Joining the 50-40-90 Club takes skill, precision and consistency.
And lots and lots of luck.
“Playing through injuries. Being banged up. For me that's always the hardest thing to really being efficient,” said Lakers guard Steve Nash. “You're playing through stuff. Some nights you just don't have it in this league because of fatigue or whatever. Other nights you're really playing on one leg or something's bothering you. When you look at your percentages that can affect them.”
Kevin Durant is on the verge of becoming only the sixth player in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from the 3-point line and 90 percent from the free throw line.
He said the 3-point shot has been his most difficult category.
“Because you can easily have a bad 3-point shooting week or a month,” Durant said. “I remember I went 0-for-6 against Denver and all of them looked good. So it's not one of those things where you lose your confidence, but all your shots look good and you still want to continue to shoot them over again because the ones you missed looked like they were on line. So it's kind of difficult. It messes with your head a little bit.”
That explains why Durant's attempts from downtown dwindled as the season went on. He attempted 3.5 3-pointers in November, 4.6 in December and 5.8 in January. In February, Durant attempted just 3.5. In March, he hoisted 3.8. And in April he's down to 2.6.
“Lately I just try to not take as many and just take the wide open ones and get close to the rim,” Durant said.
Reggie Miller, who joined the club for his 1993-94 season, agreed that 3-point shooting is the most difficult.
“Because I shot a lot of 3s, as does Kevin,” Miller said. “The free throws you never worry about, or shooting from the field because I always put myself in good position. The 3s are a little bit difficult because obviously you're shooting farther out. The 3s are always the toughest thing.”
Dirk Nowitzki, who achieved the necessary percentages in 2006-07, said so many things have to fall into place for a player.
“It obviously means that you're a good shooter,” Nowitzki said. “You can score. It means that you've got some teammates that get you open and get you the ball in the right position.”
So what would this latest honor mean to Durant, a player who has scoring titles, All-NBA First Team appearances, All-Star selections and MVP runner-up honors?
Where would Durant rank this rare feat?
“Right up there with the First Team All-NBA,” he said. “I'm not sure I'm going to get that First Team All-NBA again this year, but 50-40-90 would be pretty cool. So we'll see.”