The 50-40-90 club is an exclusive club for only the best and well-rounded shooters in NBA history. In our base ten society, these established benchmarks are an extremely arbitrary but fun way to determine who the most efficient scorers are.
The definition is simple: shoot at least 50% from the field, 40% from 3-point range, and 90% from the free throw line, and as long as you meet the minimum number of required shots, you’re in the club. It’s a difficult feat to accomplish because not only must a player be an amazing shooter to hit that rate of 3-pointers and free throws, they must be well-rounded enough as a scorer to be well above average in efficiency to cross the 50% field goal percentage threshold.
In recent years, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry have accomplished it once. Steve Nash accomplished it four times! The only other active player to come close is Jose Calderon, who would’ve passed the thresholds if he had hit two more of his field goal attempts in 2008.
This year, three Warriors are closing in on the benchmarks. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant are three of the best shooters and scorers in the league, and the fact that teammates might achieve this distinction is ridiculous.
Steph Curry is perhaps the most likely to make the 50-40-90 club (again!). He is currently shooting 48.5% from the field, 40.3% from three, and 93.4% from the line. After struggling with his three point shot early in the season, he bumped his three point rate up almost two percentage points in the Warriors’ win against Memphis on December 30th. All he has to do is shoot a little better from the field.
Kevin Durant is almost there as well. He’s shooting 50.2% from the field, 39.5% from three, and 89.1% from the line. While I do predict his field goal percentage to stay above 50%, he’s rarely shot 40% from three and 90% from the line in his career. If the Warriors’ offense returns to its early season levels, he’ll make it.
Klay Thompson is the only Warrior completely safe on 3-point percentage, hitting 45.0% of his threes. But his 48.4% from the field and 88.5% from the line will be tough for him to improve on, considering those are his career highs. Still, a strong finish to the season can easily push him over the edge.
The 50-40-90 mark is probably antiquated, and definitely a little meaningless. But it reveals how historically great Curry, Thompson, and Durant are, and how lucky Warriors fans are to have them all in their primes.