The debate whether Kevin Durant is worthy of the MVP this season will carry on till we reach the playoffs, but there’s another prestigious club the Oklahoma City Thunder star might be joining: The 50-40-90 club.
What is it? Well, reserved for players who simply shoot better than the rest, from everywhere, all the time, finishing with over 50% from the field, 40% from three point range and 90% from the free throw line for an entire season. Only five players have done it in the past, and Durant is one pace to become the sixth.
How good has he been so far this season? Durant is averaging 28.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game this season, but besides his fantastic all-around play which is vastly improved, there’s his sharpshooting: 52.5% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 89.9% from the line. He has never finished a season shooting better than 50% from the field or 40% from the three.
So who are the club members? The first players to make it in is Larry Bird, doing it twice. In the 1986-1987 season, Bird averaged 28.1 points per game while shooting 52.5% from the field, 40% from three and 91% from the line. The next season he was even better, averaging 29.9 points per game while making 52.7% of his field goal attempts, 41.4% from three and 91.6% from the line.
Next up was Mark Price in the 1988-1989 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Price averaged 18.9 points per game that season while shooting 52.6% from the field, 44.1% from beyond the arc and 90.1% from the line. Along with Steve Nash (who keeps moving above and below), he has the best free throw shooting percentage of all-time.
In the 1993-1994 season, Reggie Miller made it happen. He averaged 19.9 points per game while making 50.3% of his field goal attempts, 42.1% of his three point shots and 90.8% of his free throws.
Steve Nash accomplished the feat for the first time (out of 4) in the 2005-2006 season, also winning the MVP that year. The Suns’ point guard averaged 18.9 points per game while making 51.2% of his field goals, 43.9% from three and 92.1% from the line. His second time (2007-2008) was a 16.9/50.4%/47%/90.6% effort; His third (2008-2009) was a 15.7/50.3%/43.9%/93.3% campaign and his fourth and last was a 16.5/50.7%/42.6%/93.8% accomplishment.
In the 2006-2007 season Dirk Nowitzki became the first European player to win the MVP. He finished that year averaging 24.6 points while making 50.2% of his field goal attempts, 41.6% from beyond the arc and 90.4% from the line.