As the NBA gets more athletic, all the finer skills positions are fading rapidly. In an attempt to make the NBA more dynamic, exciting, and intriguing for an expanding fan base the smaller less athletic arts are being lost. The fastest diminishing skill position is that of the pure shooter.
There are only six in the league now (Kyle Korver, Stephen Curry, Anthony Morrow, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, and Ray Allen) whereas in the 80′s every team had at least one and the best squads had two to three. Long gone are the players that buried open shots. Consequently, field goal percentage in the league had been declining steadily. The new league is based almost solely on athleticism and potential and the future of skilled positions like shooter is looking bleak.
In the entire 2010 draft, only one pure shooter was taken. And, Andy Rautins, the best shooter drafted wasn’t drafted until the 38th pick. This speaks to the state of the NBA. Athletes were taken on every other pick and most of them were taken despite being poorly skilled. General managers are reticent to draft players on their body of work, because they are always trying to find the next superstar, therefore solid players are constantly not being drafted. And thus, the decline of the pure shooter in the National Basketball Association is progressing.
The history of the league is decorated with great, heroic shots made by stoic and accurate shooters. There’s Larry Bird, thought to be one of the best scoring shooters ever, who hit numerous big shots in the playoffs for the Celtics. There’s Chris Mullin who led the highest scoring trio in NBA history shooting mechanical jumpers off of set picks. Ricky Pierce made a career of shooting short to midrange jumpers in and out of the playoffs. And Michael Jordan made epic historical assists to John Paxson and Steve Kerr to end two separate NBA Finals series. How popular could the league be without these players.
Without instilling the National Basketball Association with the necessary parts, the product suffers. The league needs shooters to survive the rising popularity of the NFL and other sports. And if the league continues with the disparaging amount of skilled players that are entering it yearly, then the death of the pure shooter may mean the death of the NBA.