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Not By a Long Shot
Jack McCallum
December 13, 2004
Since its NBA advent 25 years ago, the three-pointer has won games and thrilled fans. But can it maintain its appeal amid rampant gunning by poor marksmen?
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December 13, 2004

Not By A Long Shot

Since its NBA advent 25 years ago, the three-pointer has won games and thrilled fans. But can it maintain its appeal amid rampant gunning by poor marksmen?

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True, imprudent or plain bad three-point shooting did not begin yesterday. Charles Barkley attempted 293 more threes than Bird, even though Bird (a career 37.6% three-point shooter) was a recognized marksman and Sir Charles (26.6%) a recognized bricklayer. Darrell Walker, a solid guard for five NBA teams in a 10-year career that ended in 1992--93, made just six of 102 career three-pointers (5.9%). Dennis Johnson, whom Bird always referred to as his favorite teammate, shot only 17.2% from behind the arc, and Lakers Hall of Fame forward James Worthy wasn't exactly money either (24.1%).

The difference, however, is this: They didn't keep shooting. DJ put up 464 over 14 years, and Worthy 486 over 12--a mere season's worth for the likes of Antoine Walker or Baron Davis. That alone justifies the NBDL experiment. It's a chance to see if the three--like German opera and Dr. Phil--is more palatable in small doses.

Long Rangers

Here's SI's Silver Anniversary three-point team, by position, based on both quantity and quality

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

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