No, the Knicks’ J.R. Smith is not ‘one of the best shooters the game has ever seen’


J.R. Smith is as discerning with his comments as he is with his shot selection.

The New York Knicks’ shooting guard must have been feeling especially good about himself — not that he’s likely to suffer too much self-doubt on a daily basis — when he posted the following to Instagram:

The photo’s caption: “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!”

If you substitute the word “best” for “prolific,” then we might be on to something.

Smith has shot 37.1 percent on three-pointers over his career, which ranks 142nd all-time, behind guys like Sasha Vujavic, Delonte West, Nick Young and Mario Chalmers. In the playoffs, it gets even worse. Smith ranks 227th, with a career average of 30.7 percent. Even Dwyane Wade is ahead of him (32.6 percent).

But that has never deterred Smith. If the slogan “quantity over quality” ever needed a spokesmen, Smith’s agent is waiting by the phone. Career three-point attempts is where he really shines, ranking 34th all-time with 3,540 attempts. Last season, Smith broke the record for most three-point attempts — not makes — in a single game, attempting 22 against the Miami Heat.

Smith is many things, but “one of the best shooters” is certainly not one of them.

Thomas Johnson is a reporter.
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