The 10 Greatest NBA Shooters of All Time, Ranked

From current greats like Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, and Kevin Durant to legends like Larry Bird & Steve Nash, we ranked the greatest shooters of all time.

Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry

Image via Getty/Sam Forencich

Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry

The game of basketball today is arguably at its peak in terms of skill and talent. Whether you’re a 6-foot guard like Damian Lillard or a 7-footer like Joel Embiid, skill is not specific to positions or physical attributes of players anymore. The biggest skill that has separated today’s game from other eras has been shooting. The game has evolved from the old days of needing to have an inside presence or post player consistently dominating the game. You can debate all you like about which era of basketball is superior but there’s one thing you can’t argue & that’s the evolution of shooting. The game has more pace, skill, and spacing today because of the jumper.

Names like Reggie Miller, Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, have contributed to the growth of shooting in today’s game but none have been more impactful than the all-time 3-point king Steph Curry. Curry’s impact on the game along with his splash brother Klay Thompson will forever go down as a turning point in the way the game is played. Although 3-point shooting is a major factor in evaluating your ability to shoot, it’s one big category under the overall term of shooting. When you mention shooters you also have to include their ability in the midrange, the degree of difficulty of their shots, and the various ways they can efficiently shoot their shot. 

We curated a list of the greatest shooters to ever play the game of basketball factoring in those elements above. 

HONORABLE MENTION: Peja Stojaković, JR Smith, Kyle Korver, JJ Redick, Chris Paul, James Harden

12. Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving hitting the shot against the Warriors in the NBA Finals in Game 7

11. Steve Nash

Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns shooting a free throw

10. Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk Nowitzki

9. Damian Lillard

Damian  Lillard

Damian Lillard has done something that Steph Curry has never done when it comes to 3-point shooting and that’s hit 10 or more threes in the NBA playoffs. Dame has done it twice and owns the record for most threes in a playoff game. While Dame earned a spot the NBA 75th Anniversary Team, it still seems like he doesn’t receive the recognition he deserves for his shooting ability. He’s an all time great when it comes to shooting the ball. After Steph, he is without the doubt the second greatest shooting point guard ever to play the game. He may not possess the same efficiency as Steph or Klay but there’s definitely an argument that Dame may have the most range we’ve ever seen. 



Damian Lillard. 71 points. Enjoy. #RipCity

— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) February 27, 2023


7. Larry Bird

worst nba playoff performance larry bird

6. Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant shooting a three pointer against the Milwaukee Bucks

When you think of Kevin Durant you almost immediately think of him being one of the most unguardable players in NBA history due to his combination of size, athleticism and skill. But if we focus on him specifically as a shooter, he is one of the best we have ever seen when it comes to that specific skill. At 6’10 (some argue he’s closer to seven feet), he has one of the quickest releases on a jumpshot in the NBA. One of the most efficient and lethal midrange shooters in NBA history, Durant also has proven to be one of the league’s best marksmen from deep, evidenced by his iconic pull-up 3-pointers over LeBron James and the Cavaliers in back-to-back NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018. His career 38.3% 3-point percentage is more than respectable and considering the fear he puts in opponents from anywhere on the floor, he warrants inclusion on this list. We can’t also forget that he’s one of the greatest midrange scorers in league history. 


KD had ice in his veins 🥶

Warriors vs. Cavaliers, 2017 NBA Finals Game 3 - 9pm ET on NBA TV!

— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 3, 2020


4. Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller shooting during Pacers game

3. Ray Allen

Ray Allen

2. Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson the Portland Trailblazers

1. Steph Curry

steph curry

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