Who has missed the most shots in NBA history?

Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images /

The more shots you take, the more shots you’re likely to miss. That’s why it’s no surprise that one of the greatest scorers in NBA history also missed more than anyone else.

As Michael Scott famously quoted Wayne Gretzky, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” But even for the best shooters and scorers in the NBA, you still miss plenty of the shots you do take. And obviously, the more shots you take, the more you’re going to miss.

At the top of the list for most missed shots in NBA history is Kobe Bryant, with 14,481. But before anyone gets carried away with the criticism, remember that he’s seventh on the all-time list for field goals attempted and No. 4 on the all-time scoring leaderboard. For his career, Kobe made a respectable 44.7 percent of his shots overall.

Micahel Jordan, the player Kobe patterned his game after, is No. 8 on the all-time missed field goals list with 12,345. As of the end of the 2020-21 season, LeBron James was No. 4 with 12,701.

Who has missed the most shots in NBA playoff history?

While Kobe holds the crown for regular-season misses, he drops to No. 2 if you just look at the playoffs. Kobe missed 2,485 playoff shots in his career. Michael Jordan is No. 3, with 2,309 postseason misses.

LeBron James holds the top spot with 2,777, as of the end of the 2020-21 season. And, again, this all is all about opportunity. LeBron is the NBA’s all-time leader in postseason games, minutes played and field goal attempts, all by rather significant margins. LeBron is likely to build those leads over the next few seasons with the Lakers, and nabbing another championship or two would be more than enough to wipe away any regret over all those missed postseason shots.

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