Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Career Three Point FG Leaders - Not Many in the Hall of Fame

The following table lists the 50 players with the most career 3PT FGs (as of November 2016). What's interesting is how few of them are in the Hall of Fame. Only two of the 50 players are currently in the HoF: Reggie Miller (#2) and Mitch Richmond (#33).

1.Ray Allen2973
2.Reggie Miller* 2560
3.Jason Terry 2175
4.Paul Pierce 2131
5.Jason Kidd1988
6.Vince Carter 1961
7.Jamal Crawford 1957
8.Kyle Korver 1918
9.Joe Johnson 1851
10.Chauncey Billups1830
11.Kobe Bryant1827
12.Rashard Lewis1787
13.Peja Stojakovic1760
14.Dale Ellis1719
15.J.R. Smith 1709
16.Dirk Nowitzki 1707
17.Steve Nash1685
18.Stephen Curry 1668
19.Jason Richardson1608
20.Mike Miller 1585
21.Glen Rice1559
22.Eddie Jones1546
23.Tim Hardaway1542
24.Nick Van Exel1528
25.Mike Bibby1517
26.Michael Finley1454
27.Brent Barry1395
28.Antoine Walker1386
29.LeBron James 1365
30.Dan Majerle1360
Manu Ginobili 1360
32.Baron Davis1332
33.Mitch Richmond* 1326
34.Allan Houston1305
35.Terry Porter1297
36.Mookie Blaylock1283
37.Mike Dunleavy 1261
38.Vernon Maxwell1256
39.Clifford Robinson1253
40.Stephen Jackson1252
41.Shane Battier1250
42.Derek Fisher1248
43.Hedo Turkoglu1246
44.Dell Curry1245
45.Jason Williams1238
46.Damon Stoudamire1236
47.Hersey Hawkins1226
48.John Starks1222
49.Chuck Person1220
50.Dennis Scott1214

Why is this?

I think it's due to three factors:
  1. The three point shot wasn't introduced until the 1979-80 season, and until recently, it wasn't heavily utilized except for those few years in the mid-90s when they shortened the arc. Consider the 84/85 season (picked at random). The league leader in 3PT FG shots was Darrell Griffith with 257 attempts. Compare that to 2005/06 season, where Ray Allen shot 653 3 PTs!

    Another example - Larry Bird, who was in the top 10 3 PT FG shooter for six seasons, still has less than half as many 3 PTs as someone like Shane Battier, who was not considered a high volume 3 PT shooter for his time.
  2. Those players in the 80s and 90s who were exceptional 3 PT shooters were more likely to be specialists rather than superstars. Players like MJ and Magic didn't take many 3s (especially compared to the superstars of today). The 3 PT sharpshooters like Kerr, Dell Curry, Dan Majerle and Peja were considered specialists. This has obviously changed, especially with Steph Curry.
  3. The number of 3 PT field goals has exploded in the past decade or so, meaning these players who are racking up 3 PT FGs aren't yet eligible for the HoF. This includes both recently retired players on the list who are definitely HoF bound (Kobe, Ray Allen, Steve Nash, etc.) as well as active players who are definitely HoF bound (LeBron, Curry, Paul Pierce, Manu, etc.)

The graph below shows the most 3 PT FGs made by a player per season. As the trendline indicates, the number of made threes has been inching upward over the past 20 years and really has taken off over the past few.

(Note: For the lockout shortened seasons in 1999 and 2011, I normalized the 3PTs made per an 82-game schedule.)