Steph Curry and Ray Allen have made the most 3-point shots in NBA history. However, some would say Larry Bird is the biggest clutch shooter of them all.
Older basketball fans who vividly remember the iconic Boston Celtics forward won’t blink when choosing “Larry Legend” over some of the game’s recent top shooters.
Current LA Lakers coach Darvin Ham, who grew up a Detroit Pistons fan, didn’t miss a heartbeat naming his clutch shooter. When asked by Dan Patrick on a podcast to pick between Curry, Bird and Allen, Ham emphatically chose the ’80s legend.
Here’s what he had to say about the player to pick with the game on the line:
“I’m going with Larry Legend! I’m going with Larry. I’m sorry. Larry at 6’9, 6’10. I’m taking Larry Bird.”
Larry Bird played in an era when 3-point shooting wasn’t the NBA’s biggest weapon. Over his entire career, he averaged 1.9 3-point shots per game, which peaked at 3.3 during the 1990-91 season.
Bird had a 37.6% average from long-range but often came up big when the Boston Celtics needed him to deliver.
Steph Curry is now basketball’s celebrated 3-point king. No one comes close to the records he has in the bag, courtesy of his shooting touch. He’s a career 42.8% shooter and hoists up to 8.8 trifectas per game.
Curry recently terrorized Larry Bird’s former team in the NBA Finals. He also overtook Ray Allen for the all-time 3-point shots made record this season.
Before Curry launched an assault on the shooting record books, it was Ray Allen who dominated. “Ray-Ray” averaged 40.0% from rainbow distance on 5.7 attempts per game in his career. His most famous three came against the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals.
Despite all of that, Ham almost laughed at the notion of picking someone other than the “Hick from French Lick” to shoot the game-winner.
Miami Heat team president and head coach of Bird’s bitter rivals, the Showtime Lakers, paid the Celtics forward the ultimate compliment:
“If I had to choose a player to take a shot to save a game I’d choose Michael Jordan … If I had to choose a player to take a shot to save my life, I’d take Larry Bird.”
Larry Bird didn’t consider Steph Curry the best shooter ever back in 2015
Larry Bird received considerable flak in 2015 when he refused to call Steph Curry the game’s best shooter. That season, the Golden State Warriors’ point guard made a then-record 286 3-pointers, a total he would obliterate the following year with 402. The most Bird made in one season was 98 during the 1987-88 campaign.
In an interview with Dan Patrick, Bird had this to say about the best 3-point shooter:
“I don’t know about that. Chris Mullin was pretty good. How about Mark Price? Deep shooters, Curry is one of the best … Reggie (Miller) hit as many big shots as, I mean if you go back and look over the years, as anyone.”
“Either to tie the game go up by one or win the game, as many as anybody. I’ve seen it. I played against him, and I coached him. The thing is, anybody can shoot when it’s tied. It’s when you’re down 1 or down 2. How many guys make that shot?”
2015 was a long time ago, and Steph Curry’s resume has only gotten better since Larry Bird’s appearance on the DP Show.
After Curry’s performance against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals, the Hall of Famer might have already changed his mind.