Ranking Steph Curry Among Best Golden State Warriors Shooters Ever

Scott BurnsCorrespondent IIIApril 27, 2013

Ranking Steph Curry Among Best Golden State Warriors Shooters Ever

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    Steph Curry is one of the best Golden State shooters ever.  Period.  His lightning release and soft touch light up the scoreboard, and most recently, all-highlight shows.

    He is their first real blockbuster NBA star since the days of Chris Mullin or even Ricky Barry of the championship team in the 1970s.

    Curry doesn’t need much room to find the space, as he has made some very difficult shots against the Denver Nuggets look easy.  He forced a game-tying three-pointer up from a difficult corner position and swished it with ease.

    Curry is definitely one of the best shooters in today’s NBA, but how does he rank against the all-time Warriors great shooters?  He will have to fight off Rick Barry, Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond for sure.

    Is he already the best shooter of this well-known group?  You will be surprised.

6. Eric “Sleepy” Floyd

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    Eric “Sleepy” Floyd is known primarily for single-handedly beating the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4 of the 1987 Western Conference semifinals.  He put up 51 points in the game, but the Warriors were trailing by 17 points with one minute left in the third quarter.

    He took over the game and made 13 out of 14 shots and went 8-of-8 at the charity stripe.  Sleepy was always known as someone who couldn’t be stopped when he wanted to shoot.  That game will be forever remembered by both Warriors and Lakers fans as Sleepy put in 29 points in the final quarter.

    Sleepy didn’t have the same form as the traditional shooter, as he would slither to the basket for some of his shots.  He did hit jumpers, but most of his shots were within 15 feet.

    Sleepy averaged 17.7 points during his four seasons with the Warriors.  He was selected as an All-Star during his final season with the team before he was shipped to the Houston Rockets.

5. Purvis Short

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    Purvis Short was one of the all-time great Warriors players and could shoot the ball with ease.  He is usually referenced as the best player never to make an NBA All-Star Game.

    Short was known for his high-arcing jumper that would float to the bottom of the net.  He excelled with his mid-range game and would jump higher than defenders when he shot most of his jumpers. 

    He was a very consistent shooter who averaged 20-plus points for four seasons in a row.  He ranked in the top 10 in scoring for three of those years.

    One of his most memorable games was on November 17, 1984 against the New Jersey Nets when he scored 59 points.  He ranks seventh in franchise history with 11,894 points and was a key member of the 1980s Warriors teams that included Eric “Sleepy” Floyd, Joe Barry Carroll and Larry Smith.

4. Mitch Richmond

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    Mitch Richmond was a raw shooter and a very capable playmaker in his short time with the Golden State Warriors.  He was deadly from behind the arc and could make the spot-up jumper.

    He was known for getting separation between himself and his defender in order to get off clean jump shots.  Since he was with the Warriors at the start of his career, he was very quick and didn’t have any problem shooting jumpers.

    He did a very good job being fluid without the ball and being smooth.  He was so smooth that he would make defenses fall asleep and give him open jumpers.  He used his size to his advantage, as he was too fast and too strong for many defenders to handle him.

    He took full advantage by averaging 23.0 PPG in his time with the Warriors and winning the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year award.

3. Rick Barry

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    Rick Barry had a fiery personality that was on the same level as his scoring prowess.  As you can see from the highlights, he was a pure shooter that teams would have to guard closely.  Barry was almost unstoppable on offense and brought the Warriors their only NBA championship.

    Barry was also famous for his eccentric free-throw shooting style, in which he shot the ball underhanded.  That style netted him a career 89.3 free-throw percentage and allowed him to shoot over 90 percent in each of his last six years in the NBA.

    Barry’s name appears near the top of almost every all-time offensive category.  He averaged over 30 PPG four times, made 12 All-Star teams and finished his career with over 25,000 points.

2. Steph Curry

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    Steph Curry can flat out shoot the ball and better yet, he can create his shot with little or no room.  Instead of being the guy who is always affiliated with the ankle problems, he rose to stardom this season with his shooting ability.

    His most impressive single-game performance was when he scored 54 points against the New York Knicks on one of the biggest stages of the NBA.  He continued to hit three-pointer after three-pointer, along with dazzling the crowd with his jump shots.

    He has continued that hot streak into the 2013 NBA playoffs, where he is seeing his first action.  He is so successful with his shots because he positions the ball in his hands so that he can go up at any time.

    With his quick getup and sweet stroke, he broke the single-season three-point record this year with 272 threes.  Opponents better worry, because he is just getting started.

1. Chris Mullin

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    Hall of Famer Chris Mullin takes home the title as the best shooter in the history of the Golden State Warriors.  He outlasted Stephen Curry because of his resume and Hall of Fame status.

    Mullin was always a clutch shooter and a guy who could hit from anywhere on the court.  He could drive on defenders and settle for short shots or he could roll off screens and take a mid-range jumper.

    He perfected the baseline jumper, where he would use his left-handed stroke to break down opponents and seal victories. 

    Mullin averaged more than 20 PPG six times in his 16-year NBA career and scored more than 18,000 career points.  He was leader of the “Run TMC” trio and used the running speed of Mitch Richmond and Tim Hardaway to open clear shots.

    As you can see from the highlights, Mullin was a natural shooter, who worked tirelessly at his game.  His shot propelled him to five All-Star teams and he was selected as a member of the original 1992 U.S. Olympic “Dream Team".