How, though, does Korver fit into this superstar mold?
With good reason, Kyle Korver is one of the most underrated offensive players in the NBA. Robert Lin writes on rantsports.com “The Hawks got a steal with Paul Millsap’s two-year, $19 million contract, but they’re overpaying Kyle Korver $6.7 million, when ‘all he can do’ is shoot three-pointers.” His most recent game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, February 6 marked his 117th game in which he has scored at least one 3-pointer.
Yes, that is correct, a record setting 117 games.
“It’s a remarkable display of consistency,” former sharp-shooting specialist Steve Kerr said on soaringdownsouth.com. “The three-point shot has become much more prominent in the last decade, but very rarely do you see a guy who can consistently, night in and night out, make such a high percentage, especially when everybody knows that’s his goal coming into the game. So I’m amazed at what Kyle has done—just the level of consistency.”
But, a true superstar is not just measured by points scored. No doubt that his long range shooting specialty is what caught the eye of USA Basketball, but Kyle Korver is far from a one-dimensional player.
When run off the three-point arch, Korver settles for sinking from the midrange, and when a defender contests his shot, he shoots over 90% from the free throw line. His offensive skills are remarkable, but certainly not limited to just his shooting; he averages close to three assists per game and has unexpectedly good passing.
Not only can Korver dominate offensively, but he can definitely be seen as an up and coming good defender. He rebounds better than the average wing, averaging four per game, and is not shy with the steals. In comparison to other full time wings in the NBA, he contests more shots at the rim (almost twice as much as fellow USA Basketball teammate LeBron James) and can block the occasional shot.
Kyle can guard his position, and in combination with everything else he brings on the court, he also has the ability to stay in the game for big minutes.
“This roster is extremely talented, deep and versatile,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said in a statement to ESPN.
Kyle Korver has the versatility as a player comparable to most alongside him on the USA team; these similarities are what helps mesh players from different teams together. Each player brings his own talent to the court, and for Korver, it is his unbeatable and incomparable catch and shoot.
We needn’t be reminded of this, but this individual skill combined with all of his incremental ones more than qualify him as a worthy addition to the USA roster.