The NBA does not appear to keep an official record on the longest shot in league history, but the contenders for that title have traveled by word of mouth from generation to generation.
Chicago Bulls guard Norm Van Lier was said to set the bar back in 1977 with what has been reported as an 84-foot shot — though no video evidence of it exists. Magic Johnson hit another near full court shot in 1987 that feels like it has a legitimate claim to the longest ever. Most people believe Baron Davis’ shot against the Charlotte Bobcats in 2001 — thought to be 89 feet — holds the unofficial record for the longest ever. Jae Crowder hit the longest shot in NBA history that didn’t count back in 2007 when he was an inbounds passer for the Boston Celtics because none of his teammates touched the ball.
There’s another contender for the longest NBA shot ever after Sunday night: Memphis Grizzlies wing Ziaire Williams beat the third quarter buzzer with a near full-court heave. This is absolutely ridiculous. Watch the video here:
The official game log as this as a 79-foot shot. Given that an NBA basketball court is 94 by 50 feet, this looks even longer than that.
First of all, incredible shot, obviously. Secondly, shout-out to Williams for actually taking this shot before the buzzer, because so many players refuse to take half- and full-court heaves because they don’t want to mess up their shooting percentages.
Also: that shot looks longer than 79-feet to me. Remember: the court is 94-feet long. Was Williams really 16-feet from the baseline when he let his one go?
This is damn close to the longest shot in NBA history. I think Baron Davis’ is slightly longer, but this is right there. It’s definitely longer than LeBron James’ full court shot against Boston back during his first stint with the Cavs, and that was reportedly credited at 83-feet.
The longest NBA shots ever, ranked
Here’s how Wikipedia lists the longest NBA shots ever:
- Baron Davis, 89-feet, 2001
- Norm Van Lier, 84-feet, 1977
- Magic Johnson, 84-feet, 1987
- LeBron James, 83-feet, 2007
- Herb Williams, 81-feet, 1986
- Ziaire Williams, 79-feet, 2023
Our pals at Secret Base did an amazing video on Bar Davis’ shot a few years back:
Again, James was at the opposing foul line in 2007 while Williams was even further than that. To me, Williams hit one of three longest shots in recorded NBA history alongside Magic Johnson and Baron Davis (I wish we had video of Van Lier).
Williams let it go from the second hash mark, which is about 8-feet from the baseline? That looks like an 86-foot shot to me.
Ziaire Williams might have just hit the longest shot in NBA history. If not, he came damn close.