Reggie Miller drilled his 2560th and last three-pointer on April 18, 2005. though he would attempt seven more in his last three games. He was 39 years and 237 days old, four years older than Ray Allen is now. When he was Ray’s age, his 3-point percentage was .408. Ray’s right now is .462. That’s his highest ever by 28 percentage points. And Ray’s got 2559.
It’s important to point out that Reggie’s career began in an era when there simply wasn’t as much long-range shooting going on. Six of the top ten three-point shooters ever are currently playing. Jason Terry is one of them. The old-school guys we think of as pure shooters shot with nothing approaching the current volume.
Danny Ainge is 61st with 1002 threes, well south of James Posey. Dennis Scott is 38th, four spots behind Jason Williams. Steve Kerr is 116th with only 726 threes made. That’s 25 fewer than Rasual Butler.
So historical context is important, especially for how much more impressive it makes Reggie’s mark, but it’s okay to celebrate volume when you’re talking about Ray. Ray’s scored more points on his three than Chris Paul has in his career. He has more threes than Kevin Durant has field goals. He has more threes than Eric Gordon has SHOTS. Consistent brilliance is nothing to sneer at.
And even among the active leaders, nobody’s catching Ray anytime soon. He’s adding to his lead at a career-high clip, and everyone behind him in the top ten is A) at least 800 threes behind him and B) at least 31 years old (the youngest is Rashard Lewis, who’s watching his shooting abilities disappear like Marty McFly’s hands). The closest youthful player is LeBron, who’s 93rd on the list with 838. But he’s shooting less and less (as he should be) and nobody knows how he’s going to age (except that he’s going to be 400 pounds at age 42).
So Ray’s record is safe for the next, say, eight years. And the crazy thing is, he might still be around then. He probably won’t be, but HE MIGHT BE.
Also, I wrote a piece about the non-Celtic but otherwise wonderful Connie Hawkins for HoopSpeak, the best site you haven’t liked on Facebook yet. Check it out if you enjoy reading words! Brendan will be contributing to the same HoopSpeak project later this week.