Best 3-Point Shooters Of All Time
The 3-point shot was introduced into the NBA in 1979-1980, and six players made a 3-point shot on the first day of the season. It was seen as more of a desperation shot in the early days, and in fact, the average number of attempts per game per team was under three for the first year. The league average conversion rate was an abysmal 28 percent.
The frequency steadily increased to 6.6 attempts per game by 1989-1990, 13.7 per game by 1999-2000, and 35.2 per game last season. The average conversion rate has hovered around 35 and 36 percent for the last two decades. The shot is a huge part of the league now, so let’s look at the best 3-point shooters in the history of the NBA.
15. CHRIS MULLIN
Mullin was one of the top shooters in league history, hitting over 50 percent of these shots for his career and averaging over 20 points per game six straight seasons.
He was one of the best three-point shooters from 1992-93 until his retirement in 2001, hitting over 40 percent six times and three times hit over 45 percent from beyond the arc. Mullin only attempted 2.2 3-point shots per game but connected on over 38 percent for his career.
14. DANNY GREEN
Green has been in the NBA for 13 seasons, mainly due to his ability to hit the corner 3-point shot. He’s only averaging 8.7 points per game on 7.3 shots per game. However, nearly five of those shots per game are from beyond the arc.
He’s connected on over 40 percent from 3-point range in six seasons, with a career-best 45.5 in 2018-2019. Green converted 39.9 percent from beyond the arc for his career.
13. DRAZEN PETROVIC
Petrovic was a standout in Yugoslavia and Spain before entering the NBA in 1989-1990 at the age of 25. He became one of the best shooters in the NBA in 1991-1992 and 1992-1993, hitting over 44 percent from three-point range and averaging over 20 points per game. Tragically, he passed away in a car accident on June 7, 1993.
12. KYLE KORVER
Korver lasted 20 seasons in the NBA due to his long-range efficiency and was nearly money from his rookie season. He hit over 40 percent from 3-point range 14 seasons and led the league in efficiency four times, topping out at 53.6 percent in 2009-2010. In 1232 NBA games, Korver hit 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
11. MARK PRICE
Price never averaged more than 5.1 three-point attempts per game in any season during his 12-year NBA career from 1986-1998 but was one of the most effective.
A great all-around shooter, Price also led the NBA in free throw percentage three times and hit over 90 percent for this career. He connected on over 40 percent from the 3-point range for his career.
10. PEJA STOJAKOVIĆ
After two seasons in Greece, Stojakovic enjoyed a 13-year career in the NBA from 1998-2011. He connected on over 40 percent of his 3-point attempts eight times in his career, with a high of 44.1 percent in 2007-2008. Stojakovic averaged over 17 points per game during his career and hit 40.1 percent from beyond the arc.
9. DIRK NOWITZKI
The future Hall of Famer is perhaps the greatest shooting big man in the history of the NBA. He could score from anywhere on the floor, but his touch for his size is unmatched. He connected on over 40 percent from 3-point range four times with a career-best 42.1 percent for the 2009-2010 season.
Nowitzki only averaged 3.4 attempts per game from beyond the arc but hit 38 percent, above the NBA average. Oh, and he “only” averaged 20.7 points per game for his remarkable career.
8. STEVE KERR
Younger NBA fans might only know Kerr for leading the Golden State Warriors to numerous NBA titles. Looking at his playing career, he was money from beyond the arc.
He hit over 50 percent from beyond the arc four times and finished a 15-year career with an efficiency of 45.4 percent from 3-point range. He only averaged 1.8 attempts per game but made them count.
7. STEVE NASH
Better known for leading the league in assists on numerous occasions during his 18-year NBA career, Steve Nash was also an adept outside shooter. He converted on over 40 percent from three-point range in 14 seasons, with a career-best 47 percent in 2007-2008.
Although he wasn’t a high-volume shooter at only 3.2 attempts per game, Nash connected on 42.8 percent over an NBA career of 1217 games.
6. KEVIN DURANT
One of the best players in NBA history, Durant has led the league in scoring four times and never averaged under 20 points per game in a season. He’s hit over 40 percent from beyond the arc in five different seasons and drilled a career-best 45 percent in 2020-2021 after coming off an Achilles tendon injury.
Durant is averaging 27.2 points per game and is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.
5. LARRY BIRD
Bird is undoubtedly one of the top small forwards and overall players in the history of the NBA. The Hall of Famer led the Celtics to three NBA titles over a 12-year career.
He played during the infancy stages of the NBA 3-point shot and averaged only 1.9 attempts per game for his career. However, he was clutch, hitting over 40 percent five times, including 40.6 percent during his final NBA season.
4. REGGIE MILLER
Miller was perhaps the first true 3-point bomber in NBA history, combining volume and accuracy. He averaged over five attempts per game in a season eight times and hit over 40 percent from beyond the arc 10 times in his 18-year career.
Miller retired with 2560 3-pointers made, which was the all-time leader at the time. In addition, he converted 39.5 percent for his career, well above the NBA average.
3. KLAY THOMPSON
Thompson has been one of the best sharpshooters in league history, hitting over 40 percent of his 3-point attempts in each of his first eight NBA seasons. He’s also been a volume shooter, averaging over seven attempts from beyond the arc per game in his career.
Thompson missed the 2019-2020 season with a knee injury and the 2020-2021 season with an Achilles tendon injury. Despite missing two seasons, Thomspon hit a respectable 38.5 percent from 3-point range this past season.
2. RAY ALLEN
Allen retired as the all-time leader in 3-point shots made in the history of the NBA with 2973. He hit over 40 percent from beyond the arc eight times over an 18-year career, with a career-best 45.3 percent at the age of 36 in 2011-2012.
He averaged over 20 points per game in ten different seasons. Allen was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018 and hit an even 40 percent from beyond the arc over his career.
1. STEPHEN CURRY
Curry is the easy choice for top 3-point shooter in NBA history. Not only is he the all-time leader in 3-point shots made with 3117, but he’s also hit over 40 percent from beyond the arc 11 times over a 13-year career. Although never leading the league in 3-point percentage, he’s a threat as soon as he passes midcourt, routing hitting shots from 30 feet and beyond.
Curry has transformed the game and made it into a 3-point shooting league. He’s hit 42.8 percent of his 3-point attempts during his career and is a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer.
These are the top 15 shooters in NBA history. They all have different stories, but they share one common trait: an unbelievable ability to shoot the three-ball. Each of these players has left their mark on the game and will be remembered as some of the greatest shooters of all time.