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Michael Jordan: Game Winning Shots

Updated 1/6/2012

Ask most GMs, coaches, players or fans to name that single player throughout the course of NBA history that they would choose to take the last second shot in a playoff game, and the likely consensus would be Michael Jordan.

No single player has recorded more iconic moments. “The Shot” against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1989 served as the catalyst for a 10-year playoff run known as the “Jordan era”, while Michael Jordan’s game winning shot against the Utah Jazz in 1998 resulted in a storybook ending that helped the Chicago Bulls win their 6th and final championship. Jordan’s game winning/game tying shots have been indelibly etched into our consciousness and his name has essentially become synonymous with the word “clutch”.

However, has anyone actually accounted for both the makes and the misses? Do we really have an accurate understanding of how Michael Jordan has truly performed in playoff game winning/game tying shot situations with the game on the line?

The game winning/game tying shot is arguably the most clutch shot in basketball. While any other shot attempt during a game offers a player an opportunity for redemption in the case of a miss, the game winning/game tying is the most unforgiving, since unless a player’s team is tied, there are no second chances. Either the player makes the shot and succeeds, or he misses and fails. Its one shot for all the marbles, and the outcome can mean the difference between a crucial win or a loss. In the playoffs, this shot becomes even more consequential.

Earlier in the year, I wrote an article detailing each of Kobe Bryant’s playoff game winning/game tying shots in which he was 7/25 (28%). I then followed up with a second article by detailing each of LeBron James’ game winning/game tying shots in which he was 5/12 (41.7%). Naturally, we received several requests to also provide a similar breakdown for Michael Jordan.

Historically, Jordan’s metrics have not been as readily available since most of his playoff game winning/game tying shot attempts were done in the pre-internet era, or prior to today’s readily available play-by-play logs. As a result, our team had to conduct the analysis the old fashioned way – by watching the game tape, validating through box scores and recaps, and documenting each and every single playoff game winning/game tying shot attempt that Michael Jordan had taken  since 1985.

Therefore, without further adieu, below is a consolidated list of every game winning and game tying shot attempted by Michael Jordan throughout his playoff career. To define game winning/game tying shots, we uses the standard metric traditionally used by NBA coaches and GMs when scouting opposing teams – shot attempts made with the intent to either win or tie the game within the final 24 seconds, during which a player’s team is either tied or trails by three or fewer points – or in other words, a one-possession game.

The results show that Michael Jordan is 9/18 or 50.0%

Year Opponent Game Result Description
1985 Milwaukee Bucks 3 Make Jordan makes a game winning shot with 22 seconds left in regulation
1986 Boston Celtics 2 Miss Jordan misses a game winning shot with 4 seconds left in overtime
1989 Cleveland Cavaliers 4 Miss Jordan misses a game winning shot with 2 seconds left in regulation
1989 Cleveland Cavaliers 5 Make Jordan makes a potential game winner with 6 seconds left in regulation
1989 Cleveland Cavaliers 5 Make Jordan makes a game winning shot at the end of regulation
1989 Detroit Pistons 3 Make Jordan makes a game winning shot with 3 seconds left in regulation
1991 Los Angeles Lakers 1 Miss Jordan misses a game winning shot with 6 seconds left in regulation
1991 Los Angeles Lakers 3 Make Jordan makes a game tying shot with 3 seconds left in regulation
1992 Portland Trail Blazers 2 Miss Jordan misses a game winning shot with 2 seconds left in regulation
1993 Cleveland Cavaliers 4 Make Jordan makes a game winning shot at the end of regulation
1996 New York Knicks 3 Make Jordan makes a game tying shot with 19 seconds left in regulation
1996 New York Knicks 3 Miss Jordan misses a game winning shot at the end of regulation
1997 Washington Wizards 3 Miss Jordan misses a game winning shot with 11 seconds left in regulation
1997 Utah Jazz 1 Make Jordan makes a game winning shot at the end of regulation
1997 Utah Jazz 4 Miss Jordan misses a game tying shot with 10 seconds left in regulation
1998 Indian Pacers 4 Miss Jordan misses a game winning shot at the end of regulation
1998 Utah Jazz 5 Miss Jordan missess a game winning shot at the end of regulation
1998 Utah Jazz 6 Make Jordan makes a game winning shot win 5 seconds left in regulation

Some additional notes and observations:

  • Based upon our analysis of both Jordan and the modern day players of today’s NBA, Jordan’s 9/18 success rate is remarkably high, and far and away the best amongst active players. The best career success rate amongst current players belongs to Ray Allen who is 6/12.
  • Contrary to popular myth, Michael Jordan has indeed missed a game winning/game tying shot in the playoffs. In fact, the data shows that he has missed a total of 9.
  • Obviously, this resolves the Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan debate regarding game winning/game tying shot situations. Jordan is 9/18 (50%) while Bryant is 7/25 (28%).
  • Many Jordan fans will question why the 1997 “Flu Game” game winning shot is missing from this list. The answer is that Jordan made that shot with 25 seconds left on the clock,  missing the 24 second cutoff point in our analysis. In an effort to remain consistent with our prior analysis of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, this shot was excluded.
  • There were two instances in which Jordan made game winning/game tying free throws in a playoff game – 1986 vs. Celtics in OT of Game 2, and 1989 vs. Knicks in game 6. These instances were excluded from our list since our objective was to focus exclusively on game winning/game tying shots, not free throws.
  • With the exception of a driving bank shot against the Detroit Pistons in 1989 (Game 3), every single Michael Jordan playoff game winning/game tying shot attempt was a jumpshot.

 

 

Michael Jordan Clutch Game Winning Shots

Related posts:

  1. Sam Smith: The Indiana Pacers Should Have Had Michael Jordan (4/15/11)
  2. Kobe and the Clutch Playoff Performance Myth
  3. The Ball Don’t Lie, but Sometimes Stats Do
  4. Should Lebron James Be Considered A Legend?

Discussion

170 Responses to “Michael Jordan: Game Winning Shots”

  1. Great article. I truly enjoy reading your articles and I have no doubt that it took you a lot of time to gather all this information in order to write this article and I’m real glad that you did so. I must admit that I was a bit worried about MJ’s percentage of shots made in the clutch during the playoffs when I saw how low other player’s clutch percentages were but I shouldn’t have doubted his legacy especially when I’ve witnessed how deadly Jordan was in the clutch in the past. While I don’t mean to take anything away from LeBron James, this article goes to show that MJ could be heavily relied on to perform in the clutch whether he was driving to the hoop or shooting a jumpshot.
    “The Shot” is one of my favorite buzzer-beaters of all-time although I feel that many people tend to forget about it. Shame.

    Posted by Delta 87 | May 15, 2011, 12:18 pm
    • Thanks for the read Delta 87. I think that it is important to validate perceptions in the NBA and Jordan’s GW/GT shots are really more facts than they were stats. We always knew he was the best, but now we have a better understand of exactly how accurate he actually was. He wasn’t perfect, but far and away better than anyone who has played the game.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 2:37 pm
    • Jordan’s shots against Indiana and Utah, in 1998, were heaves from 40 feet out at the buzzer.

      Posted by Rex Waller | May 17, 2011, 8:35 am
      • So, taking that into consideration and also factoring in the Flu Game shot (which was clutch and can be counted), 10/15 66%.

        Of course Kobe and LBJ stats would have to be adjusted to account for true game winners and not just within 24 seconds. This brings judgement calls into account, so it might be somewhat less scientific that the article.

        Posted by j | June 7, 2011, 11:25 am
        • Several of Jordan’s most clutch moments aren’t even on this list. I would love to see this analysis expanded to include the entire last minute and to include assists/steals/turnovers and free throws. I’m positive this would make it even more clear that Jordan was incomparable.

          Posted by Norman | June 11, 2011, 4:09 pm
    • I really liked this article. I would have to say that Bill Russell is the GOAT. Stats don’t get it all but they help a lot. Still BILL RUSSELL all the way!

      Posted by Forget it | May 28, 2011, 8:54 pm
      • Thanks Forget It.

        Bill Russell was great, but I wouldn’t put him in the MJ category. Nonetheless, it’s great to see someone who appreciates one of the old school legends of the NBA.

        Posted by The NBA Realist | May 29, 2011, 5:53 pm
      • Yes Russell was an 11-time NBA champion and his team holds the record for the largest margin of victory, but to compare him to Michael Jordan is just obsurd. MJ led the league in scoring for 10 STRAIGHT years, is a 6-time finals MVP, is the all-time leader in scoring for the regular season and the playoffs and he even was the all-time leader in the all-star game until this year. Come on man no comparison.

        Posted by Douglas Cherry | March 6, 2012, 8:40 am
        • A couple of things to correct you on. Jordan is not the all-time leader in scoring. In fact, he’s third behind Kareem and Malone. At the time he retired, he was second.

          As for Finals MVP, the award wasn’t created until the year after Russell retired. Considering he went to 12 NBA Finals and won 11 of them, I think it’s safe to assume he would have won at least half of the MVP awards had it existed.

          Posted by James | March 7, 2012, 1:18 pm
    • If you take a closer look at MJ’s final shot, he straight up pushes Brian Russel out of the way to make clearance. Because he’s Michael Jordan, the offensive foul was never called.

      Posted by Douglas Cherry | March 6, 2012, 8:36 am
      • *Because he was a superstar, the offensive foul was never called. Wouldn’t have been called if any other superstar did it.

        Posted by Jake Lorton | April 28, 2012, 10:18 pm
      • if you have played basketball there is no way possible for him to push and crossover keep his balance then shoot the ball.. perception of whats seen is misleading. and no one is that strong.. sorry i have to disagree with logic and much playing experience.. look at the footage again..if you have any idea or knowledge of physics..its not possible..

        Posted by firehawk17 | December 30, 2012, 3:40 pm
        • Wrong. I only played ball at a very small junior college several years ago (not that you give crap) and have re-enacted this play many times with my brothers. This move is EASILY done with your left hand just prior to crossing over from right hand to left. I completely disagree. Plus, Dick Bavetta has verbally confirmed that MJ pushed off and that it indeed was an offensive foul. However, Bavetta swallowed his whistle so technically no offensive foul ever occurred.
          Not sure at all how physics is used in your hypothesis of the play.

          Posted by Brett W. | February 7, 2013, 9:45 pm
      • If you really watch the play, or “take a closer look”, you will notice that he doesn’t push off at all. Russel just falls all over himself because of the nasty crossover!

        Posted by Bray44 | March 4, 2013, 9:07 am
      • Actually no. Brian Russell was already off balanced, Jordan’s hand just happened to touch him. There was no physical push by MJ on the play.

        Posted by Troy Smith | March 21, 2013, 4:44 am
  2. With everything else aside, how ironic that you being your article by speculating that GMs/players/etc. would want jordan taking that last shot when you completely dismissed this argument when these same people prefer Kobe for the past 6 years or so, referring to these people as awful at their jobs and implying you are more of an nba expert than several NBA GMs. Your entitled to your opinion, but just be consistent in your arguments and treat every player the same, otherwise your opinions are completely bogus and worthless.

    Posted by boyer | May 15, 2011, 4:04 pm
    • Boyer, really not sure what you are getting at. You might want to re-read the article. I never once substantiated Jordan’s clutchness because of what the experts believed. I substiantiated it with facts and data (just as I did Kobe and Lebron) and in fact questioned the experts at the beginning of the article as to whether anyone had ever evaluated the evidence.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 4:09 pm
      • Re-read your first sentence there. Don’t just dismiss it, like you do with every other fact you choose to ignore, while only looking at the facts that will help your argument.

        Posted by boyer | May 16, 2011, 1:29 pm
        • Why don’t you read MORE than the first sentence instead:
          “Ask most GMs, coaches, players or fans to name that single player throughout the course of NBA history that they would choose to take the last second shot in a playoff game, and the likely consensus would be Michael Jordan.
          bla, bla
          HOWEVER,….”

          You Kobe homers are ridiculous (since from the level of intellect displayed in your post it’s fairly safe to assume you are one). Finally someone went to all this work to get a stat that everyone has been interested in for a long time and you nutbars find a way to whine even about that.

          Posted by bla | May 17, 2011, 6:47 am
        • Well, Boyer…a) He is correct in responding that he did not substantiate Jordan’s clutchness based on experts’ opinions, he simply expressed the widely-held opinion that was the impetus of beginning the research in the first place. You don’t just spontaneously decide to research something without having a reason or basis for doing so, and whether you like it or not, it’s not inconceivable to suggest that a majority of those experts may come to this conclusion.
          b) “Don’t just dismiss it, like you do with every other fact you choose to ignore”; putting aside that you are accusing him of ignoring “facts” when that first line is in no way presented as fact, the end result of the research clearly backs up the idea that those who may prefer a Kobe or LeBron to take that last shot would be choosing the statistically inferior option. Now there’s obviously a lot more than statistical analysis that goes into any sport, much less a game-winning situation, so there’s still a case to be made for going with Kobe. And you can even go even deeper and start picking and choosing specific years that maybe giving it up to Kobe would have been the better route. But with that you’re veering into the territory of opinion and speculation. Based solely on this one fact, Kobe isn’t even in contention.

          Posted by ChiTownSports9 | May 17, 2011, 4:27 pm
          • While what you are saying is true, I honestly believe if we were to gather every bit of stats,(Everything) Jordan would shame others. This article is just a bit of His greatness, if we went any further it would hurt people, DEEPLY!

            What’s understood don’t need to be explained…

            Posted by Nick Sylve | May 18, 2012, 11:35 am
        • Re-read YOUR last sentence: “just be consistent in your arguments”–but none of the arguments in the article included “Michael Jordan was the most clutch ever because GM/players/etc. would most want him to take a potentially game-winning shot.” This is NOT a persuasive essay–there ISN’T an argument made in the article itself–it is a descriptive essay, only a presentation of facts, which can form the basis of an argument. Highlighting the possible subjectivity of GM/player/etc. opinion on MJ’s clutchness served as a motivating introduction to the usefulness of the data presented.

          Posted by Jeremy Davis | February 3, 2012, 4:26 pm
  3. Thanks for the write up…there really never will be another MJ.

    GOAT

    Posted by Bruse Wayne | May 15, 2011, 4:36 pm
  4. Some kid is going to read archived articles like this and wonder why we ever compared Kobe with Jordan.

    Posted by Hero Miles | May 15, 2011, 8:35 pm
  5. Im surprised that he only took 18 Gw shots. I think that shows how dominant his teams were. He was rarely in that situation.

    Meanwhile Kobe has put up 24 such shots which might be some sort of indictment on its own.

    Posted by marparker | May 15, 2011, 9:54 pm
    • Actually, If you’ve ever watched any past Bulls games you will know that none of his championship teams were very stacked. Pippen was neither very dominant on offense nor was the clutch. He’s more about the intangibles, his defense and his teamwork. Along with this, MJ’s never played with any dominant bigman or post presence in his life. That’s why he had to dominate at an efficient 50 plus % rate from the field. Most of Jordan’s teams were also smaller than a lot of the competition or their front line was weaker. A good example is Luc Longley and an undersized Rodman, who although can rebound well, has absolutely no offense nor post presence.

      Kobe on the other hand has had the advantage of playing on much more stacked teams than Jordan ever had. First with Prime Shaq. Then his recent teams are ridiculously unfair with Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Artest. This is why Kobe’s Laker teams were still able to win even when Kobe often seems to disappear in so many series. Like he did vs Boston in the finals. He played horribly the whole series and did nothing in any 4th quarter, but Lakers still won cause they were so stacked. Same thing when the Rockets series went 7 and Kobe was shut down that entire series again.

      Jordan never had this benefit. Watch some classic Bulls games. And you’ll see what happens is Jordan already starts taking over the game in the 4th quarter to the point where they don’t always need the last second shot. Whereas Kobe often shoots his teams out of a lead with his misses, which leads to more last second shots than needed vs weaker competition. There’s really not even close between them.

      Posted by Eric | May 15, 2011, 11:05 pm
      • Yes, you’re right Eric. Kobe’s 29/8/4/2/1 stat line against Boston was absolutely atrocious. Maybe next time tell your beloved Gasol to show up on the road in Boston for once. (his historical stats are MUCH better at home) Not a great comparison also with the MJ teams and Kobe’s teams. MJ’s team were better constructed first of all. Fundamental problem is that Gasol and Bynum somewhat nullify each other when out on the court together. Artest still looks lost in the triangle. No reliable outside shooter and an old point guard who gives you nothing during the regular season. Not saying the Lakers aren’t talented, but sometimes talent isn’t everything.

        Posted by Brown Mamba | May 16, 2011, 10:57 pm
        • “MJ’s team were better constructed first of all. ”

          They were better constructed in the sense that they had Jordan instead of Kobe.
          Kobe had the perfect setup with dominating center or frontline for most of his career, leaving him the backcourt to rack up his stats at mediocre efficiency.

          Posted by bla | May 17, 2011, 6:51 am
      • Horace Grant was an All-Star and a four time (2nd Team) All-NBA defender. Toni Kukoc was 9x European player of the year before he came to the NBA, so he was essentially the best foreign player for a decade straight. In the NBA he was even voted 6th man of the year. Luc Longley sucked (I’ll give you him) but Dennis Rodman? He didn’t score BUT he rebounded at a rate that is unrivaled in NBA history. If you sort the TRB% (Total Rebound Pct%: Percentage of available rebounds a player grabs) of every player in NBA history per season from top to bottom, Rodman has the top 7 seasons…his three seasons with Chicago being 2, 6, and 7. EVER. This is in addition to being (my humble opionion) one of the 5 greatest post defenders EVER. he shut down Shaq regularly who is known by many as one of the most unstoppable forces the game has ever seen. Trash Kukoc, Longley and maybe even Grant. But don’t disrespect Rodman. He’s a Hall-Of-Famer for a reason.

        Posted by Chris | June 10, 2011, 11:36 am
      • Eric, what are you talking about, Kobe Bryant was the leagues best all around player (since 2000-01)the for the last two of the first three championships, and carried the team the last two (2002-03; 2003-04 seasons when Shaq was demanding a new deal)years with Shaq. As far as comparison with L. James, he has won two championships on the downside of his career without another HALL OF FAMER on his team. There is no GREAT PLAYER on either the team that destroyed the Magic or beat the Celtics. The GOAT MJ, and he is the G.O.A.T., lost until Scottie came and got to Star level, Magic Johnson the former Lakers G.O.A.T. never won without the 6x Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabar; LBJ has another HOF’er had one last year too the jury is out but so far it is 0 for 1, possibly 0 for 2 if Thunder or Spurs have any say.

        The fact that Kobe-Shaq could not co-exist was because the better all around basketball player was being asked to be second to the Big Dominant but less focused, less driven less committed player. Both Great, but Bryant is demonstratig who was greater.

        Lastly your 24 second comparions is unscientific in fact it is out right misleading to make your pre-determined point. My idea is last :10 seconds someone else’s is last :05 seconds someone else’s last shot period. But to not use FREE THROWS with the game on the line is a fraud.

        Oh, that Magic series 94-95, was that turnover to Nick Anderson with the game and the season on the line against the Magic considered clutch?

        Posted by HRS1 | June 3, 2012, 1:17 pm
      • Bryant horrible in the Celtics series? He average over 30 points per game. He played with role players who performed their role. No stars, Artest, no star, Odom, no star, Gasol, no star; certain no other HOF’ers like the great Scottie Pippen.

        Posted by HRS1 | June 3, 2012, 1:23 pm
    • Actually, If you’ve ever watched any past Bulls games you will know that none of his championship teams were very stacked. Pippen was neither very dominant on offense nor was the clutch. He’s more about the intangibles, his defense and his teamwork. Along with this, MJ’s never played with any dominant bigman or post presence in his life. That’s why he had to dominate at an efficient 50 plus % rate from the field. Most of Jordan’s teams were also smaller than a lot of the competition or their front line was weaker. A good example is Luc Longley and an undersized Rodman, who although can rebound well, has absolutely no offense nor post presence.

      Kobe on the other hand has had the advantage of playing on much more stacked teams than Jordan ever had. First with Prime Shaq. Then his recent teams are ridiculously unfair with Gasol, Bynum, Odom, Artest. This is why Kobe’s Laker teams were still able to win even when Kobe often seems to disappear in so many series. Like he did vs Boston in the finals. He played horribly the whole series and did nothing in any 4th quarter, but Lakers still won cause they were so stacked. Same thing when the Rockets series went 7 and Kobe was shut down that entire series again.

      Jordan never had this benefit. Watch some classic Bulls games. And you’ll see what happens is Jordan already starts taking over the game in the 4th quarter to the point where they don’t always need the last second shot. Whereas Kobe often shoots his teams out of a lead with his misses, which leads to more last second shots than needed vs weaker competition. There’s really not even close between them.

      Posted by Eric | May 15, 2011, 11:05 pm
    • Marparker – Thanks for the read:

      There are 2 reasons why MJ has fewer shots than Kobe:

      1.) Remember, Jordan played in only 13 playoff seasons. Lebron has already played in 8 and Kobe 15.
      2.) Jordan’s 6 championship teams had a point differential of approximately 9.5 points which is the largest of any championship dynasty and usually meant that the Bulls usually won by a sizable margin against their competition. Therefore, there were very few close, contested games that Jordan actually played in giving less opportunity for a game winning shot situation.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 16, 2011, 8:19 am
      • I couldn’t tell you how many, but there were also game winning shots made by guys like Paxton and Kerr. MJ trusted his team to shoot some of those shots. Before going to the Heat LeBron was the ONLY option for Cleveland. Kobe doesn’t seem to pass the ball a whole lot at the end of the game.

        Posted by Corey | May 19, 2011, 7:19 am
      • The first few rounds before the finals use to be only 5 games as well…A format I think they should consider going back to.

        Posted by izwel | May 19, 2011, 2:09 pm
    • MJ’s teams are dominant because of MJ.

      Posted by whiteLIE | May 17, 2011, 4:52 pm
  6. Why should the ball that slipped out of his hand not be counted as a shot? Surely the purpose of the exercise is to compare how great players have performed in pressure situations. While the slipped ball was indeed not a “shot”, it certainly didn’t help his team win the game, and therefore should still be counted as a failed “game-winning” attempt.

    Posted by Luke | May 15, 2011, 10:13 pm
    • Luke – For the same reason that we did not include the two instances in which Jordan hit the game winning Free throws (in which Jordan would have had a clean path to the basket and scored if not fouled) – this exercise was about game winning shots.

      Moreover, during the instance in which the ball slipped from Jordan’s hands, it actually landed in Pippens hands and he scored on a driving layup. There was no turnover.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 10:20 pm
  7. Realist — would be interested in knowing what MJ’s overall win % is in all of these games together, i.e., I think you’ll find that the gap between him and Kobe closes quite significantly (vs. the 50%-26% picture you’ve painted). For example, an analysis of Kobe’s games – which I did earlier here – showed that his team won roughly 60% of those games.

    Posted by Brown Mamba | May 15, 2011, 10:14 pm
    • Brown Mamba – I am really not sure what the correlation is between wins and success in game winning/game tying shots. For example, a player can miss a game winning/game tying shot, go into overtime and have their teammates bail them out. Similarly, they could just as easily lose.

      The game winning/game tying metric is about successes and failures at the highest moment of clutch with the game on the line and the events that occur independent of that shot are really mutually exclusive.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 10:27 pm
      • The correlation, is, that while the game winning shot is an interesting stat, what we really care about are Ws and Ls. Your article would seem to imply that Jordan is significantly more clutch than Kobe b/c his shooting percentage in the GW/GT metric is much higher. I would say, it’s the results that should draw more focus in those games rather than one shot. Kobe has shown a remarkable ability (especially with his 70% winning rate in his last 10 GW/GT games) to, regardless of what happens with the last shot, will his team overall to victory.

        Posted by Brown Mamba | May 16, 2011, 7:45 am
        • Mamba – Your logic is extremely flawed. The GW/GT shot is a moment in itself. What happens before, or evern after in overtime, is not influenced by what happens during the GW/GT shot situation.

          A player could miss a GW shot and then come back in a 5 min overtime with a clutch performance when there was less pressure and more margin for error.. However, while the player was not clutch in the GW/GT shot, he was clutch in OT – but not in the GW/GT shot.

          Similarly, an player could make a GT shot but disappear in OT. It would therefore be fair to say that they were clutch in GT shots, but not clutch in OT.

          There are instances where Kobe has missed the GT shot, performed below average in OT, and his teams still win. What happens before or after is a different moment and the purpose of this exercise is to show Jordan’s performance in the most clutch moments of a game – the GW/GT shot.

          By your logic, we might as well point to the fact that Jordan has 6 rings and kobe has 5 as the ultimate success in GW/Gt shots. You can aslo assume the fact that Derrick Fisher is more clutch that Michael Jordan? There is no domino effect if you are looking for one.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | May 16, 2011, 8:25 am
        • Mamba, I understand you’re a huge Kobe fan but this is really an incredibly tortured argument. There is a negative correlation between missing a game-winning J and winning a game. We agree on this I hope? Sometimes a player will miss a game-winning J and his team will still win the game, but to attribute this to the player who caused his team to be more likely to lose is ludicrous. Unless Kobe has some special magic dust that causes his missed shots to bounce off his opponents’ knees and into his teammates’ arms, we’ve got to chalk those 40% of games that the Lakers win despite Kobe’s late-game gaffes as team victories but not individual victories. Kobe doesn’t get bonus points for Ron Artest or Pau Gasol put-backs any more than MJ would get bonus points for Pippen or Rodman put-backs. “Willing” your team to victory requires you to take full advantage of your opportunities to win games, and Kobe doesn’t do that.

          Posted by Lochpster | May 16, 2011, 10:10 pm
          • Guys — I think you’re missing my point. My point is that the ends justify the means in any clutch situation. What you are optimizing for is victories, not FG percentage.

            Now Lochpster, you can argue that missing a game winning J is negatively correlated with winning a game, but surprisingly in Kobe’s case, this is not the case. I guess you could say this is luck, but you could say the same thing when evaluating a sample size of 18 with MJ, no? My own theory: (1) Kobe tends to draw an inordinate amount of attention which has freed his teammates up for their own putback gamewinners and (2) in tied situations, Kobe has led the Lakers to an OT win. Regardless, he has gotten the job done, just like he did last year in Game 7 against the Celtics when he finished the 4th quarter with 10 points and 4 boards (despite people still criticizing him today for having an awful game).

            Lastly, for Realist, I realize you’re trying to look at the GW/GT metric in isolation in analyzing “clutchness”. I’m just saying this is a misleading data point b/c ultimately, I don’t care whose FG% is higher in these situations, I care about what teams win.

            So yes, it is somewhat about the most important stat: winning and rings which is why I feel like Kobe needed to win 7. Unfortunately for me, that looks like it probably won’t happen.

            Lochpster — for more on this subject, you can also read my post: http://chasing23.com/the-ball-dont-lie-but-sometimes-stats-do/

            Posted by Brown Mamba | May 16, 2011, 10:52 pm
        • I think that you have gone completely insane. You and “Whatever” should talk about this some more during Luol Deng’s HOF acceptance speech.

          Posted by Chauncey Gandus | May 16, 2011, 10:57 pm
        • what the hell are you talking about? isn’t “game winning shot” a final enough term for you? Just count the shots that went in (AND THEY WON THE GAME) and the shots that missed (AND THEY LOST) for MJ and all the players you did. then just add another category for games that go into OT.Doesn’t matter if they won or lost after, if the dude misses the shot to force OT then they lose!
          What we really care about is W’s and L’s? THAT’S why its called GAME WINNING Shot. winning rate my a ss, so kobe benefits from horry’s game winning shot against sactO because of your skewed win% share?

          what are you smoking anyway?

          Posted by kobeisnothingw/outshaq&gasol | May 25, 2011, 3:03 pm
  8. There is no way in God’s earth those stats for Jordan are right.

    Lebron already has 12 attempts and Kobe has 23.

    There is no way possibly Jordan would only have 18 attempt through out his career in the last 24 seconds of a one possession game.

    That statistics is wrong, period.

    Posted by Truth | May 15, 2011, 10:36 pm
    • Truth – They are correct, but I encourage you to challenge my data with facts.

      There are 2 reasons why MJ has fewer shots than Kobe:

      1.) Remember, Jordan played in only 13 playoff seasons. Lebron has already played in 8 and Kobe 15.
      2.) Jordan’s 6 championship teams had a point differential of approximately 9.5 points which is the largest of any championship dynasty and usually meant that the Bulls usually won by a sizable margin against their competition. Therefore, there were very few close, contested games that Jordan actually played in giving less opportunity for a game winning shot situation.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 15, 2011, 10:46 pm
  9. What about 1998 Round 1 Game 1 vs the Nets? MJ stole the ball from Kittles, drove and dunked over Kendall Gill on the other end. I could have sworn the game was tied at that point.

    Posted by Adam | May 15, 2011, 10:54 pm
    • Great memory Adam. It was a tied game in OT and Jordan did steal the ball and dunked for an And 1. But the score happened at around the 40 sec mark. So I guess it doesn’t count for this article. Still a clutch play though on both ends.

      Posted by Eric | May 16, 2011, 12:06 am
  10. Again, not apples-to-apples.

    Jordan’s shots were not Kobe’s shots were not Lebron’s shots. Not even roughly.

    My 7th grade cousin got an A in math. My other 9th grade cousin got a B in math at a different school. One got a better grade than the other, that is indisputable, and that is a “fact”. But which one is better at math?

    Posted by Gil Meriken | May 16, 2011, 12:11 am
    • Thanks for the read Gil. I am curious as to what was drastically different between Jordan and Kobe’s shots other than the ability for one to get a better look than the other.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 16, 2011, 8:31 am
      • Try the fact that anyomne even looking at Jordan was accerss a foul. Or the fact that jordan could push you away and still get the shot off without any call. Kobe does not get Dwade calls hell, Lebrick doesnot even get dwade or jordan calls, thats the difference. When everone loves you, you get away with more. thats the why this is not an apples to apples comparison. jordan is the goat but Kobe has more skills, you decide which one you want, both are great as well as Lebrick.

        Posted by Q | May 16, 2011, 10:19 am
        • When people say more skills they never elaborate. It’s always a generic statement with no foundation. What skills are you talking about?

          Shooting? MJ shot 50% for his entire career. Kobe has never gotten over 47% for any season. Even if you want to go so far as to say Kobe is a better “outside” shooter (implying 3 point shooting) I would respond by saying that’s because he lacked the skill or ability to get consistently better shots like MJ did. Moving off the ball, using screens and playing in the post.

          Passing? MJ averaged more assists and had just as many if not more “spectacular” passes in his career

          Defense? MJ was a much better defender than Kobe (but that doesn’t mean Kobe isn’t good).

          And to your lower comment about “81 points, nuff said!” I always find it fitting that people point to 1 or 2 games of Kobe’s career as bullet points on their positions. While people use entire seasons as proof of MJ’s dominance. You throw up 81 points in 1 game. And I throw up 3,000+ points in one season (only MJ and Wilt did). You throw up his 4 50+ pt games in the regular season and I throw up MJ’s back to back 50 pt games in the playoffs (something only MJ has done).

          I would just love for someone to define “skill” when they reference it.

          Posted by Adam | May 16, 2011, 11:17 am
          • Skills are not defined by your in-game stats.

            Skills are actual tangible things, like footwork, shooting form, quickness, versatility in ways to score … you may say that all you care are about the results, but the results will be seen as a team, not in individual stats, which are a flawed indicator of what it takes to win games. If the goal of an individual player was to get the best stats possible, that might make sense. But it’s not. You can actually get the best individual stats possible for yourself and still hurt the team. Somehow people don’t seem to grasp this concept.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 16, 2011, 11:22 am
          • Well you certainly explained what he meant when he said “skills”. Even so, quickness, footwork, shooting form (although I don’t think that should count because it’s a results driven item, despite what you may say. You can have an ugly form, as long as you shoot well, and consistently – who cares), and versatility.

            We could go item by item and show that Kobe, by those definitions of “skills”, didn’t outperform MJ. MJ was quicker, had a great shooting form, possessed excellent footwork (especially in the post), and scored in a myriad of ways.

            But you seem to want to imply that my view is only about individual statistics. It’s not and it’s sad you imply I don’t grasp the “selfishness” aspect of trying to accumulate godly individual stats while hurting your team.

            But then again, you were reading my reply to someone else’s statements. Someone who thought “81 points, nuff said!” would suffice as a counter-argument. Because even if you discount the intangibles and only consider individual statistics – MJ still outperformed Kobe.

            These were my points to him: 1) Define and explain “skills” 2) MJ’s statistics are better than Kobe’s

            I should point out, so people don’t get the wrong idea, that I’m a huge Kobe fan and in no way think he “sucks”. He’s a tremendous player with great ability. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to look past his faults – just as I wouldn’t look past MJ’s fault – if that topic were to surface.

            Posted by Adam | May 16, 2011, 11:51 am
          • MJ also had much bigger hands, which let him handle the ball more solidly, finish from more angles, and certainly helped on defense.

            I just don’t much stock into the widely used basketball individual statistics (they’re more “primitive” than they are “advanced”).

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 16, 2011, 1:49 pm
          • Unfortunately there is at least one statistic that will always be a factor. Field Goal Percentage.

            Being able to make your shots at a high efficiency rate is important. MJ shot (as a Bull) 51.5%fg. And 49.7% for his career. Kobe has been at 45% his entire career. Efficiency, in any era, is always a good statistic – even if you hate them.

            Posted by Adam | May 16, 2011, 4:47 pm
          • Really? FG%? That’s about the most contextual statistic you can use. And that’s the one that’s most influenced by game theory.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 16, 2011, 9:35 pm
          • Sorry meant to reply to it here (not below as I did)

            No it’s not. It’s straight forward. Makes divided by total attempts. Kobe misses more than half his shots. MJ made more than half his shots (at least as a Bull). Regardless of what you want to believe, efficiency matters. It’s the least subjective statistic. Especially when people bring up “footwork, quickness, shooting form”, etc.

            Posted by Adam | May 17, 2011, 1:21 am
          • MVP + Defensive Player of the Year.. Scoring and Defense…MJ

            Posted by Rex fernandez | May 18, 2011, 2:48 am
        • Jordan may have gotten more fouls, but he played in a much different time in the NBA, a much more physical NBA. Further, hand-checks were allowed during MJ’s era, meaning that defenders could keep him in check (or try to) by getting a hand on him as he drove the lane. Now-a-days that’s a foul, and therefore it is MUCH easier for the players of this era to operate…why do you think all of the PG’s in the league are becoming such great scorers (DRose, Westbrook, etc.) b/c they can drive the lane w/o getting hand checked.

          Posted by Luke | May 16, 2011, 11:19 am
          • Luke, make sure to cover everything as well, not just handchecks. Back in the 80s, they had on average 20-25 more possessions/team/game, so naturally, many more opportunities to score.

            Also, teams are much more defensive minded today, the average nba player today is ridiculously better and more athletic than 20 years ago, and scoring averages per player and per team are way down today than during most of jordan’s day. Many things to consider. Overall, it was much easier to score in jordan’s day than today. Look at all the facts, not just some of the facts, like nbarealist does.

            Posted by boyer | May 16, 2011, 1:35 pm
          • Let me help educate you Boyer:

            1.) In 2011, the average number of possessions was 92.1. During the 13 seasons that Jordan played in the NBA (1980s-1990s), the average number of possessions per 48 minutes was 96.9, or only 4.8 possessions more.. Moreover, during Jordan’s 6 championship seasons (91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 98), it was 93.9, or only 1.8 possessions more. So contrary to your assumption, there were not 20-25 more possessions per game.

            2.) The average EFG% is 2011 was 49.8%. In fact, in 2010, it was 50.1% and in 2009, 50.0%.

            During Jordan’s 13 seasons, it was 49.0%.

            3.) The average TS% in 2011 was 54.3%. During the Jordan era, is was 53.1% (a full percent in TS% which is quite significant)

            The only thing that is slight higher in the Jordan era is the ppg (100 in 2011 vs. 105 during 13 seasons Jordan player, and 101 ppg during the 6 championship seasons) which is indicative of the pace in which there were more slightly more possessions. More possessions means more shots which means more points. So yes, there were more points scored per game. However, scoring was definitely not “easier” as evidenced by the lower shooting percentages in the 80s and 90s. It simply took more shots the get the same number of points.

            Posted by The NBA Realist | May 16, 2011, 3:33 pm
        • No it’s not. It’s straight forward. Makes divided by total attempts. Kobe misses more than half his shots. MJ made more than half his shots (at least as a Bull). Regardless of what you want to believe, efficiency matters. It’s the least subjective statistic. Especially when people bring up “footwork, quickness, shooting form”, etc.

          Posted by Adam | May 17, 2011, 1:20 am
      • What’s drastically different? Where to start? How about their uniforms, for one. Then, let’s ask if the defense can legally shade toward or double-team a guy without the ball. Then let’s see if the offensive player can hand-check the defensive player right back. What about the particular skills of the teammates? Is there anyone else who can create off the dribble? Is there a deadly three point shooter on the floor to keep the defense honest? What are the defensive skills of the average defender? That’s just a start.

        Posted by Gil Meriken | May 16, 2011, 9:39 pm
        • Are you saying that Kobe missed all those shots because he wasn’t wearing a Bulls uniform and was double teamed when he didn’t have the ball? :)

          Posted by The NBA Realist | May 16, 2011, 11:06 pm
      • MJ is the best at creating space to get a good look at the basket. Kobe admitted to copying his moves. You can say MJ also copied his idols but he was better at it coz he made the shots. End of story.

        Posted by whiteLIE | May 17, 2011, 5:00 pm
  11. 81 points, nuff said! You can make all the arguments you want, fact is no one other than Wilt accomplished that.

    Posted by Q | May 16, 2011, 10:20 am
    • The fact is that Kobe once missed 30 shots in one game and went 17/47 from the floor.

      That must have been the biggest ball-hogging show ever.

      That’s probably also something that no one other than Wilt accomplished. :)

      Posted by Doosiolek | May 18, 2011, 5:30 am
  12. I don’t understand how there are still those out there who feel Kobe is better or more skilled than Jordan was.

    KOBE SAID JORDAN WAS BETTER. He said it himself! He went as far to say “Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from him”. For the love of god, let it go.

    Posted by JWiLL | May 16, 2011, 4:49 pm
    • JWill – Thanks for the read. I completely agree with you. In many ways, everyone has been looking for the “next” Jordan and it has been somewhat unfair on Kobe to have fill those big shoes.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 16, 2011, 11:02 pm
  13. JWill,
    you see Kobe Nation is like an angry women…when girlfriend spazzes out on you for no reason and you are there trying to use reason & correlation of events that might have lead to such an outburst, you should just smack yourself in the face. You see, what you must accept is that you’re using too much sense, so you must remove that (sense) from the equation and then just maybe you might begin to understand the befuddlement that is Kobe Nation members.

    Never mind that Jordan has made 2,480 more SHOTS! than Kobe Byrant while both having the same about of seasons (up to now for Kobe). Let me put it this way, it would take almost 3 or more (based on kobe’s declining speed & average of shots made) seasons for Kobe to pass Jordan in shots made while playing in less games (31) Astounding FACT!

    In Jordan’s 15 seasons he scores less than 2,000 points just 4 times. In Kobe’s 15 seasons how many seasons has he scored 2,000 or more points? Only 7

    Guess who else has 7? Lebron James, you know that guy that sucks so much he has earned the name LeBrick! so much for bricking.

    Kobe is has never shot better than 46%, whilst Jordan shot 47% or better in 10 of his 15 seasons, the list could go on and on and on but you know, this is Kobe Nation.

    so in closing I have one last statement for Kobe Nation “you are entitled your own opinion but not your own facts”

    Posted by AADuflauss | May 16, 2011, 9:01 pm
    • Just proof read what I wrote….absolutely astounding how many errors were in that….hehehe

      JWill,
      you see Kobe Nation is like an angry woman…when your girlfriend spazzes out on you for no reason and you are there trying to use reason & correlation of events that might have lead to such an outburst, you should just smack yourself in the face. You see, what you must accept is that you’re using too much sense, so you must remove that (sense) from the equation and then just maybe you might begin to understand the befuddlement that is Kobe Nation members.

      Never mind that Jordan has made 2,480 more SHOTS! than Kobe Byrant while both having played the same about of seasons (up to now for Kobe). Let me put it this way, it would take almost 3 or more (based on Kobe’s declining speed & average of shots made) seasons for Kobe to pass Jordan in shots made while playing in less games (31) Astounding FACT! In fact that number is only going to rise next season.

      In Jordan’s 15 seasons, he scored less than 2,000 points just 4 times. In Kobe’s 15 seasons how many seasons has he scored 2,000 or more points? Only 7

      Guess who else has 7? Lebron James, you know that guy that sucks so much he has earned the name LeBrick! so much for bricking.

      Kobe has never shot better than 46%, whilst Jordan shot 47% or better in 10 of his 15 seasons, the list could go on and on and on but you know, this is Kobe Nation.

      so in closing I have one last statement for Kobe Nation “you are entitled your own opinion but not your own facts”

      Posted by AADuflauss | May 16, 2011, 9:06 pm
  14. “Skills are actual tangible things, like footwork, shooting form, quickness, versatility in ways to score … you may say that all you care are about the results, but the results will be seen as a team, not in individual stats, which are a flawed indicator of what it takes to win games. If the goal of an individual player was to get the best stats possible, that might make sense. But it’s not. You can actually get the best individual stats possible for yourself and still hurt the team. Somehow people don’t seem to grasp this concept.”

    Somehow you still haven’t grasped the concept that what you do stat wise in a game contributes to the final score. You can argue that not everything is measured, but don’t keep spewing your nonsense here about how stats aren’t relevant.

    Posted by Bill | May 17, 2011, 10:00 am
  15. “Jordan’s shots were not Kobe’s shots were not Lebron’s shots. Not even roughly.”

    These aren’t role players on their teams who are looking for someone else to create for them. These are all star players who everyone is keying in on for the GW.

    It’s just laughable how you explain away Kobe’s fg% here.

    Posted by Bill | May 17, 2011, 10:08 am
  16. “What’s drastically different? Where to start? How about their uniforms, for one. Then, let’s ask if the defense can legally shade toward or double-team a guy without the ball. Then let’s see if the offensive player can hand-check the defensive player right back. What about the particular skills of the teammates? Is there anyone else who can create off the dribble? Is there a deadly three point shooter on the floor to keep the defense honest? What are the defensive skills of the average defender? That’s just a start.”

    The funny thing is, Kobe Bryant has played with teammates who can keep defenders honest for most of his career. So if you’re looking to play the “Kobe shoots it because his teammates aren’t crappy” card, you’ll get laughs from the rest of everyone here.

    Also, Kobe compared to the rest of the league isn’t blowing anyone away. So stop it with the league era argument. I would think that MJ was among the best in the league he played in, which had handchecking and didn’t really enforce illegal defense rules.

    Posted by Bill | May 17, 2011, 10:19 am
  17. Great article!

    I knew MJ shot at around .500 in this type of situations, but thanks to you I know for sure.

    And if I was behaving like the “Kobe Nation” do I would say that out of the last 3 shots that Jordan missed, the last one was an absolutely desperate shot that had no chance at all of going in.

    The previous shot (G4 @IND ’98) was pretty close to a desperate shot.

    The shot before (G4 @UTA ’97) might not be desperate, but was a tough shot for sure.

    And Kobe Nation would say also this “Are you out of your mind? How can you count the shot against the Celtics? MJ scored 63 that game. Wasn’t he clutch??? 63 points, a playoff record, nuff said!”.

    Posted by doosiolek | May 17, 2011, 10:24 am
    • Doosiolek – Thanks for the read and appeciate the kudos. You pretty much hit the nail on the Kobe Nation rhetroic. When presented with indusputable facts, there is a tendancy for the opposition to try and change the argument. “What? Are you saying that Kobe isn’t clutch? What about his 4th quarter against Indiana” is common.

      I recognize that the last 2 shots that Jordan missed were prayers. However, if we counted them for Kobe and Lebron, we need to count them for Jordan as well. My goal in this exercise was objectivity. Also, as far as I’m concerned, almost all NBA superstars are tasked with “prayers” so as far as I am concerned, they even out. Regardless, the disparity should not be a surprise to anyone.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 17, 2011, 2:38 pm
  18. Thanks, great stats.

    Just another argument for not comparing Kobe to Michael. Had Michael not taken his 2-year “baseball break” and management not dismantled the Bulls after the last championship, they would have won at minumum, 4 more championships. Kobe doesn’t even come close.

    Posted by AJK | May 17, 2011, 10:38 am
    • Thanks for the read AJK as well as the kind words.

      I will take your comments a step further. Had Jordan not spent his first 7 years in Alcatraz playing with starting lineups that consisted of Earl Cureton, Granville Waiters, Steve Colter, and Charles Oakley – and instead played with championship caliber teams, I would venture to say that he would have won even more.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 17, 2011, 2:43 pm
    • MJ never lost at the big stage. 6 finals = 6 championships. Kobe? Lost to the Pistons and the Celtics although he has more Finals appearances.

      It is intereesting to note that MJ’s championship teams DO NOT HAVE DOMINANT BIG MEN . Kobe had Shaq,Gasol and to a degree Bynum.

      Look at the past NBA championships and look at how many of them had not all-star big men but dominant big-men.

      Lebron tried it in ’07. The Heat trying it this year.

      Posted by whiteLIE | May 17, 2011, 5:06 pm
  19. Will you make a similar article about Playoff GW shot for other players like Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant etc.?

    That would be awesome.

    Posted by Alen | May 17, 2011, 4:19 pm
  20. man, anyone even suggesting kobe is close to jordan is mentally ill. kobe doesn’t even belong in the GOAT discussion, and MJ is the GOAT.

    it really doesn’t matter what proof you try to use. the stats are in jordan’s favour. as are the opinions of players and hall of famers, who actually PLAYED against them, unlike anyone of us who are just sitting at home. the rings will most likely be in jordan’s favour. and kobe rode with the most dominant centre in the modern NBA, POST PRESENCE, jordan never had it. he had a top 50, but was the team’s leader.

    and if anyone goes by ‘skills’, kobe learned pretty much every fucking move he has from jordan.

    please dont suggest this is a tougher era either, jordan’s body took much more of a beating, yet he didn’t suffer to many injuries.

    and finally jordan’s basketball IQ. how many stupid shots has kobe taken? seriously we all know kobe isn’t dumb, prob a basketball genius, but he has trust issues, def not as much now, but he has shot his team into games and out of them with his shot selection.

    only legit argument that can be made is kobe>lebron, which is without a doubt correct career and legacy wise, but lebron has been better (for a while).

    btw i love kobe, i study his game, but cmon guys stop the favourtism. i grew up watching kobe play, yet watching jordan’s tapes he is without a doubt better.

    Posted by mzez | May 17, 2011, 8:22 pm
  21. just found this site btw, nice stuff ya got here :)

    Posted by mzez | May 17, 2011, 8:23 pm
  22. WHITELIE is right. I recently went through the rosters of every NBA championship team back to the late 1950s and found that only 6 championships have been won without at least a very good big man.
    Most teams had a hall of fame center in their prime. Most of the rest had a current all star center or power forward. The remaining 3 to 5 teams were covered by a C or PF who was the finals mvp, the team’s leading scorer, or the rookie of the year.
    The 6 exceptions to the rule are all 6 of Jordan’s championships. Rodman was past his prime and was useless offensively at that point in his career and Grant was not an all star in any of the championship years.
    Also, no player in NBA history has won a championship without another very good teammate. Rick Barry is the only possible exception with his 1975 Golden state warriors team, but even he had Jamaal Wilkes(the rookie of the year mentioned above) who would make the all star team the next year.
    Kobe never made it out of the first round alone(remember how bad the Lakers were before Gasol?) Wade never made it out of the first round since Shaq left until this year with Lebron. Olajuwon, Wilt, Oscar, Kareem, and everybody else all failed to win a championship until they got a star teammate.

    Posted by TARGAR | May 18, 2011, 2:53 am
  23. Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year in a same season.

    Nuff said…..

    Posted by rex fernnadez | May 18, 2011, 2:59 am
  24. I just can’t be more complimentary about this series of articles. They are very well thought out and clear in terms of presenting data without bias or wild unsubstantiated conclusions. There’s so much ridiculous rhetoric on this website that I want to add one statistic that I, personally, think completely ends the Kobe vs MJ argument as far as clutch shooting. Kobe’s total “clutch” shooting statistic is 36/115 or 31%, while MJ shot 33/58 or 57% in these situations. The most common statistical way to compare two sets of similar data is a independent sample t-test. When we use this method to compare the two data sets, we come up with a p value of 0.001, which means that there is about a 0.1% chance that MJ is not actually a better clutch shooter than Kobe based on this data. And that’s a 1/1000 chance not that Kobe’s a better shooter but rather a 1/1000 chance that they’re similar clutch shooters-the odds of Kobe actually being the better clutch shooter based on this data is effectively zero. Since the standard cutoff for most scientific studies is 0.05, and the cutoff for the most unlikely hypotheses is generally 0.01, even the most skeptical scientist or mathematician looking at this data would be forced to say there is virtually no doubt that MJ is a superior clutch shooter than Kobe. The only way this could reasonably be disputed would be to say that the two samples are too different to make the data meaningful. However, the situations incredibly similar in most aspects-sport, game situation, player creating his own shot, time on the clock, player position, and statistic measured. The main variables are the player’s teammates and opponents with a slight difference in era, which are variables regardless of which statistic you use. If you refuse to accept this statistical analysis based on these slight differences, you reasonably have to disregard every other statistic as well, including total wins/championships and 81 point games, since these same confounding variables exist with any statistical comparison you can make. So the options, Kobe nation, are basically a) admit MJ is a better clutch shooter and find a new topic or b) continue to flail, come up with meaningless ad hoc explanations like Kobe being more skilled or cold-blooded (whatever those mean) or willing his team to victory by somehow winning in situations in which he plays horribly (Few things are intellectually lazier than using team stats for player comparisons. A player maximizes his own potential in a game and relies on his team to do the same.) or being a winner (in which case he still falls miserably short of Jordan). MJ is a better clutch shooter than Kobe Bryant-this is a statistical FACT that is no longer debatable.

    Posted by Lochpster | May 18, 2011, 8:16 pm
    • Hi Lochpster, you are comparing apples and oranges.

      Kobe’s 36/115 is related to GW/GT shots while MJ’s 33/58 stands for game-winners only.

      Also this data is not accurate as MJ missed more than 25 of these shots. In a ’97 or ’98 commercial Jordan says he missed 26 game-winning shots alone, but you have to remember that he still played from 2001 to 2003 missing few more GW shots.

      Also MJ’s official number of game-winners made is 28 (6 of which are GW free-throws).

      So he is probably more like 22/53 which is still great, but the fact is that no accurate data can be found on the internet to make a valid comparison between him and Kobe in that regard.

      Fortunately thanks to The NBA Realist and this excellent site we can at least compare both players’ clutchness in playoff games and ultimately legends are born in playoffs, not in regular season.

      Posted by doosiolek | May 19, 2011, 12:10 am
    • Thanks Lochpster – I have always been fascinated with some of the “myths” in the NBA, and one of them was around Jordan’s GW shots. I am fairly positive that very few people actually remembered any of the 7 misses. However, now we have an accurate, true, and fair understanding how he performed in those situations.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 20, 2011, 10:45 am
  25. Is there a chance you could perform this analysis for Reggie Miller? I can think of 8 shots off the top of my head that he hit in the playoffs, though they may not all qualify due to the 24 sec. rule.

    1995 Game 1 vs Knicks
    1995 Game 4 vs Magic
    1998 Game 4 vs Knicks
    1998 Game 4 vs Bulls
    2001 Game 1 vs 76ers
    2002 Game 5 vs Nets-regulation
    2002 Game 5 vs Nets-OT
    2004 Game 1 vs Pistons

    I think he may give Jordan a run for his money!

    Posted by Chris | May 19, 2011, 9:31 am
  26. Where Can i find a list with GW-shots from LBJ, Wade, Melo etc?

    Posted by A.T | May 19, 2011, 4:50 pm
  27. Terrific article that outlines the statistical difference between MJ and some of the modern day superstars. There are a few points here for mention other than the statistical difference between MJ and those stars, namely Kobe.

    1. The argument that kobe is preference from some GM’S and coaches over MJ take the final shot is incorrectly understood. What most these GM’s state is that they would rather kobe taking a tougher shot than MJ in that kobe has a greater knack of hitting tough late game winning shots. Which in a way is true, however, one of the attributes of being a ‘clutch’ player is being able to make the game easier and getting off the the shot you WANT, rather than the shot the defence give you. Therefore Jordan is much better at making the game easier, making better decisions and getting off an easier shot. We saw it this year in that Kobe had to work extremely hard for his points, where as MJ learnt how to make the game easier. Tex Winter said himself: “Kobe probably has the greatest basketball IQ of any player i’ve coached, but he doesn’t always show it on the court”.

    2. The difference in attempts between kobe and MJ is 7 in Kobe’s favour which seems a little surprising. However, for real statisticians and old MJ fans out there will point out to MJ’s ability to shoot a much higher % than Kobe in 4th quarters. Kobe has a tendency to chuck up shots when he feels his team is in need of his scoring and 4th quarter stats show he is far from an efficient scorer in the clutch. This difference allowed MJ’s bulls to close out games much for effectively and avoid situations in which your star has to take game winning shots. We talk about rebounds, hustle and effort being the differences in playoffs games…well efficient shooting is just as important and it allows the team close out the game before it can get to a game tying/winning play at the end.

    3. 3 point shooting. Kobe is a better 3 point shooter and has greater range. But this is actually works AGAINST him and the Lakers as we saw, mostly this year, Kobe pulling up from in between the half way line and 3 point line. I never saw MJ take such a low % shot in a clutch moment when theres been a clear out for him and his team is in need of a basket. We’ve seen kobe hit these shots from time to time but i would love for someone to take a stat of these shots and i bet you they are somewhere between 15 20% success rate.

    Overall MJ was a much more efficient and effective scorer in the clutch. He took and make higher % shots, he made better decisions and made shots prior to that to close out a game to prevent the game going into such a situation…

    I guess we’ll have to wait until phil writes his final book in which he discusses what he REALLY thinks of Kobe..

    Until then….

    Posted by mohamed | May 19, 2011, 8:39 pm
    • I’m not even willing to give 3 point shooting to Kobe. Yes, the stats say that Kobe is a better 3 point shooter. But I believe (and yes only a belief) that if jordan wanted to, he would be a better 3 point shooter than Kobe.

      For those of us that were around for Jordan’s championship years, you might recall the ’92 finals against the blazers. The media hyped the Jordan vs Drexler comparison. And the one edge they gave to Clyde, was three point shooting. Uh … Jordan decided to go out and break a finals record with 6 first half three pointers. He coulda had 12, if the game wasnt such a blowout.

      Plain and simple, if you told Jordan someone was better than him at anything, he would go prove you wrong. I have never seen anything like it. And for those that didn’t get the chance, study that man. He is truly the GOAT in any sport.

      Posted by Mistere | January 17, 2012, 10:00 am
      • …yeah and if Kobe *wanted* to beat Jordan at FG %, he would easily do it too, right? And I’m sure if Jordan *wanted* to win 8 rings in a row he could have, but because he didn’t want to, Hakeem was given permission to. Lmao. Get your heads out of your/Jordan’s asses.

        People act like 6 3-pointers in a half is crazy and a testament to how great he is, and then don’t talk about how Kobe’s done that multiple times in his career (not to mention 8 vs Jordan himself in that half where he drops um, something like 42 points). So yeah, Jordan doesn’t do everything better than Kobe, but you’ll keep your heads in your asses and say if he WANTED to he would, so he is still better. Why are some of you so unable to accept that times change and players have gotten extraordinarily better than the weak skill levels of the 80s-90s? Inb4 “because they haven’t”, yeah I know you’re unwilling to face the truth, but hey, I’ll try anyway. Jordan was a great defender and 1 of the all-time greats, but the key word is WAS. Until the late 90′s, he was probably the greatest individual player (other than Wilt) of all time, and the only arguments against it would have been based on personal preference or more fallacious bullshit like the average user here posts. But AFTER Jordan have been Kobe, Lebron, and now Kevin Durant, each of which can realistically be seen to be better than Jordan. I personally think LeBron will end up as the greatest if he gets a few more championships, but he is more of a team-reliant player than an individually-skilled player, where Kobe and Durant have the clear advantage.

        There will NEVER be a player who cannot be surpassed, and Kevin Durant/LBJ at the time have the chance to surpass Kobe, just as Kobe surpassed Jordan in most categories. I say most because I still would say Jordan had the better defense and better finishing around the rim, as well as better athleticism. The skill, footwork, dribbling, post, outside shooting, basketball IQ… all Kobe’s. Just because the man decides that taking tougher/bad shots is more interesting does not mean he is a worse player in terms of skill; in fact it should only be used as an explanation for his lower FG % (if the better defense of today does not suffice). In addition, this should actually influence a rational-minded person to believe his skill level is higher, because there has never been a player who consistently made so many low-percentage shots and STILL SHOT OVER 40%. Don’t get me wrong, I would love seeing Kobe shoot a higher % and no one enjoys seeing a great player miss (other than maybe the retards here who love when any challenger to their beloved Michael Jordan fails), but 46% while taking such a high number of nearly impossible shots (and sometimes HAVING to take the shots because of a weaker supporting cast) is extraordinary. Anyone who is willing to be unbiased with their basketball judgment would agree, although I don’t really expect many people here to do so.

        Posted by lol | February 28, 2014, 1:42 pm
  28. I’ve watched both Michael and Kobe for their entire NBA careers. I love both players. The league needed Kobe b/c he is the closest thing there has been to Jordan since MJ. But he is NOT Jordan. Stats and skills aside; here is the one thing I believe separates the two players:

    Throughout his career MJ took what were his major weaknesses when he came into the league (defense and shooting, and turned them into his strengths by the time those last 3 championships came around.

    Posted by Avaiam | May 23, 2011, 10:20 pm
    • Thanks for the read Avaiam. I can name a couple of other things that I think separates them as well:

      1.) Talent/Skills/Ability – Jordan’s stats no matter how you slice it were simply more dominant than Kobe’s, especially during his highlevel years
      2.) Big Games/Clutch Moments
      3.) Awards/Accolades: MVPs, Finals MVPs, Defensive Player of the Year, Etc..
      4.) Years Dominating the League
      5.) Leadership
      6.) Impact on the Game.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | May 25, 2011, 2:34 pm
  29. dirk’s more clutch than kobe anyways

    Posted by kobeisnothingw/outshaq&gasol | May 25, 2011, 3:27 pm
  30. Where is the proof or evidence that Jordan has taken only 18 shots in his 15 years of career.

    Kobe has played 15 years and has taken 25.
    Lebron has played only 8 years and has taken 12 already, on pace for 25+.

    There is no way Jordan has taken only 18 attempts, its a lie!

    Show me the proof!

    Posted by Chris | June 11, 2011, 1:46 pm
  31. Kobe and Jordan play the same position in the same triangle offense under the same coach and they have both had great teammates however Kobe plays for the Lakers where they are constantly waaaaayyyyy over the salary cap giving him a better chance to win but here are the results of their careers to this point:

    Jordan 30.1 ppg Kobe 25.3ppg
    Jordan 33.4 ppg playoffs Kobe 25.1
    Jordan 6-0 NBA Finals Kobe 5-2
    Jordan 6 finals MVPS Kobe 2
    Jordan Def POY 88 Kobe none
    Jordan 10 scoring titles Kobe 2
    Jordan 5 MVPS Kobe 1
    Jordan .497fg% Kobe .455
    Jordan almost 1 rebound, assist, and steal career average higher than Kobe as well as a higher block average.

    Whether looking at stats or team success or looking at them both as a combo, there is noone quite like Jordan, period

    Posted by David | July 20, 2011, 11:39 am
  32. Here is are all the MJ makes & misses on one video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpGWDKD6Ik8

    Posted by Merkin | September 9, 2011, 11:47 pm
  33. well i was fortunate enough to watch the GOAT and watch kobe too.

    kobe and michael do not belong in the same sentence. it is really stupid to compare kobe to michael.

    before all the kobe fans judge MJ – please watch his games. then be humbled

    Posted by karlo | January 17, 2012, 6:36 am
  34. The Kobe vs Jordan debate is silly imho… I would have thought the finals series against Detroit where the Lakers got swept would have ended this talk. Or the series against Boston where Paul Pierce out played him. If you are forming a team, you would be severely misguided to choose to put Kobe on the floor wearing your uniform over jordan. Jordan’s and his teams NEVER quit. Jordan was ALWAYS the best player on the floor. Kobe’s Lakers quit with a championship on the line. Kobe has been outplayed in series on more than one occasion… Nuff said…

    Posted by Mistere | January 17, 2012, 8:24 am
  35. Just a question about your methodology, why choose such a high time limit? I understand it is one shot clock from the end of the game, but taking the lead with 22 seconds or 19 seconds left and winning seems like more of a statement about defensive clutch/the other teams clutch ability.

    Not to take away from Jordan’s performances in these games, I’m just wondering why leave such a high ceiling that seems to leave in two outliers in your data that are at least 7 seconds higher than the next closest time left mark?

    Posted by TWolfe | January 19, 2012, 12:48 pm
    • Twolfe, thank you for the read and it is a good question. The reason that we are measuring shots that take place under 24 seconds, is because the consequences for a miss are much higher. In other words, there are no guarantees that the offensive team will get another possession whereas anything above 24 seconds does provide that guarantee.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | January 19, 2012, 1:05 pm
  36. Nba realist,

    I just busted you. I normally find after some fact checking that most Jordan fans will lie to boast their claims. Did you notice that you counted the May 7 1989 game 5 vs. Cleveland twice in your data. That is inaccurate. Which invalidates all your data because it is no doubt full of more errors. If you count what you have posted Jordan is still only 6 for 14 on game winning shots in the playoffs.But we still don’t know how many he has missed since your data has errors in it and can’t be trusted.

    Posted by the truth teller | February 12, 2012, 7:20 pm
    • No, Jordan made a “potential” game winner with 6 seconds to go. READ CLOSELY and you’ll see that. Cleveland went down and hit a layup with 2-3 seconds on the clock, and Jordan hit the buzzer beater seconds later. No error. Nice try though.

      Posted by pointguard40 | February 12, 2012, 7:57 pm
    • Truth teller,

      Try telling some truth as opposed to accusations.

      Rather than dismissing everything due to a single error, (one that is, in fact, NOT an error), why not check all the data for reliability?

      Why simply dismiss it all offhandedly?

      Are you that afraid of what the data may reveal?

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | February 12, 2012, 9:46 pm
  37. Can you check upon Jerry West’s clutch percentage? Wanted to know if he lived up to the “Mr Clutch” tag.

    Posted by Moth | March 29, 2012, 12:05 pm
  38. So I went through and was able to gather youtube clips for each and every one of these shots. I even found one that was missing from this list: in 1989 Game 4 vs the Cavs, Jordan missed not one but 2 shots with 2 seconds to go (one in regulation, the other in OT.)

    Here is a spreadsheet with links to all of them: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtsVqetQL6JadEhTU00yUzhTNDc3ZW9odV9WNDFFTXc

    Posted by David | April 12, 2012, 2:11 pm
    • David,

      Thanks for the groundwork, but your analysis is inaccurate. MJ fouled out in OT of that game. Check the video again.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | April 12, 2012, 2:19 pm
      • Fantastic article, I really enjoy the conversation it started as well. This article is similar to one on floyd mayweather’s hit vs get hit percentage and being considered boxings goat. It’s nice that jordan’s numbers add up to what I have always believed to be true. I am curious as to how those number would fluctuate if the criteria was amended by another 15-30 seconds, but that is a slippery slope.

        Posted by Michael | May 9, 2012, 1:23 am
  39. The world is convinced that Michael Jordan WAS and IS the greatest of all time….

    Just like the World is convinced that Muhammed ALI WAS and IS the Greatest of ALL time..

    Two hard pills to swallow but never the less, THEY INDEED ARE!

    Posted by Nick Sylve | May 18, 2012, 11:52 am
  40. Mike doesn’t have Kobe’s range. How many game tying or game winning 3′s did Mike make, regular season or playoffs? Compare that to Kobe and it’s Kobe in a runaway. Mike may be the GOAT but Kobe is the best offensive player there was. Everything Mike could do, Kobe has done, but Kobe also makes big time 3′s. Check your memory banks or do some research and you’ll see that I’m correct.

    Posted by Bone | May 29, 2012, 8:31 pm
    • Check your research and memory banks for these little statistics called Points per game, Field Goal Percentage, and Assists per game. If you do that you’ll see you have no idea what you are talking about.

      Posted by pointguard40 | May 29, 2012, 9:15 pm
      • Jordan led the league in total points every full season he played with the Bulls.

        I would say that the 39 year old Jordan with the Wizards (after a three retirement) is a fair comparison to Kobe.

        The Jordan that played with the Bulls is so much better than Kobe Bryant that the mere notion that Bryant is mentioned as a comparison is just a sick sick joke.

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 30, 2012, 8:09 am
    • Bone,

      You are either ignorant or just simply stupid to call Kobe Bryant

      the best offensive player there was

      Ever hear of Wilt Chamberlain?

      How about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?

      Larry Bird?
      Magic Johnson?
      Rick Barry?
      Elgin Baylor?
      Shaquille O’Neal?
      Bob Pettit?
      Karl Malone?
      Hakeem Olajuwan?
      David Robinson?
      Tim Duncan?
      Jerry West?
      Oscar Robertson?
      Julius Erving?
      John Havlicek?
      George Gervin?
      Allen Iverson?
      Kevin Durant?
      LeBron James?
      Dwyane Wade?
      Dirk Nowitski?

      To claim that a player who has NEVER had a FG% over .469 and with only 1 MVP is the greatest offensive force ever is really stupid.

      How is Bryant even better offensively than Dominique Wilkins?

      ‘Nique 24.8 career ppg .461 fg%
      Bryant 25.4 career ppg .453 fg%

      Don’t ever, ever compare Bryant to Jordan and claim that

      Everything Mike could do, Kobe has done,

      Becasue that just ain’t ture.

      By the way, ever watch the 1992 NBA Finals? Game #1: Jordan 6 of 10 from 3.

      The other reason is that Jordan started in an era when the 3 point shot was not utilized as a weapon nearly as often as it is today.

      In the 1983 season Darrell Griffith (Dr. Dunkenstein) made more 3 point baskets BY HIMSELF (91) than any other TEAM!!

      Kobe is a great player, but stop with the utterly false claims and nonsense.

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 29, 2012, 9:37 pm
      • Well put Paulie, just to sweeten up what you’ve done here a little bit, Bruce Blitz posted this recently for people like Bone to read:

        http://blitzsportsnetwork.com/2012/05/kobe-bryant-vs-michael-jordan-comparison-2012/

        Posted by pointguard40 | May 29, 2012, 10:27 pm
        • A post from another thread on this site.

          The measure of Jordan to Kobe is, to mind, three fold:

          1) Efficiency. Jordan has higher FG%, more career RPG and more APG.

          2) Black Ink. Jordan led the league in scoring 10 times while playing on a championship caliber team. Jordan also led the league in steals twice.

          3) Award Shares. Jordan was 5 time MVP and a 6 time Finals MVP (6 for 6). Jordan was a 9 time first team all defender and won a Defensive Player of the Year award. thus, we can conclude that Jordan was regarded as the BEST player on the BEST team at least 6 times.

          Kobe Bryant is a talented player and certainly has a skill set SIMILAR to Jordan’s (and others), but there is a clear difference between the two. In every measurable way, Jordan comes out on top.

          Kobe had lower numbers in nearly everything:
          Kobe: .454 fg% .339 3pt% .837 FT%
          25.3 ppg 5.3 rpb 4.7 apg 1.5 spg 0.5 bpg and 2.9 TOpg

          Jordan: .497 fg% .327 3pt% .835 FT% 30.1 ppg 6.2 rpg and 5.3 apg 2.3 spg, 0.8 bpg and 2.7 TOpg.

          Kobe has .002% higher FT% and .006% advantage in 3 pt%; Jordan is better in EVERYTHING ELSE.

          Playoffs, Jordan is again better.

          Kobe: 25.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 4.8 apg .448 fg% .335 3pt% .815 ft%

          Jordan: 33.4 ppg 6.4 rpg and 5.7 apg. .487 fg% .332 3pt% .828 FT%

          Kobe has only a .003% advantage in 3pt%.

          Kobe led the league in PPG twice and in neither year did his team get past the first round of the playoffs.

          Kobe has only 1 MVP award and 2 Finals MVPs (out of 6 tries). Kobe has 9 first team all defense, yet has never won the DPOTY.

          In what possible way is Kobe better than Jordan or even comparable to Jordan?

          Posted by Paulie Walnuts | July 28, 2011, 11:35 am

          Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 29, 2012, 10:41 pm
          • And another one. Clearly, this subject has been decided.

            Jordan led the LEAGUE TEN TIMES IN SCORING!!!! TEN TIMES!!!!

            While doing this, he was pushing a discredited and also ran franchise into the stratosphere of NBA history.

            The Lakers could have won with Shaq and without Kobe. There is NO WAY the Bulls even get past the SECOND ROUND IN THE EAST WITHOUT JORDAN. Let alone push the Pistons to games #6 and #7?? NO CHANCE!!

            There is NOTHING that any part or member of the media has nor ever will convince me of. I am perfectly capable of evaluating the data and combining with what I witnessed to make an evaluation of each players place in history.

            This is the second time you have mentioned that Kobe has accomplished what Jordan has. . . Tell me again where has Kobe surpassed Jordan? Where has Kobe even equaled Jordan??

            You could honestly place Bryant above Jordan, Russell, Bird, Johnson, Chamberlain, Jabbar, Duncan, Olajuwon, O’Neal, Mo’ Malone, Robertson or West?

            Which one of those is Kobe measurably better than?

            Look at the team results prior to each players arrival.

            Look at the results after that player arrived.

            Look at the results of the player within his team and within the league.

            Look to see what the peer evaluation was; count the MVP awards (difficult for West as he had to compete with Wilt and Russ), then compare the game results with Kobe.

            THERE IS NO POINT IN WHICH KOBE IS GREATER THAN THOSE ON THAT LIST.

            Being considered the 13th (or at worst) 14th greatest player of all time is NOT an insult nor a slight.

            When you say that Kobe is extremely close to Jordan, in what way? Free throws? 1st team all defense? Three point shooting? All NBA? Those are the ONLY areas where you can make a case, and three point shooting has an inherent era bias in favor of Bryant.

            Just to help you out, here are the actual numbers regular season and playoffs

            FGA: Jordan 22.9 and 25.1
            Bryant 19.4 and 20.2 (that changes when you adjust for the 2 years when Kobe was not a starter to 23.8 and 21.6)
            FG%: Jordan .497 and .487
            Bryant .454 and .448
            FT% Jordan .835 and .828
            Bryant .837 and .815
            3PT.% Jordan .327 and .332
            Bryant .339 and .335
            RPG Jordan 6.2 and 6.4
            Bryant 5.3 and 5.1
            APG Jordan 5.3 and 5.7
            Bryant 4.7 and 4.8
            PPG Jordan 30.1 and 33.4
            Bryant 25.3 and 25.4

            Jordan 6 titles in 6 tries
            Kobe 5 titles in 7 tries
            Jordan 5 MVP’s and 1 DPOTY
            Kobe 1 MVP
            Jordan 6 Finals MVP’s in 6 finals
            Kobe 2 Finals MVP’s in 7 finals
            Jordan 10x in PPG and 3x in SPG
            Kobe 2x in PPG
            Jordan 10 1st team all NBA and 9 1st team all defense in 15 seasons
            Bryant 9 1st team all NBA and 9 1st team all defense in 14 seasons.

            When you add it all up, there is no objective measurable way that you can place Kobe ahead or even close to Jordan.

            Jordan shot more? Yes, THREE WHOLE SHOTS MORE A GAME!!! WOW!!

            What you don’t wish to acknowledge is that Jordan MADE his three extra shots (and more), while still CREATING more shots for his teammates!

            Of course, being objective is often the problem, isn’t it?

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | September 12, 2011, 1:11 pm
            Reply to this comment

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 29, 2012, 10:52 pm
          • As you know, I am not enamored by individual stats.

            I do tend to gravitate toward the opinions of players who have played with or against both players. While those opinions vary too, it gives a better sense of how the players compare.

            In a twist to the analogy commonly used by those who like the individual stats, who compare those who don’t buy into it as “flat earth society” members, getting the opinions of players and coaches, guys who have been there and experienced it, is like asking the people who have actually sailed around the world if the earth is round.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 30, 2012, 9:16 am
          • Players, even coaches, who have actually matched up against the two said players have a lot more credibility in making a direct comparison. Of course, any statement is going to be scrutinized for ulterior motives, but you also have to look at the overall statements the player/coach has made and make your own determination as to their sincerity.

            Again, for a direct comparison, I find this to much more valuable info than any individual stats, and certainly more valuable than the opinions of those who have not played or coached against them.

            Put yourself in their shoes. You actually played against both players and have a flesh and blood experience . Someone comes with individual stats to tell you you are wrong, that you are somehow “tricked” by that experience. This is not some optical illusion, this is a full career of games playing against or with both. Again, this is not some situation where the stats show how you are bias, this is someone telling you the earth is not round, after you have actually sailed around the world.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 30, 2012, 9:22 am
          • @Gil Although I’m not entirely sure Jordan would average 50 a game, here is an article with a lot of those opinions you are looking for.

            http://blitzsportsnetwork.com/2012/03/michael-jordan-would-average-50-points-per-game-in-this-era/

            Posted by pointguard40 | May 30, 2012, 9:28 am
          • I don’t really see a relative comparison here – there are some “who would you take?” questions that are enlightening.

            It’s pretty clear all would choose MJ or Kobe, but it doesn’t really ask “how close is Kobe to MJ”. To answer those who get offended if Kobe is even mentioned in the same sentence as MJ. Well, Craig Hodges and Tim Grover are pretty clear.

            But here’s a great response from Steve Kerr that addresses it in more detail.

            http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/news?slug=sk-mailbag033007

            You have Steve Kerr proclaiming that Kobe is “the most complete offensive player ever”. And yet, he says that MJ is by far the greatest player, but “in baseball parlance, Kobe’s “stuff” might be a little better.”

            So how to interpret that into degrees? Because this is an argument of degrees. Is Kobe closer to MJ offensively than another player? How close? You even had Phil Jackson saying Kobe was the best he’s had in terms of what he asked him to do, which is facilitate. The response to this one is always humorous, because it’s deflected with “well he was coaching him at the time”. But as your link shows, Phil doesn’t hesitate either to make it clear MJ could average 45 points. And he’s been pretty clear that MJ’s size of hands and efficiency were above Kobe’s.”

            So what to make it this? It seems Kobe is in rarefied air, but clearly MJ is a notch above. How big that notch is will be debated for decades to come.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 30, 2012, 10:44 am
          • No.

            Actually, Gil, it is like Frankie Frisch strong arming his former teammates into the HOF when he was on the Veteran’s Committee by saying

            “I played with this guy and I know.”

            then use stats well out of context and without an understanding that High Pockets Kelly batted .308 in 1930 when the ENTIRE NL batted .303!!

            Meatheads like Rob Dibble use the “I played with this guy, so I know” argument all the time.

            That doesn’t make him right. It also doesn’t make him wrong.

            What I used was a combination of result data AND awards shares AND playoff results AND team results.

            What you are attempting to do is marginalize the ENTIRETY of these results because you may not agree with the conclusion.

            Testimony from experienced players is valuable, but like the Bible, it is NOT the only tool in the shed.

            Oddly, you wish to discount awards as unreliable because they are voted on by observers, yet wish to default to observers over a large sampling of result data that was complied in very very similar environments.

            To echo the testimony of another that experienced a similar person as yourself.

            : “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?”

            -Joesph Welch to Sen. Joe McCarthy.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 30, 2012, 11:20 am
          • I doubt very much that Kobe/Jordan will be debate for decades.

            I would rather imagine that Kobe will not be compared to Jordan as early as two years from now.

            Kobe has benefited from the ESPN/Disney selling machinery, and he will soon suffer the same fate as Norma Desmond; a forgotten hero from long ago.

            It was only last year when the machinery was offering up such ludicrous topics as “How many more titles with Dallas win now?” and the “Nowitski is clearly a top ten player”

            Ultimately, what endures are the numbers. When you compare the numbers, there is no comparison. NONE.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 30, 2012, 11:29 am
          • You are mixing and comparing the statistical models of baseball and basketball.

            In baseball, it has been demonstrated that the use of stats like OBP and many others can be applied in personnel decisions in the building of a successful team.

            In basketball, none of the successful teams using statistical analysis incorporate the individual measures (your “numbers”) you are using to compare players. I know of no team that use plain FG%, APG, RPG, PPG, Award Shares, PER, Winshares, as the basis for their stat analysis.

            It is a very dangerous thing you are doing, taking a successful model (“let’s take the box score of baseball and crunch the numbers!”) and blindly applying to another model (“let’s take the box score of basketball and crunch the numbers!”).

            “Science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones is a house.” ~Henri Poincaré, Science and Hypothesis, 1905

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 30, 2012, 11:48 am
          • Gil,

            Again, your analytical skills are lacking.

            I am NOT mixing up the comparison of stats.

            I was using the correct analogy that anecdotal testimony by itself is enough to substantiate anything meaningful.

            I used Frisch and his tactics as an example to compare to Tim Legler and Stephn A. Smith or Skip Bayless and even Steve Kerr because all of the aforementioned have a vested, if not fleeting interest in feeding the Kobe legacy.

            This is also why I believe that in two to three years the exact opposite will occur and will be besieged with Kevin Durant is Jordan or even LeBron.

            If the Spurs win, beware all the lavish (and rightfully) praise that Duncan will get.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 30, 2012, 11:54 am
          • Paulie, I am confident of my analytical skills and application. We should take a standardized test to compare. But this is not a brain swinging contest.

            I actually agree with you that the “new” is more emphasized in the media, what I was referring when I described your mixing of models is your comment “what endures are the numbers. When you compare the numbers, there is no comparison. NONE”.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 30, 2012, 12:15 pm
          • So basically Gil, we can each cherry pick people who support our opinion. One thing that is heavily in my favor is that the numbers do not support that Kobe Bryant is the second best player to ever play, nor that he is all that close. Players like Wilt, Abdul-Jabbar, Duncan, Magic and so on all present better cases. I will say that Kobe is the next greatest shooting guard in the NBA’s history, and plays in a very similar style to Jordan. I do not agree with Kerr’s assertion that Kobe is more complete as an offensive player, and I do not agree with the idea that this will be a debate that is decades long. I can’t prove you wrong, and you can’t prove me wrong on these opinions as of now, so I suppose we will leave it at that.

            Posted by pointguard40 | May 30, 2012, 12:26 pm
          • I think this has been written here many times before, but it bears repeating: The NBA, more than any other professional sports league or association, has been constructed as a lucrative economic model on the backs of the “superstar”.

            This is no accident; über-shrewd David Stern and Co. astutely recognized that an athlete with no helmet or facemask to conceal the face was a marketing wet dream … knowing this history, why do some rely on the assessment of “experts” in this for-profit enterprise when they hype (and over-hype) a proven economic driver for the game?

            Every clown on ABC/ESPN operates under the belief (perhaps subconscious) that, in some way, their livelihood is enhanced if they push the Kobe mythology narrative … because the NBA really thrives when jerseys are sold, etc. And then in inimitable U.S. groupthink, the “experts” and many others with an opinion (i.e., some of us) just parrot (and embellish with rhetorical mania) what we heard Ric Bucher or Skip Bayless say on TV this morning … it’s one trolley-stop short of full-blown insanity.

            Posted by Ken | May 30, 2012, 12:37 pm
          • @Ken, lol sounds like 1984! But I must say, I have heard people use the exact wording from sports center the night before when arguing with me and its frustrating. People fall way to in love with the story or narrative of a player, and try to ignore facts (i.e. “Player A has killer instinct” or “Player A is just a winner, Player B just isn’t”) only to have the script flip-flop later (a perfect example is last year with Dirk, before last season he was just a playoff choker)

            Posted by pointguard40 | May 30, 2012, 12:46 pm
          • If you could somehow manage to segregate (or maybe distill out) the broader NBA marketing effect on the game (and I recognize that the effect is recursive, and that we all play a role in it propagating over the past nearly 30 years) and the ESPN highlight reel effect that has been brainwashing sports fans for nearly 30 years (these are related effects, btw, but uncoordinated until recently when ABC successfully bid on the broadcasting rights), you would see very clearly that the Kobe Bryant icon, while based upon a remarkable talent and a phenomenal athlete, is 60% actual performance and 40% pink slime (my term for the collective mythologies surrounding Kobe and offered up as sacrifice by his fanboys whenever they are confronted with irrefutable truth) …

            Posted by Ken | May 30, 2012, 12:57 pm
          • Ken – so what do you make of MJ and Lebron’s “pink slime”? 50/50?

            Posted by Gil Meriken | May 30, 2012, 2:00 pm
          • Jordan’s Pink Slime is supported by the data.

            As is James’.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | May 30, 2012, 8:45 pm
  41. Why is it simply playoff shots.? You can’t even dream of getting to the playoffs without winning in the regular season.? Also what reason is there to have excluded free throws.? Last time I checked knocking down free throws was pretty damn important, and if anything, draws on that one player more. It’s an open look, no defenders, all you have to do is knock them down.

    Also, a potential game winner is neither a tying shot nor a game winner so why is it included.? That’s ridiculous. It either is or it isn’t. There can only be one game winning shot.

    Your data tells me that Mike only made one more game winner than Kobe and just as many game tying shots. Percentage wise he looks better because Kobe loves to chuck it, but ONE more game winner is hardly an argument for him being so much more clutch.

    Posted by Eddie | June 6, 2012, 6:24 am
  42. They didn’t count all his game winners. What about the ones he did in a Wizards uniform?

    Posted by johnathan quevedo | July 30, 2012, 4:45 am
  43. I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your information.

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    Posted by christian louboutin bianca | January 1, 2013, 7:01 pm
  44. Greatest to ever do it WOW!!

    Posted by john | January 3, 2013, 5:28 am
  45. Bill Russel wasn’t even the best center of his era. Wilt Chamberlain was better. Derrick Fisher has 5 championships and John Stockton has 0, so what does that tell you? It tells you nothing. Know basketball before you start regurgitating nonsense.

    Posted by Joe | April 22, 2013, 9:13 pm
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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] View post: Michael Jordan Game Winning Shots [...]

  2. [...] Michael Jordan: Game Winning Shots [...]

  3. [...] Official NBA Thread Michael Jordan Game Winning Shots 50% GOAT __________________ You're = You are Your = Your couch. Your lighter. Your joint. [...]

  4. [...] http://chasing23.com/michael-jordan-game-winning-shots/ [...]

  5. [...] to make clutch shots Better clutch performer, really? I really doubt you've seen MJ play. Michael Jordan Game Winning Shots Kobe Bryant vs. Lebron James: Game Winning Shots ^ Obviously stats don't show the whole picture, [...]

  6. [...] been another player who has taken and missed more shots than MJ – Kobe Bryant.  According to this analysis, MJ is 9/18 on last-second shots while Kobe is [...]

  7. [...] to consistently come through in the clutch; every time the game was on the line, you knew that #23 would take the last shot, and each time that he missed felt like a where-did-that-come-from surprise. Nor do the stats [...]

  8. [...] the NBA playoffs, Michael Jordan made nine game winning or tying shots.  He also missed nine.  That’s 50%, baby.  If I told you that the success of all your shows [...]

  9. [...] information, please refer to Chasing23′s excellent breakdown of Kobe’s shot tracker vs. MJ’s. You can also visit 82games for regular season game winning shots data as [...]

  10. [...] postseason career on game-tying or game-winning shots near the end of playoff games, according to this thorough little piece of writing.  That’s 50%.  That’s right, folks, Michael Jordan actually missed half of his clutch [...]

  11. [...] that the next time the Texans lose a close game, it won’t define Schaub. Even Michael Jordan missed nine game-winning shots in the [...]

  12. [...] leg work but we all know you won't set out to prove your self an idiot with numbers, just posts): http://chasing23.com/michael-jordan-game-winning-shots/ Forgive me that some of this data is out dated, mainly because it is an outdated (like Sman) [...]

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  13. […] was 9 for 18 in crunch time during the playoffs in his career.  Those are remarkable statistics.  However, LeBron is 7 for 16.  In fact, In the past 10 […]

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