Basketball is a game that requires a diverse range of skills to excel. Among those skills, shooting is perhaps the most essential.
The ability to make accurate shots from different distances and angles is what separates good players from great ones.
Over the years, the NBA has seen some of the most exceptional shooters in history.
In this article, we will take a closer look at 20 of the best shooters of all time in the NBA.
From iconic game-winners to record-breaking shooting streaks, these players have earned their place among the greatest of all time.
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20 Best Shooters In NBA
The following list is composed of 20 NBA players who were known for their ability to shoot the basketball.
We ranked these guys based on their career shooting percentages, the volume of shots made, and whether they hit big shots in clutch moments.
Some of them are legends, while others are current stars who will go down as one of the greatest shooters in history.
Let’s take a look at the 20 all time best shooters in history!
1. Paul Arizin
Paul Arizin was a professional basketball player who played for the Philadelphia Warriors from 1950 to 1962 in the NBA.
He was one of the most dominant players of his era, and his scoring ability was unmatched.
Arizin was the NBA champion in 1956 and was named an NBA All-Star ten times during his career. He was also inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978.
In 1996, he was named among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
Arizin was known for his deadly shooting ability, and he was a master of the mid-range jumper.
The 6’8″ forward had an incredibly quick release, and his accuracy from the field was unmatched. He finished his career with a 22.8 points-per-game average, which is still one of the highest in NBA history.
2. Drazen Petrovic
Drazen Petrovic was a Croatian basketball player who played in the NBA for the Portland Trail Blazers and New Jersey Nets.
Petrovic was one of the most talented players of his era, and his shooting ability was second to none.
He was a four-time Euroscar ( an award given to the year’s best male European basketball player ) and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Petrovic was known for his incredible accuracy from beyond the arc, and he was one of the best three-point shooters of his time.
He was also an excellent mid-range shooter and had a quick release that made him very difficult to guard.
Petrovic finished his career with 4461 points, 669 rebounds, and 701 assists.
3. Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry is a current NBA player who plays for the Golden State Warriors.
There have been a lot of great shooters over the years, but Steph stands out because he’s so consistent and always seems to be at his best when it matters most.
He is widely regarded as one of the greatest shooters of all time, and his shooting ability has revolutionized the game of basketball.
Curry is a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and has won four NBA championships.
He is known for his incredible accuracy from beyond the arc, and he has set numerous NBA records for three-point shooting.
In addition to his shooting prowess, Curry is an excellent dribbler and passer who can create shots for himself or others at will.
Despite winning two Most Valuable Player awards and four NBA championships, he has won SoCon Player of the Year and he was also named AP Athlete of the Year in 2015!
4. Mark Price
Mark Price was one of the most accurate shooters of his time. He spent the majority of his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers and was a four-time All-Star during his career.
Price had a unique shooting style that involved a quick release, and he was known for his ability to shoot off the dribble.
He was also a deadly free-throw shooter, with a career percentage of 90.4%.
Mark won the NBA Three-Point Contest championship twice. He was also named ACC Rookie of the Year in 1983 and All-NBA Third Team three times.
He is best known for being a top-notch shooter, and his ability to shoot from the long-range made him one of the most feared shooters in the league.
His ability to shoot from anywhere on the court makes him an extremely valuable player and one of the best shooters ever to play in the NBA.
5. Steve Nash
Steve Nash is a former professional basketball player who played for the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers.
He is widely regarded as one of the best shooters of all time in the NBA.
Over the course of his 18-year career, Nash achieved numerous accomplishments that cemented his legacy as one of the game’s all-time greats.
During his time with the Suns, he became known for his outstanding passing ability, ball-handling skills, and overall court vision.
In addition to being one of the best shooters in NBA history, he was also one of its greatest passers.
He won back-to-back MVP awards in 2005 and 2006.
One of Nash’s most impressive shooting statistics is his career three-point shooting percentage of 42.8%. He was also an outstanding free-throw shooter, finishing his career with a free-throw percentage of 90.43%, which is the second-best mark in NBA history after Stephen Curry (90.91%).
In addition to his shooting prowess, Nash was also a gifted playmaker and floor general. He led the league in assists five times and finished his career with an average of 8.5 assists per game.
Nash’s impressive career led to numerous accolades, including eight All-Star selections, two NBA MVP awards, and induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017.
His contributions to the game of basketball have left a lasting impact, and his shooting abilities will be remembered as some of the best in NBA history.
6. Klay Thompson
Klay Thompson is widely regarded as one of the best shooters in the history of the National Basketball Association ( NBA ).
He is known for his remarkable accuracy and consistency from beyond the arc, as well as his ability to get hot and score in bunches.
Thompson has been a key player for the Golden State Warriors since he was drafted by the team in 2011.
He has played alongside some of the game’s best players, including Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, and has helped lead the Warriors to multiple NBA championships.
Thompson’s shooting ability is unparalleled.
He is also known for his impressive shooting performances in big games, such as when he scored 60 points in just 29 minutes of play in a game against the Indiana Pacers in 2016.
Overall, Klay Thompson is widely considered to be one of the greatest shooters of all time, and his contributions to the Golden State Warriors have helped make him a fan favorite and a legend in the world of basketball.
7. Jeff Hornacek
Jeff Hornacek was a highly skilled basketball player known for his excellent shooting ability.
While he is not typically considered one of the best shooters of all time in the NBA, he was certainly a proficient shooter and a key contributor to the teams he played for.
During his 14-year NBA career, Hornacek played for the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, and Utah Jazz.
He was an NBA All-Star in 1992.
Hornacek was a reliable shooter from all areas of the court, but his greatest strength was his mid-range game.
Over the course of his career, he shot 49.6% from the field, 40.3% from three-point range, and 87.7% from the free throw line, which is the 16th highest in NBA history.
8. Peja Stojakovic’
Peja Stojakovic is widely considered to be one of the greatest shooters in NBA history.
He had a remarkable career as a professional basketball player, playing for several teams, including the Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, New Orleans Hornets, and Dallas Mavericks.
Stojakovic was known for his incredible shooting ability, particularly from beyond the arc. He finished his career with a 40.1% career 3-point shooting percentage.
He was a three-time NBA All-Star consecutively ( 2002, 2003 ) and was also Greek All-Star Game MVP in 1996 and 1997.
Stojakovic was a key player for the Sacramento Kings during their successful run in the early 2000s.
Overall, Stojakovic’s incredible shooting ability, combined with his scoring prowess and overall talent as a basketball player, make him one of the most legendary players in NBA history.
The Sacramento Kings retired Stojakovi’s No. 16 on December 16, 2014.
9. Kyle Korver
Korver is certainly one of the best long-range shooters in NBA history.
He currently ranks fifth all-time in three-point field goal percentage, behind only Stephen Curry, Ray Allen, James Harden, and Reggie Miller.
He has made over 2450 three-pointers in his career, which is the fifth most in NBA history.
He also holds the NBA record for the highest single-season three-point shooting percentage, having shot 53.6% from beyond the arc during the 2009-2010 season.
Korver’s shooting ability has been a major asset to the teams he has played for, and he has been recognized for his skills with an NBA All-Star selection, an NBA Sportsmanship Award, and MVC Player of the Year in 2002 and 2003.
10. Glen Rice
Glen Rice is undoubtedly a talented basketball player and one of the best shooters of his time.
He played in the league from 1989 to 2004, and during that time, he developed a reputation as a deadly outside shooter.
Rice had an impressive career and was a three-time NBA All-Star, an NBA champion, and NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player ( 1989 ).
He also won the NBA All-Star Game MVP award in 1997, where he scored a record 20 points in the third quarter and 24 points in the second half.
In terms of shooting, Rice was known for his deadly accurate three-point shot.
He was a consistent scorer throughout his career and scored over 18,000 points throughout his NBA career. Rice retired with a career average of 18.3 points per game.
11. Calvin Murphy
Calvin Murphy was a shooting guard for the Houston Rockets from 1970 to 1983.
He is one of the most accurate free-throw shooters in NBA history, with a career average of 89.2%. Murphy’s shooting ability earned him a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Calvin Murphy was an incredibly talented shooter during his playing days.
Murphy played in the NBA from 1970 to 1983, spending his entire career with the Houston Rockets.
Murphy was also one of the best free-throw shooters in NBA history, with a career average of 89.2.
He was a prolific scorer, and he retired with a career average of 17.9 points per game.
After retiring from basketball, he worked as a television analyst for the Rockets and also served as a public speaker and motivational speaker.
12. Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the NBA today, and he is also one of the best shooters in league history.
He is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time.
Standing tall at 6’10”, Durant has the unique ability to shoot over defenders with ease. He is a ten-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Finals MVP, and has won four NBA scoring titles.
He is known for his incredible scoring ability, and his shooting is a big reason why.
Durant shooting ability from long range is unparalleled, and he has a career three-point percentage of 38.4%.
He is an elite scorer from anywhere on the court, but his mid-range jumper is what sets him apart from other shooters. Durant’s ability to hit contested mid-range shots with consistency is what makes him one of the best shooters in NBA history.
Durant is still playing today, and he will likely continue to move up the list of the best shooters in NBA history before he retires.
13. Mitch Richmond
Mitch Richmond is one of the most underrated players in NBA history. He played most of his career for the Sacramento Kings, and his scoring ability was a huge reason for the team’s success during the 1990s.
Richmond was a six-time NBA All-Star and won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award in 1989.
He was a versatile scorer, capable of scoring from anywhere on the court.
He was also an excellent and one of basketball’s all-time best pure shooters.
Richmond had a deadly turnaround jump shot that was almost impossible to defend. His shooting ability helped him average 21.0 points per game over his career.
Richmond was a great three-point shooter, with a career three-point shooting percentage of 38.8%.
He made 1,326 three-pointers in his career.
The Sacramento Kings, for whom he played seven seasons, retired his jersey No. 2 in his honor.
14. Alex English
Alex English is one of the greatest scorers in NBA history.
He played most of his career for the Denver Nuggets and was known for his smooth shooting stroke.
English was an eight-time NBA All-Star and won the NBA’s scoring title in 1983.
English was an excellent mid-range shooter, with a career shooting percentage of 50.7%.
He had a unique shooting style that involved releasing the ball from above his head, which made it difficult for defenders to block his shots.
English’s shooting ability helped him average 21.5 points per game over his career.
English was also a solid three-point shooter, with a career three-point shooting percentage of 21.7%.
While not as deadly from beyond the arc as some of the other players on this list, English’s ability to hit the three-pointer made him a valuable asset to any team.
15. Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr is one of the most successful players in NBA history. He played in the NBA from 1988 to 2003.
Steve played for six different teams during his 15-year career and won five championships, three of which came as a player for the Chicago Bulls and the other two with San Antonio ( 1999 and 2003 ).
He has also won four NBA championships as a head coach with the Golden State Warriors.
But what makes Kerr stand out is his incredible shooting ability!
Kerr was known for his exceptional three-point shooting ability, as he holds the highest career three-point percentage in NBA history at 45.4%.
Kerr’s shooting ability was on full display during the 1995-1996 NBA season when he made 52.4% of his three-point attempts, which is the NBA record for the highest three-point percentage in a season till 2010 until the record was broken by Kyle Korver.
His career average of 47.9% shooting from the field also ranks him among the top. Kerr’s shooting ability made him a valuable asset to any team he played for, as he could stretch the floor and open up the game for his teammates.
Kerr was not just a spot-up shooter; he was also adept at moving without the ball and getting into position to receive passes. He had a quick release and a consistent shooting form, which made it difficult for defenders to contest his shots.
16. Chris Mullin
Chris Mullin is one of the most celebrated shooters in NBA history.
He played for 16 seasons in the league, spending most of his career with the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers.
Mullin was a five-time All-Star and won two Olympic gold medals.
He had a smooth, almost effortless shooting stroke that allowed him to make shots from almost anywhere on the court.
Mullin was also an excellent free-throw shooter, making 86.5% of his attempts from the line during his career.
He was a versatile shooter who could score from anywhere on the court. He had a quick release and excellent shooting form, which allowed him to make difficult shots with ease.
What made Mullin stand out was his ability to score in different ways. He could make jump shots, drive to the basket, and shoot from beyond the arc.
Mullin retired in 2001, and later, he worked as the Golden State Warriors general manager and special adviser to the Sacramento Kings.
17. Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki is one of the best power forwards in NBA history. He played for the Dallas Mavericks for 21 seasons and won one NBA championship in 2011.
Nowitzki is known for his signature fadeaway jumper, which he used to devastating effect against defenders.
Nowitzki was a reliable scorer from anywhere on the court. He was a threat from mid-range and beyond the arc, making 38.0% of his three-point attempts during his career.
His height ( 7 ft 0 inch ) and shooting ability made him a difficult matchup for opposing players, as he could shoot over smaller defenders and post up against bigger ones.
Nowitzki’s shooting ability helped him win the NBA Finals MVP award in 2011, where he averaged 26 points per game against the Miami Heat.
He is also one of the only six players in NBA history to have scored 30,000 points.
Nowitzki was also an excellent free-throw shooter, making over 87.9% of his free throws throughout his career.
18. JJ Redick
JJ Redick, a 6’4″ shooting guard, had an illustrious career in the NBA that spanned more than a decade.
Drafted 11th overall by the Orlando Magic in 2006, Redick quickly established himself as one of the league’s premier shooters.
Known for his quick release and near-perfect shooting form, Redick was a threat from beyond the arc and had the ability to score from virtually anywhere on the court.
Over his career, Redick played for several teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, and New Orleans Pelicans.
He finished his career with a stellar 41.5% shooting percentage from beyond the arc, placing him among the best three-point shooters in NBA history.
Redick’s sharpshooting prowess made him an essential component of any team he played for and a nightmare for opposing defenses.
19. Ray Allen
Allen is considered one of the greatest shooters in the history of basketball and has been referred to as “Jesus Shuttlesworth” by fans, commentators, and fellow players ever since his role in the 1998 film “He Got Game.”
Allen was selected 5th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and quickly made a name for himself as one of the most prolific shooters in the league.
He has played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Seattle SuperSonics, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat throughout his 18-year NBA career.
His achievements included being named the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year in 1995, Big East Player of the Year in 1996, and UPI Player of the Year in 1996.
A ten-time NBA All-Star, Allen was a key component of the 2008 Boston Celtics championship team and hit a memorable, clutch three-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals for the Miami Heat, helping to secure a second consecutive championship for the team.
20. Rick Barry
Rick Barry, a Hall of Famer, played both small forward and shooting guard during his NBA and ABA career.
Known for his unorthodox underhand free-throw shooting style, Barry was an incredibly efficient shooter.
Over his 14-year career, he played for the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and New York Nets (ABA).
Barry was an eight-time All-Star and led the league in scoring during the 1966-67 season, averaging 35.6 points per game.
Barry’s shooting skills were instrumental in leading the Warriors to the 1975 NBA Championship, where he was named the Finals MVP.
In conclusion, shooters are the lifeblood of any basketball team, and the NBA has seen an abundance of exceptional shooters who have revolutionized the game and captured the hearts of basketball enthusiasts around the globe.
Our list of the 20 best shooters of all time showcases a diverse array of talents, from lethal sharpshooters to versatile scorers who have made their mark on the league.
These players have not only demonstrated an uncanny ability to score from beyond the arc, but they have also exhibited exceptional skill in navigating the court, creating opportunities for their teammates, and adapting to various game situations.
As the sport of basketball continues to evolve, the impact of these legendary shooters will be felt for generations to come.