Since its introduction in the 1979-80 season, the 3-point shot has grown in importance over the years. It is more important now than at any point in the past and we see players in all positions trying to shoot 3s.
While some of the old timers complain that the shot has ruined the game, its effectiveness cannot be denied. It's a shot that requires great skill and practice and very few in league history have been able to master it. Here, we rank the five best 3-point marksmen of all time.
Kyle Korver has been one of the best shooters in the league for a long time. An excellent spot-up shooter, Korver ranks 6th all-time in 3-pointers made. He is also 7th in the all-time 3 point % charts. He led the league in 3 point % for three seasons and set the all-time record for a season at 53.6%, in 2009-10.
#5 Steve Nash
Steve Nash is considered one of the greatest playmakers of all time, but he was also a darn good shooter. He shot over 40% from 3 for a staggering 14 seasons and finished in the top 10 in percentage, eight times. Nash led some of the greatest offences in the league throughout the 2000s and his shooting was a big part of that. He could have probably scored more over the years, but Nash had more of a pass-first mentality as compared to the rest of the players on this list.
His career high in terms of 3s made and percentage came in 2008 when he drilled 179 3s at 47%, finishing 2nd in the league in percentage. His ball-handling skills enabled him to be a great shooter off the dribble along with his already solid spot-up shooting game. He is also one of the few players in NBA history to shoot over 40% from 3 in their Playoff careers. For the Regular season, he ranks 9th all-time in 3 point % at 42.78%. Nash has recorded four seasons in the 50-40-90 club while no one else has more than two.
#4 Klay Thompson
Some may say it's too early for Klay Thompson to be this high on the list, but he definitely belongs up there with the best. Thompson probably has the quickest release in NBA history and he has used it to devastating effect in his short career thus far.
In just six seasons, he's already ranked 33rd all-time in 3s made. While he is a decent off the dribble shooter, Klay is a terrific spot-up shooter as well. He's shot over 40% from 3 in all six seasons, and like Nash, is one of the few players to shoot above 40% in the playoffs as well.
While he can blow hot and cold from 3, Thompson is unstoppable when he gets going and no defense can stop him. He set the NBA record with 37 points in a quarter last season, going 9/9 from 3. He also scored a staggering 60 points in just 29 minutes. If it wasn't for a certain team-mate of his, Klay would have been well on his way to becoming the greatest shooter ever.
#3 Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller was one of the most clutch shooters of all time. Incredibly consistent, Miller ranked in the top 10 in 3 pointers made throughout his 15-year career. He led the league in 3 pointers made twice. When he retired, Miller held the record for most 3s in the Regular Season and Playoffs. He currently ranks 2nd in the Regular Season and 3rd in the Playoffs.
While he had many great moments in the Regular Season, Miller had one of the greatest playoffs moments of all time, against the Knicks in 1995. With 18 seconds remaining and the Pacers down six, a loss seemed inevitable. But Miller scored eight points in 8.9 seconds, drilling back to back 3s as he stole the inbounds pass for his 2nd three-pointer, helping the Pacers steal Game 1.
He was given the nickname "Knick Killer" for constantly thwarting some of the best Knicks teams through the 90s.
In his career, Miller shot 39.5% in the Regular season and 39% in the Playoffs from 3.
#2 Ray Allen
Ray Allen is the all-time leader in 3 pointers made in both the Regular Season and the Playoffs, with 2,972 and 385 respectively. He ranked in the top 10 in 3 pointers made for 11 seasons and led the league thrice. He still holds the record for most 3s in a Finals game, with 8 against the Lakers in 2010.
While Allen had many great Playoff moments, one easily tops the charts. In Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals, the Heat were down by three points and facing elimination, down 3-2 in the series. What followed was one of the most memorable moments in Playoff history. Lebron James missed the game-tying 3 pointer, but Chris Bosh got the rebound and passed it off to Allen. He stepped back and drilled the 3 with five seconds remaining in what is regarded as arguably the most clutch shot in Playoff history.
He then iced the game in Overtime by stealing the ball and hitting both free throws to win the game 103-100.
Allen, in his career, shot 40% from 3 in both the Regular Season and Playoffs. It'd take someone special to supplant Allen as Number 1 and the guy ahead of him is just that.
#1 Stephen Curry
Steph Curry is already the greatest shooter of all time. He ranks 10th all-time in 3 Pointers made and there's a pretty good chance that he'll be 4th by the end of this season. No one in NBA history can match Steph when it comes to his range and shooting off the dribble, something he has used to devastating effect en route to obliterating the single-season record for 3 pointers made.
He currently holds the top 3 spots for 3s made in a season, with 402, 324 and 286 makes in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2014-15 respectively. He is the only player in NBA history to have back-to-back games with at least 10 3s and holds the record for most makes in a game, with 13.
His efficiency makes it all the more outrageous. He's making 3s at an all-time record pace but still ranks 3rd all-time in percentage. In 2015-16, he recorded his only entry into the 50-40-90 club and was the 1st player to average over 30 PPG while doing so. By the time he hangs up his boots, Curry will probably obliterate every 3 point shooting record there is.