Yesterday, Ray Allen was named Slam’s top shooter of the decade:
In assessing the decade’s top shooter I tracked down grainy, pre-HD video montages, scoured through lists of all stars, tried to make sense of stats I didn’t know exist, and… disregarded it all. The true mark of evaluating a marksman is recognizing one when you see one, and Ray Allen, the smoothest of operators, has earned the decade’s superlative while staking his claim as one of the top shooters of all time.
Ray, though, says Dirk Nowitzki is best. (Via an interview with Slam):
SLAM: Who do you consider the best shooter this decade?
Ray Allen: The best shooter this decade? Dirk.
RA: There’s always a separation in this league of shooters and scorers. He’s been a guy that can score, he’s scored a lot of points, but at the same time he’s shooting from all over the floor, from three to mid-range. He doesn’t get a lot of layups, but he creates a big matchup (problem). He’s been having big games for his franchise over the last ten years.
I don’t have any problems with Ray being listed as the top choice; the man can stroke the hell out of a basketball, and it is oh-so-pretty to watch him shoot. But I wouldn’t agree with Ray’s choice of Dirk. As far as midrange jumpers go, Dirk’s as good a shooter in the league; he can get his shots off against anyone and he has unbelievable touch. He just doesn’t have the same range as a lot of other guys. His three-point percentages over the last three seasons, including this season, (35.9%, 35.9%, and 35.3%) scream “Rasheed Wallace” more than they scream “the best shooter of the decade.”
Nonetheless, Dirk can shoot, and he can get his shot off over anyone in the league. He’s just no Jesus Shuttlesworth.
In other news, Brian Scalabrine was not nominated.