On a January episode of the HBO's "All The Smoke" podcast, Steph Curry said “for sure” when Stephen Jackson asked him if he and Klay Thompson were the best shooting duo of all time.
An NBA Hall of Famer agrees.
“They’re the greatest long-distance shooting combo who ever played,” Rick Barry said on the Runnin' Plays Podcast.
Barry, of course, is a Warriors legend who scored 25,279 points in his professional career in the NBA and ABA.
Barry considered another all-time combo of Jerry West and Gail Goodrich for the Lakers in the 1970s, but he acknowledged the 3-point shot is an integral part today’s NBA. Curry and Thompson have mastered triples, making history as the first two players to sink at least 200 threes each in five consecutive seasons.
During the 2015-2016 season, Curry and Thompson combined for a record 678 made 3-pointers, with Curry tallying 402 and Thompson making 276. Together, they averaged 52.2 points and 8.6 3-pointers made per game in the regular season. In the NBA playoffs, they bumped that up to 52.9 points and 8.9 3-pointers made per game.
“It’s a different game,” Barry said. “There’s never been two players on any team as efficient and outstanding as they are around the perimeter, who can also shoot the mid-range shot, who can also get to the basket.”
Barry also knows good free throw shooters when he sees them. His NBA career average is .900. Curry’s is .906. Thompson’s is .848.
Curry’s success from the stripe helped him seal a 50-40-90 season in 2015-16, making him one of only eight players in NBA history to notch those averages.
When Barry looks at Curry and Thompson, it’s with awe.
“These are players you can’t defend,” Barry said.