Perspective on 400

In 1941, Ted Williams batted .406, and in the last 75 years nobody else in Major League baseball has hit the .400 mark. In fact, nobody has even come that close in a full season.  George Brett hit just a tad below .390 in the 1980 season and that’s the closest we have gotten in 75 years. Yes, I know Tony Gwynn was batting .394 when the remainder of the 1994 season was canceled due to a player’s strike; who knows what would have happened there; doesn’t matter.

Why are you talking about baseball; isn’t this a basketball blog? Well yes, glad you asked.

Last night, Steph Curry hit 10 threes to become the first player to eclipse the 400 mark in NBA history. That sentence sounds really impressive just by itself, but when you compare it to the next several best three point shooting seasons in NBA history it looks even better. And it might be more than 75 years before we see it happen again (unless Steph tries again next year).

Rank Player 3P Season Tm
1. Stephen Curry 402 2015-16 GSW
2. Stephen Curry 286 2014-15 GSW
3. Klay Thompson 276 2015-16 GSW
4. Stephen Curry 272 2012-13 GSW
5. Ray Allen 269 2005-06 SEA
6. Dennis Scott 267 1995-96 ORL
7. Stephen Curry 261 2013-14 GSW
8. George McCloud 257 1995-96 DAL
9. Jason Richardson 243 2007-08 CHA
10. Peja Stojakovic 240 2003-04 SAC

A few things that stand out and put the 402 threes in perspective:

  1. Klay Thompson is now the record holder for most threes in a season by someone not named Steph, which is a remarkable feat. Even more remarkable is the fact that Steph still beat his own record in the same season. The fact that both of these guys were able to get off enough shots in the same offense to hit these numbers is astounding.
  2. This is a simple one to see. Nobody in history had ever made 300 threes in a season. Steph obliterated that. He beat his own record by over 40%. That would be like somebody hitting 103 home runs in a seasons to beat Barry Bonds’ record of 73. Not going to happen. Ever.
  3. Coming into this season, Curry was 51st on the career list for most made threes. He is now 19th. If he just hits 300 next year, he will end the season in the top 10 all time. He will have played 8 full seasons.
  4. Steph attempted 867 threes this season, also an all-time record. Incredibly, he shot over 45% on those attempts. George McCloud comes in second on this list with 678 attempted threes in the 1995-1996 season; he shot 38%.
  5. @bball_ref: Stephen Curry took 45 30-footers this year and made 46.7%. 23 players took 45+ 2-footers and shot worse.

I could literally go on forever with stats on top of stats on top of more stats showing just how incredible this season was for Steph Curry from beyond the arc, but I’ll end it here. As a mildly athletic short dude who loves to jack up threes, I feel incredibly lucky to be living in an era where somebody is putting up these numbers and dominating the league while doing it. What a time to be alive.


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