By Miotch @_Report on August 11, 2014
The term "pure scorer" isn't clearly defined, but great all-around play and pure scoring are normally not considered to be mutually exclusive, even though they should be. If LeBron James wishes to make this list one day, he'll have to stop defending, forget how to pass, and focus primarily on scoring.
Coming out of the University of Arizona, Bibby made it clear his basketball philosophy was to "shoot the rock." During a three-year stretch with the Kings in the mid 2000s, Bibby averaged only five APG at the PG position, but about 20 PPG. His pure scoring helped redefine the PG position, and when he got hot, his jumper would electrify the crowd and his teammates so much so that some argued he was the best player in the NBA.
When you look up the words "pure scorer" in the dictionary, you should probably see a picture of Finley's face. With no defense and mostly average assist and rebound numbers, Finley's sole contribution of scoring like a maniac is up there with the greats. Averaging around 20 PPG before and after Dirk Nowitzki's arrival to Dallas, Finley is the prince of one-dimensional players.
Behind the guidance of legendary head coach Don Nelson, Tim Hardaway revolutionized the point guard position. Before Stephen Curry was making it rain in Golden State, Hardaway averaged 23.4 PPG for the Warriors during the 1991-92 NBA season, and continued that same stuff in Miami. Oh, and nothing in the history of the NBA is as pure as Hardaway's rainbow three.
Averaging 25.4 PPG in 2005-06 and 26.7 PPG in 2006-07, Redd was one of the most dynamic scorers of his era. The way he painted the town red with 3-pointers is stuff of legend. Injuries screwed up the one-dimensional former star's career, but he'd be on his way to the NBA Hall of Fame if not for that.
Along with Dirk Nowitzki, Peja Stojakovic revolutionized the game by killing it from the 3-point line in spite of his enormous height. The Kings, like the Mavericks of the early-to-mid 2000s, had a surplus of scorers, but Stojakovic was averaging like 20 PPG. His 24.2 PPG, .480 field goal percentage and .927 free throw percentage in 2003-04 will live forever.
Yes, Rice's career as a superb one-dimensional scorer was short-lived, but his 1996-97 season with the Hornets should not be misremembered. That year, Rice averaged 26.8 PPG, shooting 47 percent from beyond the arc. Plus, Kobe Bryant wouldn't have won his first ring in 2000 without Rice.
Gordon has basically been retired for the past five NBA seasons, but before that, he went three straight seasons averaging around 21 PPG as a sixth man for the Bulls. Not even Vinnie Johnson could heat up as quickly as Gordon. If you don't believe that, just re-watch the classic 2008-09 playoffs series between the Bulls and Celtics.
About a decade Before Ray Allen decided to become a role player and ride LeBron James' coattails for another ring, he was one of the most terrifying scorers in the game on the Seattle Sonics. In Allen's last year in Seattle, he averaged a career-high 26.4 PPG, so perhaps joining other stars in Boston cost him the No. 1 spot on this list.
Mullin is another one of those players Don Nelson helped carve into a superstar scorer. In many ways, the late '80s and early '90s was the Chris Mullin era, as he averaged 25-plus PPG for five straight seasons. A 51 percent shooter over the span of a 16-year career, few could shoot it like Mullin.
What we are talking about with Vince Carter is the greatest dunker and one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in NBA history. An argument can be made that Carter is too good an all-around player to be on this list, but his scoring is too dynamic (10 times averaging over 20 PPG) to not have made it here.
They call players like Carmelo Anthony a "volume scorer." Well, whatever he is, he fits near the top of this list. He's not LeBron James — he doesn't win rings and make his teammates better. However, from a statistical standpoint, almost no one-dimensional scorer in the history of the NBA can see Anthony. He's like John Cena.
You can't think of the 1990s and not think of Reggie Miller. During that entire decade, Miller averaged around 20 PPG every season. Sure, he never came close to a scoring title, but longevity and consistency matter, and there's probably just one other guy in NBA history who hit more daggers than Miller.
It's kind of sad Dominique Wilkins had to play in the same era as Michael Jordan, because his seven seasons of 27-plus PPG would have held him in way higher regard otherwise. All Wilkins did was score, but no one in today's game can dunk and/or explode on the court like him.
There would not be any Kevin Loves or Durants in today's NBA if not for Dirk Nowitzki. His deadly outside shooting in spite of his enormous height created crazy mismatches, insanely altering the shape of the game. Like the way Reggie Miller owned the '90s, Nowitzki owned the '00s; and with 13 seasons averaging 22 or more PPG, his scoring consistency is near unmatched.
Yeah, we all remember how Iverson crossed over Michael Jordan. Most undersized shooting guards come and go, but Iverson lasted 14 years, averaging 25-plus PPG 11 times, with a career-best 33 PPG in 2005-06. He perfectly personified the individualist in a team game, and while there were several obvious holes in his game, Iverson is king when it comes to pure scoring.
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