Who has the most missed shots in NBA history? The more photographs you take, the more shots you are likely to miss. That is why it should not come as a surprise that one of the NBA’s greatest scorers also missed the most goals ever recorded.
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” according to Wayne Gretzky, as quoted by Michael Scott. But even for the NBA’s top shooters and scorers, you will miss plenty of shots that you do take. And obviously, the more attempts you have, the more you are going to miss them.
The greatest basketball players all share a number of traits. They have short memories, to be exact. Especially when we talk about the failures. This is the mental makeup of a player that not only takes but also misses thousands and thousands of shots during his or her career.
The importance of practicing may likewise be seen in the well-known Nike commercial, where Michael Jordan describes missing 9,000 shots in games, including 26 potential game-winners. “I have failed many times throughout my life,” Jordan said in the advertisement. And that is why I succeed.
Last season, Kobe Bryant set NBA history when he missed the duration of the year due to a torn rotator cuff. And while this is not anything new for one of the greatest players ever to suit up in a basketball uniform, it is not always the sort of history an athlete would want to make. Bryant missed a shot for the 13,418th time in his lengthy and illustrious professional career against the Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 12. Miss No. 13,418 for Kobe Bryant broke John Havlicek’s NBA record of 13,417, ensuring that he has now missed more shots than any player in league history.
Players That Missed The Most Shots In NBA History
1. Kobe Bryant — 14,481 Missed Shots
It is easy to see how the current Kobe Bryant is not much different from his late father, as he too played isolation basketball and did not require the approval of others before launching a large number of shots.
Bryant’s final stat line, in his 20th year, best tells the tale. Bryant scored 60 points on 22-of-50 shooting, including 10-of-12 from the free-throw line and 6-of-21 from beyond the 3-point arc, in a 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.
2. John Havlicek — 13,417 Missed Shots
John Havlicek was the first and only true swingman in NBA history, a player who could play both guards and forward because he did everything on the court for both positions. His eight NBA championships are the most in league history, trailing only Bill Russell and Sam Jones’ ten titles as a duo at Harvard. Ohio State won an NCAA title while he was there in 1960.
3. Elvin Hayes — 13,296 Missed Shots
When Elvin Hayes was playing for the San Diego Rockets in his early years, he had to take a lot of shots. There was no way his team had a chance at winning if he did not. Because of his ability to rebound, Hayes received a lot of shot opportunities, and his 1974 rebounds per game average are the third-best in league history with 18.4 boards per game.
4. Karl Malone— 12,682 Missed Shots
Malone, a center for the Utah Jazz, benefited from playing almost his entire career next to John Stockton, who had the ability to generate offense for others in many ways.
With Stockton, the league’s all-time assists leader, at point guard, the Warriors ran circles around opposing teams. Malone was almost impossible to catch with a head of steam, and Stockton is also the career steals leader.
5. Dirk Nowitzki — 12,565 Missed Shots
Dirk Nowitzki may well claim the title of greatest European-born player in NBA history, and he has yet to encounter significant resistance for that crown. Until recently, there was not much of a challenge. It appears possible that Luka Doncic, one Dallas’ more prodigious young talents in the last 20 years, could be the guy who can displace Dirk Nowitzki from his throne.
6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — 12,470 Missed Shots
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did not reach the start of the NBA scoring charts career without taking a lot of shots, but that does not mean he was not a team player. Playing with some fantastic guards helped Kareem Abdul-Jabbar achieve one of the best field-goal percentages in NBA history (55.9 percent).
7. Michael Jordan — 12,345 Missed Shots
His Airness was a scoring machine throughout his career, but for the first six years of his career, almost every possession offensive for the Chicago Bulls was through him. When Jordan began to shoot less and get his teammates involved more, the Bulls became unstoppable, winning six NBA championships in eight seasons.
8. LeBron James — 12,300 Missed Shots
LeBron James made his debut in the NBA at the age of 18 in 2003 and has played a lot of minutes. He, nevertheless, is active. It raises the question of how long LeBron will continue to play in the NBA after winning the title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020 — his 17th season in the league.
Bill James has said on many occasions that he would love to play at least one season in the league with his oldest son, Bronny James, a high school sophomore who would not be able to join the NBA until 2024 or later.
9. Vince Carter — 12,046 Missed Shots
Vince Carter, the greatest dunker who ever lived, played 22 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 2020. “Vinsanity” swept over the league in the early 2000s, and Carter was the team’s first superstar, shooting with cousin Tracy McGrady to take a remarkable percentage of Toronto’s shots during that time.
10. Carmelo Anthony — 11,670 Missed Shots
Carmelo Anthony, who guided Syracuse to a national championship in his one college season in 2003, is one of the few players to have had his legacy almost entirely defined by his offensive end of the court.
Never has there been a player who is more reluctant to take shots than Anthony. His inability to generate offense for anybody but himself may be the reason he is never won an NBA championship…or even gotten close.