Today’s NBA features a class of African American superstars as the sport evolved over the years. Its latest evolutionary change has made the point guard and shooting guard position the most captivating position on the floor. And as the NBA 75th season rolls on, there are a few great shooters to celebrate, who many debate are the greatest of all time.
Often two names are crowned the best depending on the generation. Those who watched basketball in the ’90s would say Hall of Famer Reggie Miller and those watching the game now stand behind Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.
How it started
Reggie Miller is best known for his clutch shooting ability and talked plenty of trash behind it. Miller is one of the best all-time shooters in NBA history.
You might have heard of “Dame Time” familiar with Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, but it was first coined by Miller’s play when he would dominate the final seconds of a close game known as “Miller Time”.
Early in Miller’s college career at UCLA, you knew he’d be a star. He finished fourth in the nation in scoring as a junior with 25.9 points per game and ended his career tied for third on UCLA’s all-time scorers list behind Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Don MacLean.
After graduating, he was drafted 11th overall in the 1987 NBA draft. Miller played 18 seasons for the Indiana Pacers and broke several NBA records. A five-time NBA All-Star, Miller, scored over 25,000 points in his career. Miller is third on the all-time made three-pointer list with 2,560 in his career. Miller won a Gold medal while playing for the 1996 U.S. Olympic team and was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.
The 56-year-old is currently a game analyst for TNT’s Thursday night doubleheaders.
How it’s going
While most kids in the 80s and 90s raved about Michael Jordan, Steph’s favorite player was Reggie Miller. “The way that Reggie moved without the ball was second to none,” Curry said in an interview. “And he had that clutch gene that everybody wants.”
Curry has taken the three-point shot to a new level.
Curry attended Davidson College, where most remember his part in taking the school on a deep NCAA Tournament run into the Elite Eight. After being drafted seventh overall in 2009, critics were concerned he was too small and wouldn’t match up well in the league.
The shooting records set by Curry and his flashy pull-up game have proven more than ever that he will go down as the greatest shooter of all time. The 402 he made in his unanimous MVP season of 2015-16 may never be topped – except by him. All due respect to Miller, Ray Allen, and other outstanding shooters, but Steph is the best shooter ever to walk planet earth.
Curry not only knocks down shots around the arc effortlessly, but the 6’2 guard takes and makes shots deep from the logos at half court. Steph has already checked off many NBA boxes. Championship rings? Three – Check. Most Valuable Player? Twice – Check. Three-point shooting records? Check. Also, he’s a seven-time All-Star.
Passing the torch
Curry passed Miller on the All-Time Made 3-pointers list in January 2021. Reggie called the Warriors’ guard the “GOAT” in his congratulation.
“No. 1, congratulations. This is an unbelievable achievement, but the work is not done. Obviously, I know you’re chasing Ray (Allen), but you are an inspiration… I’m just so proud of all the work, because I know what goes into that.” – Reggie Miller
While it only took ten months and 411 made 3-pointers later, Curry passed Hall of Famer Ray Allen to become the leader in the most three-pointers made in NBA history on December 14, 2021. When asked whether he was the greatest shooter of all time, he coldly told the audience in front of him, “I got that, baby.”
The 33-year-old is actively setting the mark high for the next. He continues to pave the way for young athletes to come, just like Reggie Miller did the same for him.