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Top 10 Best Shooters in NBA History

February 11, 2011

Where do we start? Let’s exactly think of what makes a great shooter. Keen eye and accuracy is one. Also, the ability to gracefully put the ball in between the hoop at a high level. By being a shooter you get bonus points for being a clutch shooter and being a good basketball player all-around.

Once I saw Ray Allen’s triumphant record-breaking night, I had to write this. Ray Allen surpassed Reggie Miller as the NBA’s all-time 3-pointers made in last night’s loss to the Lakers. Allen and Miller are the only NBA players to ever hit more than 2,000 threes. Mind you, the NBA didn’t institute the 3-point line until the 1979-80 season. So for all the old timers, we can’t compute their numbers. Another note, I would like to think of the Michael Jordans, Larry Birds and Kobe Bryants as great shooters as well, but those guys were more of basketball gods. This list is reserved for the not so godly, still great shooters. But I digress, here’s the top 10 shooters in NBA history.

10. Dirk Nowitzki (1998 – present)
The Big German is the biggest on the list. This former MVP and 2006 NBA 3-Point Sooutout Champ is nothing but water when it comes to hoops. The 10-time All-Star shoots 38% from 3 and has made 1,175 three balls. If Dirk continues at this pace, he will be the greatest shooting big man ever. Hi, Larry.
Dirk Nowitzki’s Career Highlights

J.J. in his Duke days:

9. Dan Majerle (1988 – 2001)
Thunder Dan! He lit it up for the Heat and Suns during his prime and was a spot on shooter. Majerle shot a career 36% from deep and made 1,360 trey bombs. Majerle never won an NBA championship (losing to Jordan’s Bulls), but he has his list of achievements from being a 3-time All-Star to a 2-time All-NBA Defense selection and leading the league in threes made in 1992-93 and 1993-94. Thunder Dan is now an assistant coach on the Phoenix Suns.

Majerle Career Highlights

8. Nick Van Exel (1993 – 2006)
If we had to make a top 10 clutch shooters, Nick Van Exel would make it. The loud mouth, exuberant guard that held down Los Angeles through its roughest patch in the past thirty years was a gunner. Van Exel only shot 36% from three, but currently ranks sixth in most three-pointers made all-time with 1,528. Nick retired in 2006, but is still a favorite Laker for fans who bleed purple and gold.

Nick’s Game Winner in the Boston Garden
Nick the Quick Career Highlights

7. Allan Houston (1993 – 2005)
Before entering the front office of the New York Knicks, Allan Houston was one of the best shooters in the league. Helping Patrick Ewing reach one of his only two Finals appearances, Houston was a pure shooter. Shooting 40% from 3-point range and knocking down 1,305 in his career, Houston stroke was magnificent. I’m sure in D’antoni’s system, Houston would be leading the league in threes made today.

Houston’s Career Highlights

6. Kevin Durant (1988-2002)
The young gun. The future. Possibly and honestly, the best stroke in the NBA today, aside from #1. KD has took the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise on his finger and made them a contender. Only a 35% shooter from deep, Durant is still a proven scorer. He became the NBA’s youngest scoring champion in the 2009-2010 season. Expect more to come from Durant as he continues to chisel his name in the NBA record books.

KD Game Winner


5. Dell Curry (1986 – 2002)

The father of one of NBA’s best and brightest young stars, Dell Curry taught his sons Steph and Seth as much as they need to know about shooting from behind the arc. In several seasons in Charlotte where he made his name, Curry shot 40% and made 1,245 threes in his career. Curry led the league in 3-point shooting percentage in the 1998-99 season.

Dell Curry Career Highlights

4. Steve Kerr (1988 – 2002)
One of the greatest role players ever, Steve Kerr went on to be apart of five NBA Championships. The 1997 3-Point Shootout Winner is also has the 2nd highest 3-point shooting percentage in NBA History (Good chance he will become #1 soon, since Anthony Morrow has a lot of time remaining in his career.) Kerr only made 762 threes during his career, but hit some very big ones to say the least. Kerr is now an analyst for TNT after stepping down as the Suns GM recently. Can you believe him and Dan Majerle were in the same front office together at one time?

Kerr in Game 6: 97 Finals
Kerr Career Highlights
Kerr in the 97 3-Point Shootout

3. Glen Rice (1989 – 2004)

Glen Rice was the man of Michigan when entering the league. He made his mark as a marksmen for the Hornets where he would attend 3 All-Star Games (Winning the MVP in 1995) and grabbing an NBA title in 2000 with Shaq & Kobe’s Lakers. In all, Rice made 1,559 threes (9th All-time) and shot 40% for his career. If it wasn’t for arguments with management and coaching in Los Angeles, maybe Rice has more rings and looked at differently. But, we will never know.

Glen Rice Goes to Head-to-Head with Jordan

Glen Rice Career Highlights

2. Reggie Miller (1987 – 2005)
The talker. The shooter. The gunner. Reggie Miller was called many names during his days in Pacer country, but one thing he did the best was shoot. Clutch in his own right, Miller haunted Knicks fans for a generation. During his tenure, he would knock down 2,560 threes at a 39% rate. Miller would attend five All-Star games, 3 Third All-NBA teams and the taste of Olympic gold with the Dream Team 2 in 1996. Reggie is 2nd all-time in two classic NBA categories: Threes made and Most hated player in Madison Square Garden.

Reggie’s Top 10 Moments
Reggie Miller’s Career Highlights
Reggie Gives Knicks the Choke Sign
Reggie’s 8 Points in 9 Seconds

1. Ray Allen (1996 – present)
Is there a prettier stroke? Pause. Does anyone have a more perfect form? No. Yesterday, Ray Allen broke Reggie Miller’s three pointers made record. An amazing feat. What’s more amazing, is that he is still in good shape and in a system that doesn’t require him to do so much, therefore, he can play for longer. I can see Ray knocking down 3,000 trey balls easy. Pause. With a 39 shooting percentage from deep, 10-time All-Star, 2001 NBA 3-Point Shoout Champ and an NBA championship, Allen is a sure fire hall of famer.

Ray Allen Becomes 3-Point King
Ray Allen’s Top 10 Clutch Moments
Ray Gives Suns 8 Threes
Ray Allen Career Highlights



Any questions or comments?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2011 7:33 PM

    All-time greats left off the list purposefully huh? Hm. Too early to have Kevin Durant on here, too. But besides missing Larry Bird…this list lacks Pistol Pete, Bernard King, Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Toney, Hal Greer, Jerry West(come onnn – he’s the NBA logo!), and Danny Ainge.

    • February 12, 2011 2:07 PM

      How can you say it’s too early, didn’t you see that he was in the league from 88′ to 02′. Lol!

  2. February 13, 2011 7:18 PM

    It truly is hard to find qualified people on that topic, but you seem like you no doubt know exactly what you are speaking about! Thanks a lot

  3. February 24, 2011 9:39 AM

    Thanks for the comments!

  4. ron permalink
    April 14, 2011 11:50 AM

    It was more like Kevin Durant was born during 1988. He was drafted 2007, I don’t know why they said he was in NBA ever since 1988.

  5. Jason permalink
    July 20, 2011 10:45 AM

    Cool list. Here’s a few of my own. I only included players I’ve seen play, since stats don’t tell the whole story.

    10. Dell Curry – Beats Dan Majerle for this last spot. Majerle was a bit streaky and could shoot it from anywhere, but Curry was just Mr Consistency with a fantastic shot.
    9. Peja Stojakovich – Just a flat out shooter who gets a lot of attention on the 3 point line and still does it. Struggling a bit late in his career but there’s a reason he has his reputation.
    8. Drazen Petrovic – This guy would have been all-time great and higher on this list if he didn’t pass away too young. He was scoring like crazy in the Euro pros and within a couple of years was all-star material in the NBA. Look up his stats and Youtube his awesome stroke! RIP Drazen!
    7. Glen Rice – When the #1 option on a team shoots this well for this long, he’s a bit special.
    6. Steve Kerr – Lights out shooter with great form. Could be higher but fed a little bit off open looks from MJ and didn’t do it for as many years as others.
    5. Dale Ellis – There’s a very good reason this guy’s career was so long. Awesome shooter consistent over many years means he gets the nod over Kerr.
    4. Steve Nash – Best Shooting PG I’ve seen. So consistent and so reliable.
    3. Larry Bird – What kind of guy shows up to a locker room filled with the world’s best shooters and asks who’s gunning for 2nd place in a 3 point shootout. Larry Bird is who.
    2. Reggie Miller – One shot for your life and the clock’s ticking down? Reggie’s got it? Rest easy son.
    1. Ray Allen – Too good for too long.

    • Jason permalink
      July 20, 2011 10:49 AM

      Crap, I forgot to put in Dirk. I’d actually put him in at #10. Have to think about that one. He’s always received a lot closer attention than Curry, so I’d put him in ahead of him. He’ll move up a notch if he keeps getting better and Peja slows down.

  6. November 28, 2011 7:01 PM

    With all due respect this list seem to be a modern day list than has been put together by some one who is new to the game or has little or knowledge of past greats.

    Let me start with a couple of obvious oversights.

    1) Jerry West aka Mr Clutch

    2) Pete Maravich aka Pistol Pete

    these illustrious members of the Hall of Fame got the Nick Names for a reason not just to be flashy.

    If there are any modern day shooters would can compare to either of these please enlighten me as to their names.

  7. May 26, 2012 1:52 PM

    Have you given any thought at all with translating your current site into Chinese? I know a several of translaters here which might help you do it for free if you wanna contact me.

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