50–40–90 club

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Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns

The "50–40–90 club" is an informal statistic used to rate players as excellent shooters in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). It requires a player to achieve the criteria of 50% field goal percentage, 40% three-point field goal percentage and 90% free throw percentage over the course of a regular season. In NBA and WNBA history, only nine players have recorded a 50–40–90 season. The most recent player, the WNBA's first, was Elena Delle Donne in 2019.[1]

50–40–90 is considered an exceptional performance by a shooter.[2] Only Steve Nash (four times) and Larry Bird (twice) have had more than one 50–40–90 season. Nash's lifetime 49–43–90 regular season average is the closest anyone has come to achieving a career 50–40–90 mark,[3] and his 47–40–90 playoff average is the closest anyone has come to achieving a career 50–40–90 mark in the playoffs.[4]

Members[edit]

Larry Bird, the first player to accomplish the 50–40–90 achievement, and one of two players to achieve the feat in multiple seasons.

Since the NBA introduced the three-point field goal in the 1979–80 season, the 50–40–90 shooting threshold has been reached by eight players:[2][5]

WNBA:

Nash and Bird are the only players who have repeated 50–40–90 seasons; Bird was the first to join this club in 1986–87 and recorded back-to-back seasons, while Nash recorded four such seasons between 2005 and 2010.[6] Nash narrowly missed a fifth consecutive 50–40–90 season by shooting at 89.9% from the free throw line during the 2006–07 season, one made free throw short of the 90% mark.[7] Delle Donne became the first woman to achieve the feat during the 2019 WNBA season.

Terminology and calculations[edit]

NBA[edit]

Similar to baseball batting averages, official NBA shooting statistics are calculated to the third decimal place (thousandths), but are referred to as percentages. While the NBA officially uses a three-digit number, it reports shooting statistics in a shortened and rounded form as a percentage, so that .899 to the third decimal place is simplified as a two digit "90%" in most of its reporting.[8] Thus, a true 50–40–90 season requires a player to achieve or exceed 50.0 percent field goal efficiency, 40.0 percent three-point field goal efficiency and 90.0 percent free-throw shooting efficiency.

Player Season GP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% PTS PPG Ref.
Larry Bird 1986–87 74 786 1,497 53% (.525) 90 225 40% (.400) 414 455 91% (.910) 2,076 28.05 [9]
Larry Bird (2) 1987–88 76 881 1,672 53% (.527) 98 237 41% (.414) 415 453 92% (.916) 2,275 29.93 [9]
Mark Price 1988–89 75 529 1,006 53% (.526) 93 211 44% (.441) 263 292 90% (.901) 1,414 18.85 [10]
Reggie Miller 1993–94 79 524 1,042 50% (.503) 123 292 42% (.421) 403 444 91% (.908) 1,574 19.92 [11]
Steve Nash 2005–06 79 541 1,056 51% (.512) 150 342 44% (.439) 257 279 92% (.921) 1,489 18.85 [7]
Dirk Nowitzki 2006–07 78 673 1,341 50% (.502) 72 173 42% (.416) 498 551 90% (.904) 1,916 24.56 [12]
Steve Nash (2) 2007–08 81 485 962 50% (.504) 179 381 47% (.470) 222 245 91% (.906) 1,371 16.93 [7]
Steve Nash (3) 2008–09 74 428 851 50% (.503) 108 246 44% (.439) 196 210 93% (.933) 1,160 15.68 [7]
Steve Nash (4) 2009–10 81 499 985 51% (.507) 124 291 43% (.426) 211 225 94% (.938) 1,333 16.46 [7]
Kevin Durant 2012–13 81 731 1,433 51% (.510) 139 334 42% (.416) 679 750 91% (.905) 2,280 28.15 [13]
Stephen Curry 2015–16 79 805 1,598 50% (.504) 402 886 45% (.454) 363 400 91% (.908) 2,375 30.06 [14]
Malcolm Brogdon 2018–19 64 378 748 51% (.505) 104 244 43% (.426) 141 152 93% (.928) 1,001 15.64 [15]

WNBA[edit]

Player Season GP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% PTS PPG Ref.
Elena Delle Donne 2019 31 220 427 52% (.515) 52 121 43% (.430) 114 117 97% (.974) 606 19.54 [16]

References[edit]

General
  • "Player Season Finder: For single seasons, in the regular season, from 1979–80, requiring Field Goal Pct >= .495 and 3-Pt Field Goal Pct >= .395 and Free Throw Pct >= .895, sorted by ascending player". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
Specific
  1. ^ "Delle Donne first in WNBA to join 50-40-90 club". ESPN.com. September 8, 2019. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "The vanguards: Rating Nash amongst the best". canada.com. Postmedia Network Inc. January 3, 2007. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  3. ^ "Player Game Finder". Basketball-reference .com.
  4. ^ "Player Game Finder". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  5. ^ Velazquez, Matt (March 13, 2019). "Steady sharpshooter Malcolm Brogdon is on pace to join an elite club filled with Hall of Famers and MVPs". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  6. ^ "Spurs In His Side". National Post. National Post Inc. September 17, 2010. Retrieved October 21, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d e "Steve Nash Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  8. ^ Cohen, Richard M., and Neft, David S.: The Sports Encyclopedia: Pro Basketball Edition, St. Martin's Press, 1990.
  9. ^ a b "Larry Bird Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  10. ^ "Mark Price Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  11. ^ "Reggie Miller Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  12. ^ "Dirk Nowitzki Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  13. ^ "Kevin Durant Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 17, 2013.
  14. ^ "Stephen Curry Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  15. ^ "Malcolm Brogdon Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  16. ^ "Elena Delle Donne WNBA Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 9, 2019.