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Steph Curry Is the Three-Point King. Where Does He Rank Among the NBA's Greats?

Will anyone ever break his record? Our staff weighs in.
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Stephen Curry has passed Ray Allen to become the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers. Will anyone ever break Curry's record? Where does the Warriors star stand among the greatest players of all time? And what has been Curry's most memorable three-point shot? The Crossover staff answers three questions on the three-point king.

1. Will anyone ever break Stephen Curry’s three-point record?

Howard Beck: ​​Er, probably not, but … maybe? It took Curry 12-plus seasons, converting 3.8 threes per game, with an accuracy of 43%, to claim the record. But Curry’s rate accelerated along the way—from attempting four-plus threes per game in his early years to 10-plus in recent seasons, as part of the NBA’s broader three-point explosion. Now everyone takes a ton of threes, which means a shooter just entering the NBA will have an advantage in chasing the record, based on volume alone. So while we might never see another shooter as accurate as Curry, his mark might one day fall, anyway.

Jarrel Harris: Nah! Stephen Curry is only 33!! Ray Allen played in 1,300 games and Steph is about to break the record in under 800 games. The game has changed, of course, but just imagine the number Steph will be at if/when he hits Allen's games played mark. For someone who doesn't rely on that much athleticism compared to a player like Russell Westbrook, there's a chance we could see him hit threes for 10 more years if he remains healthy or really wants to.

Chris Herring: Ever? Yes. In our lifetimes? No. And I don’t think it’ll be particularly close to happening by then, either.

Chris Mannix: Reggie Miller gave way to Ray Allen who gave way to Steph Curry—so, yes, someone will come along who will make more. Curry has spawned a whole generation of three-point bombers (see Young, Trae) so it's hard to believe one of them won't eventually eclipse Curry's accomplishments.

Ashley Moss: Look, I don't have a crystal ball, but unless Steph's son, Canon, follows in his dad's footsteps and inherits that shooting DNA ... no.

Rohan Nadkarni: Yes. The game just moves forward too much, and Steph has inspired a whole new generation of shooters to pull up from the logo and bomb away. Eventually there will be a shooter nearly as talented as Curry and, because of the evolution of the sport, that player will be given even more chances to shoot from outside. But I hope it doesn’t happen.

Michael Pina: Written with no confidence whatsoever: Yes. Curry is not an outlier. He’s a trailblazing icon who forever changed everything that’s valued and feared on a basketball court. Curry’s legacy is tangible in the sense that he’s inspired generations of youngsters to play like he does. Eventually, at some point in the next 50 years, at least one will rise as a worthy heir.

2. What is your favorite Stephen Curry three?

Pina: The Mike Breen Double Bang against the Thunder back in February 2016. It came on a Saturday night in a nationally televised showdown between two star-studded championship contenders. There will never be another 37-footer launched with a second left in a tied overtime game that feels that inevitable. If you saw it live, you’ll never forget where you were.

Moss: The shot against the Clippers in 2015. First of all, Steve Kerr was speechless, and to leave your coach without words is a flex. Steph came across the lane, behind the back, stepback, at the top of the key and it was at this moment I knew he was different from a lot of other guys in the league. Yeah, you have a lot of dudes who can shoot, but with Steph he's just better at it ... than everybody.

Beck: This one, without question. Steph pulling up—casually, without a hint of hesitation—from 37 feet, in the final second of a tie game, on the road, against his team’s biggest rival, on national television … and just draining it as if it were the most natural thing in the world? I would argue this was the moment the “deep three” became normalized as a go-to weapon (as opposed to a desperation heave).

Herring: The game-winner against Oklahoma City will always stand out. The way he silenced the crowd. The way Enes Kanter Freedom shrugged along the bench before the shot even went down, seemingly knowing his team was screwed. The way Mike Breen went nuts.

Harris: Most will say the three against the Thunder, which was outrageous. But my favorite three from Steph was the one during his 54-point explosion against the Knicks at MSG in 2013. He shook Raymond Felton off the dribble and just launched it to give him 46 points in the game. It was the moment that made Steph a superstar, and he has been on the longest heat check ever since.

Mannix: I'm partial to the absolute bomb Curry hit against Oklahoma City, in 2016. Time winding down, meaningful regular-season game against a conference rival, Curry pulls up from close to 40 feet to drill a game-winner. Remarkable shot.

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Nadkarni: The OKC shot is obviously the coolest shot Steph has ever hit and it is my favorite, but I will throw one more in the mix: Game 6 of the 2015 West semis against the Grizzlies. Curry hit a shot from inside the three-point line on the opposite side of the court to end the third quarter and it’s absolutely ridiculous. The Grizzlies have just missed their own three when Steph gathers the ball after a block, nonchalantly takes one and a half steps, and swishes a three from three-quarters court. That shot was one of the many early examples about how you cannot rest against Steph for even a half second no matter where he is on the court.

Stephen Curry shoots a three against the Spurs

3. Where do you rank Steph among the greatest players of all time?

Herring: Steph is already in the top 15, in my opinion. We talk a lot about how Kevin Durant’s joining the Warriors hindered his legacy, as it potentially made the pursuit of titles too easy. But more than anything, it robbed us of the ability to see what Steph could’ve done with the original Golden State core. So winning another title now would eradicate whatever questions remain.

Moss: No question he's the greatest shooter of all time and will be for a very long time. Greatest player of all time? Steph is top 15 at No. 15. For me, I still put Kevin Durant and Kevin Garnett slightly above him. Believe this though, another ring and Steph cracks the top 10.

Mannix: He's arguably the greatest shooter of all time—I only use the qualifier because I would really have loved to have seen Reggie Miller and Ray Allen play in this era, when firing up double-digit threes per night is the rule, not the exception—and a third MVP award will put Curry at least in the conversation for greatest point guard of all time. Plus: The way he is playing now, at 34, he has a lot of good years left.

Pina: If Curry stopped playing tomorrow he’d without question qualify as one of the 20 greatest players ever. By the time he actually retires—he’s still playing at such a high level and might easily add at least one more MVP or championship ring to his treasure chest—there’s a decent chance he cracks the top 10.

Beck: Asking where Steph ranks all-time underscores why this exercise is so inherently fraught. There’s never been an NBA superstar built like Curry. He is unquestionably the greatest shooter of all time, the greatest scoring point guard of all time and one of the greatest leaders we’ve seen. But his profile—physically and stylistically—is completely unique, and trying to compare him to LeBron or MJ or Kobe or Wilt or Kareem or Magic or Bird or Russell or Duncan or Shaq is, well, just sorta ludicrous.

Nadkarni: Stephen Curry is one of the 10 most impactful players in the history of the NBA.

Harris: He is in the top 10 for me. I take pride in being a Steph Curry believer since his sophomore year at Davidson. It has been rewarding to watch his journey from March Madness standout to one of the best to ever play the game. He turned something that seemed so simple like a three-pointer into an exciting play. He's a once-in-a-lifetime player, and there are only a handful of players that can truly say they changed the game.

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Bonus: Three words to describe Stephen Curry.

Mannix: A generational talent.

Herring: Splash Brother Extraordinaire.

Pina: Transcendent. Mythological. Electric.

Beck: ​​Audacious. Electrifying. Joyful.

Moss: Generational. Elusive. Automatic.

Harris: Spellbinding. Rare. Showman.

Nadkarni: Best. Shooter. Ever.

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