The best shooters come with a swagger. They have to. Ray Allen misses threes, but he believes without a doubt the next on will fall. Without question. He has put in the work, perfected his form, he paid the price. He believes in himself.
That swagger never goes away.
Such that former Sonic Dale Ellis told the Boston Globe he is the best shooter ever in the game.
“I’m the best shooter of all time,’’ he said. “I know that from the jump. I set the standard. I gave them something to shoot for. I was the first player in the history of the game to get 1,000 3-pointers. To be able to play on that level, you have to have that attitude about yourself. You can say it’s arrogant or cocky or whatever, but that’s OK. There’s no way you can compete without it. There’s no way you can excel without that confidence level.’’
Ellis did set the standard. Ellis did have a pure stroke. He shot 40.3 percent from three for his career, which is better than Allen (39.9 percent) or Reggie Miller (39.5 percent). But Miller was better inside the arc and better at getting fouled on his shot and getting some easy points at the line (Miller had the best true shooting percentage, which counts twos and free throws, of any of the pure shooters). If it’s just knocking it down from deep Steve Kerr has to be in the conversation, he shot 45.4 percent from three for his career.
Ellis gets overlooked as one of the great shooters the game has seen. That’s not really fair to him. And he needed the swagger when he was playing. But it might be time to let the crown go.