Elena Delle Donne managed to achieve something that no other basketball player in the WNBA has managed to do before her. As a player of the Washington Mystics, she made over 50% on field goals, more than 40% of her three pointers, and she made over 90% from the free throw line. She is the first female in the WNBA who can now call herself a member of the 50-40-90 club.
That’s quite remarkable, as the WNBA was founded back in 1997, but none of the stars in the league has racked up those stats before. Even Sue Bird didn’t manage it. As a player of UConn, Bird did do it, but in her 17 seasons in the WNBA it hasn’t happened yet, though she got close a couple of times.
In the NBA, which has of course existed longer than the WNBA, it has happened more, but it’s also still a rare achievement. Only eight players in the history of the NBA managed to become a member of the 50-40-90 club: Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Malcom Brogdon.
Brogdon achieved these impressive stats during the last season. But, the King of the NBA is without a doubt Steve Nash. Nash ended a season with those stats not once, not twice, but four times in his career! Of all other players in this club, only Bird managed to repeat his stats a second time. Of course, Durant, Curry and Brogdon are still playing in the league, so they still got time.
The NBA isn’t the only place where they keep track of those statistics. In Europe, in the Euroleague, they have the same club. But, there are way more players that have managed to rack up those stats. It’s easily explainable, as there are a lot less games in the Euroleague than in the NBA. Maintaining those high stats in 82 games is of course way more difficult.
Despite all that, there’s one player in Europe who’s way above the rest: Nando de Colo. This French player managed to be a member of the 50-40-90 club four seasons in a row, from 2014-2018. And during the past season, he almost managed to do it a fifth time, but he fell short one single made shot. No other Euro-player comes close to De Colo.
In the NBL, the Australian league, the 50-40-90 club is a thing as well. But, there’s only one player in the club: Daniel Kickert of the Brisbane Bullets. He did it two seasons in a row: last season and the year before.