Danny Ainge: Larry Bird Was NBA’s Greatest Shooter — ‘Until Steph’ Curry

While lots of ex-athletes trot around saying nothing nowadays can compare to their own eras, Danny Ainge is willing to admit some elements of today’s game have surpassed what was possible back when he played.

Ainge, the Boston Celtics’ president of basketball operations, defended his assertion that Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter in NBA history in an interview with WEEI.com. Don’t worry, Celtics diehards; he placed Larry Bird a close second, followed by former Celtic Ray Allen.

“If anybody were to come in and tell me, ‘Larry Bird’s the best shooter of all time,’ I wouldn’t have much argument,” Ainge told WEEI’s John Tomase. “Same with Ray. I probably wouldn’t argue. It’s really close.

“The reason I think Steph is the best shooter of all time is simply the variety of shots he hits: left-handed running hook shots, reverses, floaters, 3-point shots off the dribble, behind screens. It’s the variety and degree of difficulty of the shots he hits.”

Ainge’s stance wasn’t just prompted by a “gotcha” question. He tweeted as much during the NBA playoffs last spring.

See? Not even NBA executives are immune to making outlandish statements on Twitter.

Ainge took some heat on the social network, but he didn’t back down. As he told WEEI.com, “I think Larry was always my first guy of being the best shooter of all time, up until Steph.” Having been involved in the NBA in some capacity for 33 years, Ainge knows better than most that the game evolves — and, eventually, often surpasses what we remember of the good old days.

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L. Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images

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