The three-point shot is the most significant feature of modern NBA offenses because it can make or break a club in a single game. Making more three-pointers at a better % than the opposition usually offers a team the best chance to win games, as three points on the board every possession has a far more significant impact than two points. Of course, it’s preferable to attempt and fail to make free throws.
On the other hand, which players are regarded as the best shooters of all time? After a 5-14 shooting effort against the New York Knicks, Stephen Curry (2,977) passed Ray Allen (2,973) for the most threes in NBA history (2,973), an unbelievable feat considering Steph is only 33 years old and has lots of time to continue adding to his incredible record. Said Curry’s shooting has been disturbingly exceptional, and we never imagined Ray Allen or even Reggie Miller would be outdone at shooting from the outside. But where do these guys stand among the best three-point shooters of all time?
Based on technique, consistency, percentages, and total threes made, we’ve ranked the 15 best shooters of all time. We’ll also consider each player’s effect as a shooter and what they accomplished during their eras. Here are the 15 greatest shooters in NBA history, without further ado.
Top 15 Best 3 Point Shooters In NBA Of All Time
1. Dale Ellis
Dale Ellis may not be a household name, but he was one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. After being picked ninth overall in the 1983 NBA Draft, the 6’7″ small forward struggled as a rookie, averaging less than 10 points per game for three seasons. He was named the Most Improved after averaging 24.9 points per game on 35.8% three-point shooting in his fourth season.
Ellis would have to wait another two seasons before making his first All-Star and All-NBA Team, averaging 27.5 points per game on 47.8% three-point shooting. In 11 different seasons, Dale Ellis would shoot over 40% from three, and on two times, he would drain over 45 percent. Ellis might have been a top-10 shooter even if he had played in today’s game, but 15th place isn’t awful at all.
2. Glen Rice
Rice told me this at the 2019 NBA All-Star Game “We used to think that if we shot six 3-pointers in a game as a team, we were shooting too many threes. The chance to go out there and shoot 15 three-pointers per game? If I weren’t scoring 30 points every game, I’d be in serious trouble.”
Rice is correct. He scored 26.8 points per game on 47.0 percent of his 5.6 3-point tries, a career-high. Those figures are self-evident.
3. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki, a top-50 player of all time and a former NBA champion and MVP, was one of the league’s first dominant big shooting men. Nowitzki’s shots were never blocked since he stood 7’0″ tall and had a tremendously high-arcing jump shot. Dirk could shoot over any defender in the league and drained nearly 2,000 three-pointers during his remarkable career.
Nowitzki is the 13th best three-point shooter in the NBA, a remarkable accomplishment for a power player. Dirk was tremendously fortunate to join the Dallas Mavericks since a player like him only comes along once in a lifetime. Dirk was unstoppable from mid-range with an unstoppable fadeaway shot that was the stuff of legends when he wasn’t draining threes. Dirk is one of the NBA’s all-time greats, and his shooting was a big part of it.
4. Steve Nash
Steve Nash was not just one of the greatest passers of all time, but he was also a formidable offensive force because of his long-range shooting. The point guard could generate a shot for anyone on the court, but he could also hit a perfect jumper from outside at any time. Despite taking less than 4000 three-pointers in his Hall of Fame career, the two-time MVP is 11th in all-time three-point percentage.
Nash should have taken more shots because he could shoot the ball from anywhere on the field. The Canadian great shot 49.0 percent from the field during his career, including 42.8 percent from three and 90.4 percent from the line. Nash is easily one of the best shooters to ever grace the floor, averaging close to 50-40-90 from the field throughout his career.
5. Drazen Petrovic
Reggie Miller had this to say about Petrovic in 2016: “[He is] the finest shooter I’ve ever faced. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen.” Petrovic established himself as an excellent shooter, knocking down 3s at a 43.7 percent clip over four seasons before his career was tragically cut short by a terrible vehicle accident.
6. Kevin Durant
When I think of KD, I immediately think of an exceptional scorer, but he wouldn’t be that without his elite shooting skill. Durant shot 45.0 percent from three in 2020-21, which he did significantly. It’s strange that, as of this writing, Durant has made the most threes in a game with seven, but he’s done it on six different occasions. How many times do you think KD will miss a three-pointer? Isn’t there any? I’ve made my case.
7. Peja Stojakovic
Peja Stojakovic is one of the best shooters ever to touch the court, making him one of the most significant foreign players in NBA history. Stojakovic, who spent much of his career with the Sacramento Kings and Charlotte Hornets, shot over 40% and made over 1700 three-pointers. If it hadn’t been for the juggernaut Lakers led by Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, the Kings would have been within a few games of winning the NBA title with Peja on the team.
Whether he made for himself or had others create for him, Peja was a knockdown shooter. The Serbian standout was a vital member of the Kings’ Western Conference-winning team in the 2000s and deserved to be considered among the top-15 shooters of all time. After all, averaging over 40% from three in six different seasons is remarkable.
8. Larry Bird
Larry Bird only made 649 three-pointers during his Hall of Fame career because he played in an era discouraged long-range shooting. Instead, Bird took advantage of the trends of the 1980s by bringing his competitive style of play to the court every night. Larry even shot more than 40% from three in six different seasons, despite never trying more than three threes per game on average.
Larry Bird is easily one of the top-12 players of all time, yet he does not even come close to the other players on this list in terms of total threes made. But that doesn’t change that Bird has won three consecutive 3-Point Contests and had several critical 3-pointers in competitive games. Larry Legend should have played in today’s game because, without question, he would have been a top-5 shooter of all time.
9. Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is one of the greatest shooters ever because of his infinite range, even if he does not shoot the highest percentage from three of the other players on this list. Lillard can drain contested shots from 35 feet and has no qualms about taking them in crunch time. How many times has Lillard come back from behind to win games for Portland? Remember, Dame was the man who put an end to the Paul George experiment in OKC and the Dwight Howard era in Houston.
The 31-year-old is now 10th in three-pointers made and has plenty more to do in this game, thanks to his long-range sniper that he can use against any opponent. Over 37% from a distance despite averaging 8.1 attempts over his career is truly remarkable, and he is far from done at 31 years old.
10. Reggie Miller
We’ve progressed to the next level.
Miller was the all-time 3-point leader for a moment before being surpassed by Ray Allen and Curry later on. Given that he entered the NBA in 1987, Miller’s ability to make 2,560 three-pointers in 18 years is nothing short of remarkable. Miller comes to mind when you think about shooters, and he’s a member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team as a result.
11. Mitch Richmond
Mitch Richmond, a borderline Hall of Famer, was one of the best shooting guards of the 1990s.
Richmond was one of the most potent guards of his day, but he was also a fantastic three-point shooter. When he was the primary scoring option for the Sacramento Kings during his prime, his.388 three-point percentage and 1,326 three-pointers were pretty good.
In the 1990s, Richmond was also one of Michael Jordan’s most difficult defensive assignments.
12. James Harden
James Harden may not be the most efficient shooter in the NBA, but he is an all-time great long-range scorer. The Beard has been known to draw double and triple teams from opposing teams since he can generate his shot from anywhere on the floor. He is forced to transfer the ball to his teammates most of the time after being run off the three-point line.
Harden has discovered that three-pointers, layups, and free throws are the most efficient ways to score a high number of points per possession. Even for a guy who takes as many shots as Harden, the Beard ranks fourth all-time in three-pointers made. Even if he shoots a lot of threes that are generally contested and labeled “poor shots,” Harden’s ability as an all-time great shooter is undeniable because he is determined to focus his game on that aspect of the offensive.
13. Kyle Korver
Kyle Korver excels at running off screens and hitting shots, and he did so better than almost every player in NBA history. After being taken with the No. 51 overall choice in the 2003 NBA Draft, Korver had an extraordinarily long career. He played until he was in his late 30s. Korver’s athleticism was limited, and he wasn’t renowned for anything other than shooting at a standstill, so no one expected him to become a significant player.
However, the shooting guard/small forward created a career in his shooting abilities. Korver has never required the ball to be productive since he is one of the best shooters when he is not on the court. The shooting guard is 5th all-time in three-pointers made and 10th in 3-point percentage, impressive stats for a player who averaged 25.3 minutes per game in his career.
14. Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry’s “Splash Brother” at Golden State, is undoubtedly one of the best shooters in NBA history. Thompson doesn’t get enough credit for being a reliable three-point threat because of his superstar teammate, but hitting 41.9 percent from three during his career is incredible for a player who lives at the three-point line.
Remember, Klay holds the record for most three-pointers in the game (14). Thompson scored 60 points in only 11 dribbles through three quarters, demonstrating his exceptional shooting ability. Klay is now ranked 21st in three-point attempts, but he will quickly climb the rankings whenever he returns to the court full-time. It’s also worth noting that, of all the players on the court right now, Klay has the highest chance of breaking his record for most threes in a single game, as he has a knack for heating up almost miraculously.
15. Ray Allen
Ray Allen made history when he shattered Reggie Miller’s record for most threes made because we would never have guessed that a shooting guard could make more outside shots. Ray Allen made over 2,900 three-pointers as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat, thanks to a reliable jumper that was perfect in any situation.
Allen was noted for practicing thousands of shots every week and ensuring that he could get his jumper off in any situation during a game. He was a vital player of the Celtics’ championship team, and his corner three in Game 6 against the Miami Heat was possibly the biggest shot in postseason history. Allen was a capable shooter with a 40.0 percent three-point percentage, but he is the best shooter in basketball history.
People Also Ask
Who is the most excellent 3pt shooter of all time?
Steph Curry broke Ray Allen’s record to become the NBA all-time leader in career three-pointers on Tuesday night against the New York Knicks.
- Steph Curry: 2,977 (as of December 15, 2021)
- Ray Allen: 2,973.
- Klay Thompson: 1,798 (as of December 15, 2021)
Who is the most excellent shooter ever?
Steph Curry has become the most excellent NBA shooter of all time
- Reggie Miller: 2,560.
- James Harden: 2,509.
- Kyle Korver: 2,450.
Was Larry Bird an excellent 3pt shooter?
Larry Bird was the best three-point shooter of the 1980s, and he would routinely break teams’ backs late in the fourth quarter with a huge three-point shot. Bird made 649 three-pointers in his career, good for a.376 percent, but statistics don’t tell the whole tale.
Who’s the best basketball player of all time?
- Larry Bird.
- Earvin Johnson Jr.
- Tim Duncan.
- Bill Russell. Bill Russell currently has the most championships in NBA history with 11.
- Hakeem Olajuwon. Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon is one of the greatest defensive players in NBA history.
Is Steph Curry the greatest of all time?
Curry’s contribution to basketball will be recognized for the rest of his life. But where does he rank among the greatest footballers of all time? Curry was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team as one of the 75 greatest players of all time as part of the league’s 75th-anniversary celebrations.