J.R. Smith has never been someone who is short on self-confidence, but the New York Knicks shooting guard made a claim on Tuesday that many, at first glance, would claim borderlines on delusional.
In an Instagram post directed at his haters, Smith said he’s one of the greatest three-point shooters in NBA history.
They said I wouldn’t make it! I did! They said I wouldn’t stay! This is my 11th yr! They said you can’t shoot like that in the league! I’m on pace to be one of the best shooters the game had ever seen! Bottom line what yall say don’t me sh@$ What I do says everything! #Gone
Smith followed that up with another picture showing that he ranks 30th in NBA history with 1,312 three-pointers made and a caption that reads “Men lie women lie but….”
It’s hard to argue that ranking in the top 30 of makes isn’t extremely impressive.
But I’m not ready to give Smith the honor of being among the best three-point shooters of all time. While his 37.1 career shooting percentage from outside is respectable, it’s far from elite. According to Basketball Reference, Smith is the 142nd most efficient three-point shooter in league history.
Smith’s place on the all-time makes list is obviously significantly boosted by the volume of shots he takes, which should surprise no one given his reputation as a gunner.
Like Smith implied, numbers don’t lie. And the numbers don’t place Smith as a historically excellent shooter.