ESPN came up with the … um … formula that basically says Kobe is NOT the most clutch player in the league. Sound off.

51150623True Hoop: It’s not as fun a way to see the NBA, but it’s real.

Every which way people slice and dice crunch time numbers — field goal percentage, plus/minus, you name it — Bryant is not the NBA’s best in crunch time. A glance at last year’s crunch time numbers on makes clear Bryant shoots more than anyone else in the NBA in crunch time, but is he more skilled at making those shots? That’s what we’re trying to judge, right? In crunch time field goal percentage, last season Bryant finished 92nd in the League, right behind Michael Beasley. Others ahead of him include Kevin Garnett, both Gasols, Zach Randolph, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Terry, Jameer Nelson, Tim Duncan, Amare Stoudemire, Eric Gordon, Brandon Roy, Andre Iguodala, Jason Kidd, Ben Gordon, and Chris Bosh.

You can remember Bryant hitting all those clutch baskets, stat geeks say. But you’re forgetting all the misses. (And if you are learning about Bryant from highlights, then you’re not even seeing most misses.)

82games defines crunch time as the last five minutes of the fourth quarter, and all of overtimes, when neither team is leading by more than five points. In that period last night, Bryant showed some of the mixed bag of efficiency that the stats show, by turning the ball over, making a shot, missing three straight, and then closing the game in style.

He ended fourth quarter Laker plays as follows…

2:40 turnover
2:11 made jumper
1:46 missed jumper
0:31 assist
0:02 missed jumper

In Overtime
1:34 missed 3
1:17 made jumper
0:48 made layup + free throw
0:00 made jumper

Bryant wound up four of seven in crunch time — which is a healthy 57% from the floor. That’s above average crunch time shooting for him, but not as good as those with the the NBA’s best percentages. So he had a good night, compared to the 46% crunch time percentage from last year.

But one less make would have put him at 50%, and did you hear the commentary with the highlights above?

Continue reading ‘Kobe not the clutchest player in the NBA?’

  • The Mamba24

    And I still want him taking the last shot.

  • Chris Manning

    Statistics don’t tell everything in the game of basketball.

    It’s cute, but ask Brandon Jennings or D-Wade how meaningless statistics are when Kobe raises up and knocks down buzzer-beaters to defeat their teams.

  • Eidraq

    ill say this, in the 07-09 seasons, he has not been as clutch as we’ve remembered him to be BUT with that being said with this young season rolling, he is right back to his clutch self..the two seasons of 07-08 and 08-09 are the only things deterring his stats..just wait till the season is over for the cavs, celtics, etc..lbj’s “clutch” numbers will be down and espn will come out with a new formula to make him look better

  • imfasterthanur

    I didn’t even bother reading the rest of the article. It’s a quantitative analysis when you need a qualitative look.

    Ask anyone – players, coaches or fans – to pick a single player to handle the ball with the game on the line and it’s safe to say we know who would be picked.

    A poor effort to sway radical thinking that is BEYOND common sense.

  • daboss1848

    I’ll help u out young lad:
    “Alekz is First!… “

    • daboss1848

      sorry Alekz, I missed . . .

  • Chris Manning

    imfasterthanur, exactly. Stats are a part of the game – but they don’t define it, either.

  • 007

    first of all, what is even the point of writing this article? other than to practically yell to the world that you’re an obvious kobe-hater.

    i love that kobe gives reasons to [ESPN] writers to make BS articles up JUST to try and QUANTIFY and practically say that Kobe is not the best. i mean, gimme a break. these guys should be fired for impersonating sports reporters and stealing ESPN’s money.

  • 09champs!

    Stupid article. They just brought it up b/c kobe made it. Had lebron made that shot, they would all be saying about how great he is and this article would’ve never existed. But KB makes it, and everybody is saying that he is not clutch at all? Ridiculous. I DO know to apreciate what us as lakers fans have here in one of the best to ever play.

  • pauer

    I dont care how many he makes in the last five minutes. I care about if he makes it in the last five seconds!

    • 007

      lol. +1


    Isn’t this the same type of reasoning that people prefer Jeter over A Rod? Jeter performs in Oct while A Rod thrives in the season up until then. So, this type of thinking is narrow minded and pathetic. It’s a stupid article and please don’t waste our time with garbage like this in the future!

    It’s like Pauer said… “I care about if he makes it in the last five seconds!” He shoots, he scores, ball game! That’s it! End of story!

    p.s. Imfasterthanur, nice seeing you back in here again!

  • WifelovesLuke

    I miss “Big Shot” Rob Horry. Man, that dude made some “Big Shots” in his day. Biggest ever was against Sacramento. Must have seen that shot 87 times and it never gets old.

  • Lakers 24 7

    Who cares how many shots he took in OT…as long as he made the most important one to put the game away. Being clutch isn’t only about making shots, it’s having the confidence and courage to keep taking those shots. Kobe missed a possible game winner at the end of regulation, but he went back to that spot in OT and drained it for the win. Being clutch is KNOWING you can make it.

  • 007

    off topic.

    lol @ that picture. kobe looks like he’s either standing on one toe or else floating on air.

    maybe artest was right… “does god tweet?”

  • heyho

    I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – MJ

  • PauLAsol

    the first time i read this i thought i dont care what happens in the last 5 mins who the fck cares!!! i only care if he makes or not the last winning shot, this ppl only tweak the stats to make kobe not look better

  • thanhttrinh

    just like you guys have said already, im care about the last 0:05s with a ball game. And Boston loss tonight on their fcukin’ homecourt agaisnt Philadelphia LOL hahahahaha snap 11 games winning streak
    Boston couldnt go 12W, so they havent beat our winning streak record, never !

  • http://LakersNation Marwan..

    Well Lebron cant be the clutchest.

    Kobe = Clutch
    Lebron = Kluch

  • gofeedtina

    if you know anything about basketball u know these stats don’t mean shit..Ask anyone in the league and there tell you they want kobe taking the last shot/with the ball in the final minutes.

    Stats can be manipulated to show anything, in this case its the first step for ESPN, in their mission to show that Lebron is the clutchest.

    Kobe the best in the league, lakers are the best, all the haters can suck on our championship rings..

  • Randy’s Donuts

    I bet the Celtics wished they had Kobe tonight after Pierce and Allen choked! Kobe got a better clutch game than a ferrari!

    • http://LakersNation Marwan..

      Who wouldnt wish to have Kobe in their team?

  • thanhttrinh

    KObe ? he aint go anywhere

  • Robert

    ESPN again spinning things against Kobe (well, truehoop … but, ESPN has had it in for Kobe).
    Statistics are meaningless if the context of the game or games are not taken into consideration. E.g., if Kobe is taking more shots in a game, it is ‘perhaps’ because he is in a better position to make shots; or, one or more of his teammates is having an off day; or, any number of reasons.
    Or put another way, if you’re going to define your statistics in a certain way, you can bend the perception any way you want.
    So, for example, they should include shooting percentages ‘in general’ (not just in the last 5 minutes), they should factor in shooting percentages of Kobe’s teammates. They should factor in shooting percentages when certain players are on the floor. They should include the defense matchups during the last 5 minutes of play. They should include the shooting percentages when certain members of the opposing team are on the floor, etc. etc.
    Taking ALL THAT into consideration, then you can make a ‘better’ guess of the likelihood of winning a game with the ball in Kobe’s hands at or near the end of a game.
    Then again, if someone is compiling all these statistics, they should be able to predict outcomes of all these games.
    Have they yet? Can they? I don’t think so (the way they’re doing it). SO …. their statistics are meaningless in the context of REAL games. And more specifically, their statistics are only interesting AFTER the events (games) have taken place. They are not useful for predictive means.
    What IS useful for predictive means is knowledge of basketball personality tendencies, capabilities, and talents. SO … Kobe has a killer instinct, Kobe is a great shooter, Kobe has a high basketball IQ, Kobe is the most talented player in history.
    Conclusion: give Kobe the ball in the final minutes and overtime – you can’t go wrong! Statistics are on his side!

  • http://LakersNation Marwan..

    Statistics dont mean anything. Stats showed last season that Lakers couldnt win the championship and they did. Thats one out of 10,000,000 cases where stats fail.

  • B Holland

    Kobe is the most clutch 15 feet and out. Lebron is technically the most clutch player even though I hate to admit it. He is more efficient. We remember kobe’s clutch shots but we forget the many times he misses.

    I am reminded of Ewing saying… “we make alot of money but we spend alot too”. Well for kobe it is He makes alot of shots because he shoots alot of shots.