Stephen Curry Is 'the Best Shooter Who Ever Lived,' per Warriors HC Steve Kerr

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2021

FILE - In this April 15, 2021, file photo, Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) goes to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers' Jarrett Allen (31) and Isaac Okoro during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Cleveland. Curry has landed the second $200 million contract of his career, reaching agreement on a $215 million, four-year extension with the Warriors on Tuesday, Aug. 3. (AP Photo/David Dermer, File)
AP Photo/David Dermer, File

If Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry desires an Olympic gold medal—perhaps the only accomplishment he hasn't checked off the list during his legendary career—it's likely a spot will be open to him come the Paris Games in 2024.

"He's the best shooter who ever lived," Warriors head coach and Team USA assistant Steve Kerr told NBA writer Marc Stein, adding, "Steph can absolutely play on the Olympic team three years from now." 

It's hard to dispute Kerr's assessment of the two-time MVP. Curry, 33, is a career 43.3 percent shooter from beyond the arc on a whopping 8.6 attempts per game. Last season alone, he averaged 12.7 threes per game, hitting on 42.1 percent of them. Shooting that percentage on such incredible volume is mind-blowing.

To put that into perspective, Curry's teammate Klay Thompson, who might be the second-best shooter in history, has made 41.9 percent of his career threes on 7.0 attempts a game. James Harden shoots a high volume (7.7 threes per game in his career) but isn't close to Curry's efficiency at 36.3 percent.

Ray Allen has more career threes (2,973) than Curry (2,832), but the Dubs superstar will catch him next season, barring injury. Curry not only has the record for the most threes made in a season (402 in 2015-16), but he's also posted four of the five top seasons for made threes in NBA history.

Kerr has the best three-point percentage (45.4) in league history. Curry is No. 6 on the list. But Kerr attempted just 1.8 threes per game in his career, albeit in an era that prioritized the shot far less than the modern game. None of the players in the top five averaged more than five threes per game. 

It's not just perimeter shooting that makes Curry the best marksman in NBA history. He's also made 90.6 percent of his free-throw attempts, the best mark the league has ever seen.

While statistics back up Curry's legend, he's also made a cultural and strategic impact on the game. The basketball community has largely wrapped its arms around a heavier volume of the three-point shot, a marriage between analytics and the Warriors' utilizing the strategy to win three titles during the Curry era. 

How many young basketball fans want to someday be a shooter like Curry?

The catch is that three-point attempts may be the most efficient way to score in the NBA outside of shots at the basket, but nobody is on the level of Curry when it comes to making them. There's nothing controversial about calling him the greatest shooter to ever live. It's the dissenting take that deserves eye rolls.