It’s a debate as circular and weary as congressional budget battles (whichever party doesn’t have the president is suddenly filled with deficit hawks, not so much when there guy is in there).
Is Kobe Bryant clutch?
Other NBA players say yes. When polled by Sports Illustrated and asked to anonymously say who they would want taking the last shot, 74 percent of the 166 players surveyed said Kobe.
Followed by Kevin Durant (8 percent), Dwyane Wade (3 percent), Ray Allen and Dirk Nowitzki 2 percent each).
Knicks fans will note that Jared Jeffries and Bill Walker are not on this list.
We’ve been down the road before showing you numbers that say Kobe is not as clutch as you think he is. He hits a lot of key shots, but he takes and misses a lot more. But then you get into how to define clutch. And questions like does leading a team to rings count as clutch?
Circular argument. I’d rather watch him, and just enjoy what he brings. Because he is one of the all-time greats and we are not going to have him around to wow us that much longer.
Remember the debate last week about whether or not Kobe Bryant is clutch? With the numbers saying he and he Lakers are really just slightly above average in that situation?
Kobe’s been down that road before and had an answer when asked about it by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
“People kind of get bored with things that I’ve done, so they try to find new ones to talk about or try to find numbers to justify certain things,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday. “That’s what happens when you win. I remember Magic and Michael [Jordan] going through similar things. Hey, the talk before was that I couldn’t do it without Shaq. Well I did that. And then I did it again. Now it’s something else. They’re always going to come for something else.
“But I win. We win….”
“If somebody had their life on the line, and they’ve got their options on who they want to save their life – tell me who you’re going to pick?” Bryant asked. “You’re going to look at the stats first?”
I wouldn’t bet against Kobe in the clutch. It would be nice though if he got that shot out of an offensive set with screens and off-ball movement rather than in isolation shooting over three defenders.