NBA Players Who Never Made a 3 Pointer

When the Golden State Warriors Dynasty, led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, ruled the league in the 2010s with their three-point shooting, it was the first time that the NBA had become a three-point-dominated league.

The opposite was true at one time. There were an average of 13.7 three-point attempts per game in the 1999-00 season. More than three times as many three-point tries have been made in the last 20 years, with an average of 35.2 attempts per game in the 2021-22 season.

NBA Players Who Never Made a 3 Pointer


1: In the 1098 Games Zaza Pachulia has Played, he has Scored Zero Points in Three-Point Range.

The Zaza Rule of NBA All-Star Voting and some nasty acts during his time with the Warriors, where he won two NBA titles, have made Zaza a household name in recent years. He was also a member of the Atlanta Hawks for eight seasons.

He never learned how to shoot from beyond the arc despite playing for six different clubs over the course of his 16-year career. After more than a thousand games, he attempted only 31 shots, all of which he missed. But he was still useful on the court, which allowed him to play for so long.

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2: 0-25 3PA/M Michael Cage (Power Forward, 1140 games, 0-25)

As of this writing, Cage has played more over a thousand games throughout the history of the sport.

Similar to Zaza Pachulia, he prefers to play in front of the rim rather than out. He was able to play in the league for 15 years because of his strong defensive play and his ability to grab rebounds. But even though he didn’t have a long-range shot, his career scoring average was still 7.3 points.

3: Power Forward JJ Hickson – 534 games, 0-21 3PA/M –

From 2009 to 2011, Hickson started all 82 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers as LeBron James’ primary backup in Ohio. The bulk of his playing time was spent as a power forward and centre. In his twelve-year career, he played in more than 500 games and attempted 21 three-point attempts a game.

4: Power Forward Wayman Tisdale (830 contests, 0-21 3PA/M)

When big men and high-flying guards dominated the NBA, Tisdale was a part of it. At the peak of his career, he tried most of his shots from within three feet of the hoop.

Despite his lack of an outside game, his era-appropriate style of play helped him to excel in the NBA. In his 12-year career, he averaged 15.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists a game.

5: Power Forward Chris Wilcox (628 games, 0-18 3PA/M)

Starting for the Seattle Supersonics and Oklahoma City Thunder, Wilcox averaged 12.6 points per game. However, in his 11 years of playing basketball, he failed to make a single three-point shot.

6: Player is Power Forward Armen Gilliam (929 games, 0-17 3PA/M).

In his 929 NBA games, Gilliam failed to make a single three-point shot. Despite playing closer to the rim, he still averaged over 10 points per game in each of his first ten NBA seasons despite that.

7: Ranked Forward Marc Iavaroni (531 Games, 0-17 3PA/M).

Only seven NBA seasons were played by Iavaroni in the 1980s. His opportunities as a role player are few, and he cannot afford to waste any of them. He would go on to make just seven of his final 21 three-point attempts, all of which he missed.

8: Power Forward Pat Cummings, who has Played 683 Games, has a 0-16 3PA/M rate

The best years of Cummings’ career were spent with the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks, where he averaged over 12 points per contest. For big men who played mostly in the paint, the three-point line was rarely used during his career.

9: Power Forward Earl Cureton

A basketball nomad, Cureton played in the NBA for 12 years, then in Europe for two years, then in South America for another two years. While he was doing that, he made a career by playing defence and getting rebounds in the paint.

10: Power Forward Bobby Jones, who has played 537 Games and Averaged 0-16 3PA/M.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bobby Jones is an All-Star and All-Defense, yet he has never made a three-point shot. In addition, he was in the league when the three-point line was first used, thus it should not be overlooked.

11: Joakim Noah, C (672 games, 0-16 3PA/M):

While playing for the Chicago Bulls alongside Derrick Rose, Noah was named All-Star, All-Defense and Defensive Player of the Year. Like Jones, he is a multi-awarded player. Noah, on the other hand, was a modern NBA player and watched the rise of the three-point shot revolution, unlike Jones.

Because of the increased value placed on three-point shooters in the league following the 2014-15 season championship by the Warriors, Noah’s numbers have dropped precipitously in recent seasons.

To date, How Many Players have Tried and Failed to Make a 3-Pointer Throughout Their Careers?

During Zaza Pachulia’s career, he tried the most three-pointers but never made a single one. He appeared in 1098 regular-season games for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks during his eight-year career.

“Splash Brothers” Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were his colleagues for two seasons at Golden State Warriors, but he didn’t take the opportunity to improve his outside shooting.

Why these players haven’t hit a three-pointer

1: As a Result, they were Involved in a Different Period of NBA Competition.

Big men ruled the paint in the 1980s and 1990s, and many of the players listed as never having made a 3-point shot did so during that time period. The midrange shot was also favoured by the league’s top players at the time, therefore it has gained in popularity.

Some shots were encouraged while others were discouraged by NBA rules in the past decades of the league.

2: They didn’t put in Enough Practise Time on the 3-Pointer.

The 3-point shot is no different from any other shot in that it must be rehearsed over and over again in order to develop the muscle memory and the competence necessary to use it in competition.

Hence, the three-point shot was never a primary offensive weapon for most of the early players, especially the larger ones, because they adapted their bodies and played differently.

3: Their Role did not Include Making Three-Pointers.

Being a power forward or centre, the vast majority of the players on this list spent a significant amount of time in the paint, both on offence and defence.

Many players in the NBA prior to the present long-ball era of the league had a distinct job to play. While the guards need to be quick and adept at shooting, the frontcourt players must be able to withstand the pressure in the lane.

The situation has changed, though, and is no longer what it was. All players, regardless of their position, are now expected to shoot the three-pointer.

In the NBA, is it Mandatory to Shoot three Points?

Over the past few years, the NBA has shifted its focus to long-range shooting. If you want to play in the league, you’ll need a good jumper. Most of the players on this list who failed to make a single three-point shot did so between the 1990s and the early 2000s, if you care to check.

Ben Simmons, on the other hand, is an outlier. Despite playing the point guard position, he is infamous for not having any jump shots in his arsenal. The All-Star Game, All-Defense team, and the NBA all recognised his accomplishments.

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Another example is Giannis Antetokuonmpo, a two-time MVP and NBA Champion. While his 3-point shooting was below average, he used his athleticism and effort to compensate for it. At the same time, he has recently improved his shooting, and he is just 27 years old.


Greatness in the NBA is always being redefined. If you don’t make a three-pointer, you’re out of the NBA championship game.