You’ve heard it repeated ad nauseam, but it’s inescapable just how much outside shooting has revolutionized the NBA. It’s supercharged the pace of the game, placed a premium on ball movement and motion offenses, and forced to a whole new generation to redefine how they approach their positions and develop their skill-sets.
It’s hard to imagine now, but the three-point shot didn’t used to be so damn sexy. Unless it was clutch time, it was pretty far down on the list of basketball-related thrills, lagging behind more exciting phenomena like ankle-breaking crossovers, fancy behind-the-back passes, and rim-rocking poster jams.
Now, we marvel at a team like the Houston Rockets, who merrily hoisted an NBA-record 61 three-point attempts earlier this season. Then, of course, there’s that other team in the Bay, who turns every town they visit into a hailstorm of outside jumpers with no end in sight.
But the NBA has a rich history of long-range snipers, and today we celebrate the very best of the best.
(Honorable mentions: Vince, Carter, Jason Terry, Mark Price, Dale Ellis, Paul Pierce, Jeff Hornacek, Chauncey Billups, Drazen Petrovic, Glen Rice.)
10. Peja Stojakovic
One of the main reasons those Sacramento Kings squads of the early 2000s were so fun to watch was their run-and-gun style. That was in no small measure thanks to their floor-spacing, with shooters like Peja hanging around the perimeter waiting to knock down open threes.
And boy was he good at it. Peja shot better than 40 percent from downtown for his career and drained all sorts of clutch shots over the years, not just with the Kings, but later in his Hornets days as well. He was also a back-to-back winner of the three-point shootout at All-Star Weekend.