These are the top 10 best NBA shooters of all time, but they did not become famous by simply shooting; they mastered the shooting technique, which looks simple but is actually highly complicated. Although the basic principle of shooting a ball into a netted hoop is commonly understood, players’ tactics can vary significantly.
For example, despite their highly sharp shooting styles and notable height disparities, Stephen Curry is regarded as the best NBA 3-point shooters. This list of the top 10 best NBA shooters of all time is made in terms of skill, statistics, and legacy.
1. Stephen Curry – Best NBA 3 point Shooters
Without a doubt, Stephen Curry is one of the best shooters in NBA history. He is the seventh-most accurate 3-point shooter in league history, with a career 3-point shooting percentage of more than 42.8%. What’s more impressive is that he maintains this level of precision while taking numerous challenging shots. Curry’s shooting ability, however, extends beyond 3-pointers. He has the ability to score from mid-range, with floaters and runners, off the dribble, and off the catch. His ability to move without the ball is also unrivaled, making him one of the best off-ball movers in NBA history. Simply told, Curry has an arsenal of shots and can score from wherever on the field.
Stephen Curry has transformed the game of basketball and established an all-new standard for exceptional shooting. His amazing ability to shoot off the dribble with a range of more than 30 feet has fundamentally transformed the way teams approach floor-spacing and defensive methods. Curry’s 2015-16 season is, in my opinion, the best individual shooting performance in NBA history. That year, he became the first player in NBA history to score 400 3-pointers in a single season while shooting an amazing 45% from outside the 3-point line. It is unlikely that anyone will ever surpass this astounding performance.
2. Klay Thompson
Golden State Warriors Klay Thompson was the best shooter along with Steph Curry in the backcourt in NBA history. In fact, Curry and Thompson are not just the finest shooting backcourt in NBA history, but they are also the two greatest shooters in NBA history. Klay Thompson has a record of 12 3-pointers made in a single game. He also once scored 60 points in 29 minutes and 11 dribbles. While Curry may be the more versatile shooter, no one can match Thompson’s ability to get hot and incinerate the nets with his shooting. When he catches fire, the opponents better watch out.
Klay Thompson will perform even if his team missed a shooter like Stephen Curry. If he becomes the primary option on an offense and is subjected to increased defensive attention, his statistics may approximate those of Reggie Miller, who had a career 3-point shooting percentage of 39%. Nonetheless, Thompson’s career 3-point shooting percentage of slightly less than 42% ranks 14th in NBA history, which is extremely outstanding.
3. Ray Allen – One of the greatest three-point shooters of all-time
Ray Allen’s professional success is proof of the value of a reliable routine. Allen, was known for his meticulous attention to detail, maintained the same pregame routine throughout his entire career. He would take close to 300 shots, moving around the court and shooting from different angles, before every game. While his famous game-tying 3-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals might have appeared to be a chaotic and miraculous moment, for Allen it was just a matter of muscle memory. He had been in that circumstance countless times before, and the routine he followed gave him the assurance and expertise to make the shot when it mattered the most, even with the championship on the line.
Ray Allen’s shooting statistics over the course of his career reflect his routine consistency and technical accuracy. A level of consistency unmatched by other legendary shooters like Larry Bird and Reggie Miller, who together shot below that percentage eight times, is that he never shot below 35.6 percent from behind the line. Allen’s consistency as a shooter is stands among players. He established themselves in the NBA before the recent explosion of 3-point shooting. He was one of the most trustworthy and consistent shooters in the game because of his methodical shooting technique and natural talent.
4. Larry Bird – The Celtics’ legendary playmaker
Larry Bird had the strength to surpass the list of top 3-point shooters if he had played in an era as 3-point-friendly as this one is now. He was an exceptional player who once scored 47 points in a game using just his left hand and said that the Portland Trail Blazers were not deserving of his dominant side, adding, “I’m saving my right hand for the Lakers.” Before his third attempt, Bird confidently entered the locker room and asked his fellow competitors, “Who’s coming in second?” Larry Bird had won the NBA’s first two 3-point competitions. While still sporting his warm-up jacket, he went on to win the competition.
Larry Bird is one of the best NBA shooters of all time. He has a deadly accuracy from anywhere on the court. He led the NBA in free-throw percentage four times, shot over 40% from beyond the line six times, and was one of only eight players in the prestigious 50-40-90 club, meaning he made 50% of his field goals, 40% of his 3-pointers, and 90% of his free throws in both the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons.
5. Reggie Miller – A five-time NBA All-Star and 1994 FIBA champion.
Reggie Miller was once widely regarded as the greatest shooter in NBA history. Miller held the record for the most made 3-pointers in NBA history prior to the emergence of Ray Allen, sinking 2,560 shots from beyond the arc during his career. Stephen Curry (3,390) has already broken the debates about being the greatest shooter of all time. Despite the NBA’s changing landscape, Reggie Miller is one of the most feared shooters of his time.
6. Kyle Korver
If we only consider basketball shooting ability, Kyle Korver should be higher on this list. In fact, he had one of the best shooting seasons in NBA history, outside of Stephen Curry’s outstanding performances, just five years ago, with a true shooting percentage of 69.9 and a 3-point shooting percentage of 49.2. His shooting ability was mindblowing. His coach, Mike Budenholzer, recognized Korver’s potential as a creator, drawing defenders away from the paint as he came off screens and executed dribble hand-offs.
Kyle Korver’s career three-point percentage of 42.9 is the second-highest volume he has ever achieved. Korver has been able to achieve this by becoming something of a sports scientist over the last 12 years, analyzing his movements and making adjustments to his shot. His ability to maintain consistency and longevity throughout his career is remarkable.
7. Steve Nash
Nash’s primary area of shooting weakness was a lack of shot volume. He had a career 3-point shooting percentage of 42.8%, but he only attempted five of them every 36 minutes. Compared to present-day athletes like Thaddeus Young, Dorian-Finney Smith, and Gorgui Dieng who attempt five 3-pointers every 36 minutes. Nash regrets that he wasn’t more egotistical and aggressive with his shooting.
The league at the time didn’t place as much value on 3-point shooting, and he preferred to create opportunities for others. Nash was still a great player despite this. Just behind Stephen Curry, he has the second-best free-throw percentage of all time, tying with Mark Price at 90.4%. Furthermore impressive and still applicable today were Nash’s pull-up and floater techniques. From 2000-01 to 2009-10, he helped his teams finish with top-ranked offenses and six first-place finishes, three second-place finishes, and one fourth-place finish. His ability to score at any time made him a better passer.
8. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is the greatest basketball player in history. KD has a career shooting percentage of 61.9. He has midrange shooting accuracy, which ranks among the best in NBA history. What distinguishes Durant is his height of about 7 feet and his exceptional ballhandling abilities. He can create his shot at any time, and his release is so fast and high that defenders have no chance. No other player with comparable stats possesses these distinguishing characteristics, making Durant a one-of-a-kind talent.
These NBA players on this list were feared by their opponents. Few players, however, can match Durant’s unique abilities. During the most important moments of the game, he is capable of grabbing a rebound, running down the court, and smoothly shooting a 3-pointer over LeBron James. Durant’s pull-up jumper is similar to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s skyhook, as his height and shooting ability allow him to shoot over defenders with ease.
9. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is one of the greatest basketball shooters who have revolutionized the game. He was unafraid to pull up from beyond the arc as a 7-foot player and was highly accurate at knocking down those shots with ease. Power forwards were expected to play primarily in the post during his era, but Nowitzki changed that by stretching the floor out to the 3-point line, where he became a serious threat. He revolutionized the power forward position and inspired a new generation of tall players (6’10” and taller) to shoot from long range as well.
Additionally, it’s not just his 3-point shooting. With career averages of 38 percent from beyond the arc, 47.1 percent from the field, and 87.9 percent from the charity stripe, Nowitzki could fill it up from anywhere on the floor. One of the most unstoppable shots in NBA history should be his trademark. He was the first power forward to join the exclusive 50-40-90 club, which has only eight members in NBA history, during his MVP season in 2006–07.
10. Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr needs to be ranked among the top 10 shooters in basketball history, even though he may be better known for mentoring some of the game’s greatest shooters. With a remarkable 45.4% career 3-point percentage, Kerr currently holds the NBA record. Additionally, with 52.4% in 1994–95 and 51.5% in 1995–96, he has two of the top five best single season 3-point shooting percentages in league history. Although the NBA did experiment with a shorter 3-point line during those seasons, Kerr continued to shoot well, posting a 50.7% clip in 1989–90, which ranks as the eighth-best mark in history.
Throughout his playing career, Steve Kerr demonstrated his ability to perform in crunch time on numerous occasions, with the 1997 NBA Finals serving as his most memorable performance. Kerr’s 17-foot jump shot off a pass from Michael Jordan in Game 6 against the Utah Jazz gave the Chicago Bulls the victory and the championship. Although Kerr didn’t attempt as many 3-pointers as some of the other players on this list, he has acknowledged that his limited playing time increased the pressure on each attempt, particularly in crucial postseason situations where he repeatedly came through en route to five NBA championships.
FAQ about best NBA shooters of all time
Steph Curry is widely regarded as the best NBA shooters of all time, with both experts and fans praising his ability. He holds the record for most three-pointers made in a single season, establishing himself as one of the most prolific and accurate long-range shooters of all time.
Kyrie Irving is as one of the greatest shooters of all time. Irving’s exceptional ball-handling ability, which many regard as among the best in NBA history.
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