Did you know that the NBA didn't add the 3 point line until 1979? A few years prior to that, in 1976-1977, Pete Maravich led the NBA in scoring at 31.1 points per game. In 1961-1962, Wilt Chamberlain averaged a ridiculous 50.4 points per game, but given his style of play, I don't think a 3 point line would've changed much.
When we look at NBA history, 1979 was also important for another reason: It was the year that both Magic Johnson and Larry Bird entered the league.
Fast forward to today, and the 3 point line has been in place for many years. We're not here to debate who would've benefited the most from it prior to 1979. Rather, we want to know who reigns supreme as the best 3 point sniper of all time. To set this up, let's look at the facts (NBA).
Who has the most 3 point makes of all time?
That would be Steph Curry, whose 3,302 makes are way ahead of Ray Allen's 2,973.
Who has the best all time 3 point %?
That would, ironically, be his coach, Steve Kerr, who shot 45.4% from three-point range in his NBA career. During his 15-year NBA career, Kerr had 3 seasons that rank in the top 10 best 3 point percentages of all time.
In 1994-95, he shot 52.35%. In 1995-96, he shot 51.48%. And, in 1989-90, he shot 50.69%.
There are actually several guys with a perfect 100% 3 point percentage but most only attempted a single shot. Props to Gundars Vetra, who shot a perfect 3 for 3 in his NBA career.
Behind Kerr is Hubert Davis at 44.09%, Drazen Petrovic at 43.74%, Joe Harris at 43.72%, and Luke Kennard at 43.70%.
Steph Curry's brother, Seth, isn't far beyond Kerr and sits in sixth place at 43.53%.
Kerr's % is certainly impressive, but his career attempts (1,599) are not even half of Steph Curry's career makes (3,302)! If this isn't indicative as to how NBA basketball has changed, I don't know what is.
Who holds the record for best regular season 3 point %?
Kyle Korver shot an incredible 53.64% from three-point range during the 2009-2010 NBA regular season.
Korver's 2450 three point makes rank 5th all time.
Who holds the record for the most 3 pointers in a game?
The correct answer is Klay Thompson, who hit 14 in a game vs. Chicago in 2018. If the Splash Brothers ever needed validation, the NBA record books will surely do them justice.
Thompson ranks 18th in all-time 3pt field goal percentage at 41.61% and has made 2213 three's in his NBA career.
We can say with certainty that the title of "Best 3 Point Shooter of All-Time" lives with the Golden State Warriors.
Steph Curry, in his 14th NBA season, will continue to separate himself from the rest of the pack if he can stay healthy. Two years ago, during the 2020-2021 season, Curry made 337 three pointers in only 63 games. That's a remarkable 5.34 per game! Curry hit an NBA record 402 three pointers in 2015-2016 in 79 games played (5.08). The ease with which Curry shoots the ball will continue to serve him well as he gets older, but we'll say it here first (and with confidence): Curry will surpass the 4,000 makes mark in his career and be the unquestioned top marksman when it's all said and done.
For more basketball content, check out the Basketball section of our blog.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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