• Tapan Sidhwani

Stephen Curry’s 3-Pointer Record

Ever since it was first introduced in 1979, the 3-point line has been a curious element for all NBA players and fans. Although the idea of being able to score 3 points instead of 2 in a shot may seem enticing from the outside, the majority of players and teams’ gameplans would still revolve around mid-range shots and inside the paint scoring in the decades following the 3-point line’s introduction. Certain players such as Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller did take advantage of the 3-point shot, but it wasn’t until the 2000s that the 3-point shot truly gained its popularity.

A player that seemed to take the crown for the best 3-point shooter was Ray Allen, who ended his career in 2014 with the most 3-point shots made at the time, with 2,973 3-pointers. But, on December 14, 2021, Stephen Curry passed Ray Allen for the most 3-point shots made.

Throughout the 2010s, Stephen Curry revolutionized the state of the NBA with his electric style of play, heavily based around the 3-point shot. Taking the NBA by storm in his 2014/15 and 2015/16 MVP seasons, Curry utilized the 3-point shot to help his team, the Golden State Warriors, to three championships in 2015, 2017, and 2018.

With the number of 3-point shots he was taking, and the rate at which he was making them, Curry had been on track to break Ray Allen’s record for a while, since he broke the record in far fewer games. Ray Allen racked up 2,973 3-point shots in 1,300 games, but Curry was able to surpass Allen in only his 789th game; 511 games before Allen. Since Curry is approaching the 3,000 3-pointers made milestone, and now holds the record, he might as well just try to keep on pushing toward new heights until he retires.

To get a sense of how Curry was able to break the record for all-time 3-pointers made so quickly, we have to get a sense of just how good Curry is at shooting a 3-point shot. Curry’s extremely quick release, ridiculous range, and accuracy from anywhere on the court makes him virtually unguardable, even for the best NBA defenders. It seems like he can shoot from anywhere and have a good chance to score. In his career, Curry’s 3-point percentage is 43.1%, which puts him at number 7 all time in 3-point percentages. Curry also holds the record for the most 3-pointers made in a single season with 402, in his 2015/16 MVP season. Curry’s list of 3-point records, along with the fun of watching his moves, justify calling him the greatest 3-point shooter of all time.

Curry’s list of 3-point records, along with the fun of watching his moves, justify calling him the greatest 3-point shooter of all time.

Curry’s influence on basketball and his popularization of the 3-point shot may come back to hurt him in the future, given that other stars and future players have become more likely to shoot and make 3-point shots (potentially breaking his records). Due to players like Damian Lillard, James Harden, and Curry winning games off of crazy 3-point shots, fans watching these games try to shoot 3-pointers at increasing rates compared to other shots like mid-ranges and layups. By inspiring a generation of players, such as Luka Doncic and Trae Young to shoot from a lot farther back, and a lot more, the NBA and basketball around the world is changing.