.294%. That’s Michael Jordan’s career 3PT% from the standard three point line distance. It rises all the way up to .327% when you include the seasons where the league shortened the three point line in an attempt to improve scoring (1995 to 1997).
LeBron’s career 3PT% is .341% (which is superior to Kobe Bryant’s .335).
Consider the following…
There are only 7 players in history who have scored more than 23,000 points and have a career 3PT % of .335% or better. The list includes some of the greatest three point shooters of all time:
- Ray Allen – 24505 points, .400%
- Reggie Miller – 25279 points, .395%
- Dirk Nowitzki – 26786 points, .383%
- Vince Carter – 23190 points, .378%
- Paul Pierce – 25031 points, .370%
- LeBron James – 23170 pints, .341%
- Kobe Bryant – 31700 points, .335%
(And LeBron’s career 3PT% is only rising – since he’s been in Miami [3 seasons] he’s shot .385% from distance, which is excellent.)
Not bad at all.
Furthermore, there are 33 players in history who have scored over 23,000 points, but only 6 of the 33 have 7 or more seasons of 100 or more made threes.
- Ray Allen – 17 times in 18 seasons
- Reggie Miller – 15 times in 18 seasons
- Paul Pierce – 14 times in 16 seasons
- Vince Carter – 11 times in 16 seasons
- Kobe Bryant – 8 times in 18 seasons
- LeBron James – 7 times in 11 seasons
That’s rare air.
Now let’s look at some other numbers that directly compare LeBron to Jordan.
Career Three Point Field Goal Percentages (lowest to highest)
*denotes season w/ shortened 3 pt line
Jordan: 13%, 17%, 17%, 18%, 19%, 24%, 27%, 28%, 29%, 31%, 35%, *37%, 38%, *43%
Threes made in 15 seasons: 581
LeBron: 29%, 32%, 32%, 33%, 33%, 34%, 34%, 35%, 36%, 38%, 40%
Threes made in 11 seasons: 1136
(Jordan had 5 seasons shooting under 20% from three. I know it was a different league then, but still…)
Or we can look at this another way:
LeBron has 2 games of eight or more threes in his career. Jordan has 0 games of eight or more threes. +2 LeBron
LeBron has 6 games of seven or more threes in his career. Jordan has 0 games of seven or more threes. +6 LeBron
LeBron has 16 games of six or more threes in his career. Jordan only has 4 games of six or more threes. +12 LeBron
LeBron has 27 games of five or more threes in his career. Jordan only has 8 games of five or more threes. +19 LeBron
LeBron has 75 games of four or more threes in his career. Jordan only has 26 games of four or more threes. +49 LeBron
(Okay, you get the point. LeBron takes and makes threes at a rate that Michael Jordan could only dream of.)
Interesting teedbeet: LeBron holds the record for most career threes in the All-Star game.
So we can say with much confidence that LeBron James is a better three point shooter than Michael Jordan. Not only that, but a much better three point shooter than most people realize.
Some Jordan fans may still be hesitant to call James the superior long range sniper, but they must concede that he is a far more prolific three point shooter than Michael Jordan was. That much is indisputable.