When the conversation of best shooter’s in the league is brought up, there’s the familiar names such as Stephen Curry – who has hit more three’s than anyone this season 105, one ahead teammate Klay Thompson’s 104 – Ray Allen, the league’s all-time leader for three’s made.
It’s now impossible to ignore Atlanta’s Kyle Korver after he extended his streak of games with a three-pointer made to 103 in the Hawks 91-84 loss the Bulls.
Korver is the current record holder for games with a three-pointer made after breaking Dana Barros’ record of 89 last month and while he doesn’t like to focus so much on it, his former Bull teammates are impressed.
“One thing about Kyle, he’s a pure shooter,” Taj Gibson said. “I used to watch him in practice make a hundred straight with his eyes closed, not even trying hard. To see the elevation of his game is great. He’s a leader, great teammate to play with. (The streak) is something special. I always knew he would do something special like this. It’s good that he’s doing it, but sucks that he’s doing it for the opposite team.”
Hawks’ first year head coach Mike Budenholzer spent 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, 17 as an assistant. Like most coaches who have to gameplan for limiting an outside shooter as proficient as Korver (42 percent career from 3), Budenholder respected Korver, but now getting the chance to be around him on a daily basis, that respect has only tripled.
“I think he just amazes us every day, the coaches for sure,” Budenholzer said. “We all appreciate what he can do. Now, I think the attention that he gets defensively and he still manages to get open and make tough shots. His professionalism and work ethic are off the charts. Until you’re around someone like that every day, I don’t think you can really appreciate it from a distance, but now I really do.
“He rarely takes a bad or forced shot. He just continuously moves, knows how to read screens and get open. He’s a very unique talent. His ability to move and rise up into his shots at full speed after coming off a screen is unique. He’s very special.”
Derrick Rose used to consistently refer to Korver’s shooting prowess as “God’s gift” during the shooter's two seasons as a Bull from 2010-2012 as the team finished with the East's top regular season record in both seasons. A higher power might be the only who knows when the streak will end. When it finally does, it won’t stop the work Korver puts in that has earned the respect of all who have coached him and played with him.
“I got nothing but love for Kyle,” Joakim Noah said. “Not only is a great player, but he’s a real good dude. I wish him nothing but the best, except, of course, when he plays us. But he’s a hell of a player. He’s a competitor and some of the best times of my career were with Kyle Korver on this team, so I got nothing but love for Kyle Korver.”