’ season by beating the Thunder in OKC. Thompson has tallied 50 20-point games, nine 30-point games, two 40-point games, one 50-point game and one 60-point game.
The Hall of Famer still ranks second all-time in three-pointers made with 2,560. He played all 18 years of his career with the Indiana Pacers, averaging 39.5% from behind the arc. In outlaw fashion, Miller had a predisposition for the clutch shot that made him a dreaded opponent. His heroic play down the stretch of games became known as "Miller Time."
3. Steve Kerr
After 15 years in the league, the current Warriors coach maintains the highest career three-point percentage (45.4%) in NBA history for any player. Kerr’s greatness on the court carries over to his success from the sidelines where he’s won a bet with Shaquille O’Neal by coaching a team to the finals four out of five years.
2. Ray Allen
Allen's jump shot is coined by many as the prettiest in the history of the NBA. He holds the all-time title of most three-pointers made with an incredible 2,973. While not the prettiest, none were bigger than the shot that tied Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals in the final seconds. The Heat went on to win that game in overtime and then claimed the title in Game 7.
1. Steph Curry
Curry has shattered almost every single-season record that exists for three-pointers made. In 2015-16 he even broke his own record with 402 threes. He led the league in three-pointers made five years in a row and with his career not close to over, is on track to bust through Ray Allen’s record of 2,973 threes made.
Rookies on the Rise
After some impressive NBA Summer League rookie performances there may be some current athletes joining the list of greats in the next 5-10 years. We have our eyes on Iggy Brazdeikis (New York Knicks), Carsen Edwards (Boston Celtics), Tyler Herro (Miami Heat), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans Pelicans) and Brandon Clarke (Memphis Grizzlies) to become three-point shooting stand-outs.
How will these rookies make their mark on NBA history? Who else should be grouped with the best three-point shooters of all-time? Share your thoughts with us by mentioning us on Twitter or commenting on our posts.
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