The Ball Don’t Lie, but Sometimes Stats Do

Yesterday, my fellow blogger and leader of the Kobe Hateration club, The NBA Realist, took on the notion that rumors of Kobe being clutch in the playoffs were nothing but complete mythology. I think he’s been reading too much Henry Abbott (who by the way, may be the 2nd person outside of Raja Bell to have built his career off Kobe bashing).  I could not disagree more.

C.A. Clark wrote a nicely put together article following Abbott detailing why stats can sometimes be misleading. I’ll follow his effort with some real evidence as to why.

So, the common numbers other Chasing23 readers are floating around is that Kobe Bryant clutch stats show a 6/22 result in playoff game-winning situations. I decided to take a closer look at this and really evaluate a breakdown of the misses. Here we go:

1. 1996 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Jazz Game 5 – Bryant misses a game tying shot with 4 seconds left.
Kobe as an 18-year old rookie that for some reason was taking the shot with Van Exel, Jones, and Shaq on the team. Huh? The fact that they let him shoot it in this situation is an indication of the coldblooded-ness most people see in him now.

2. 1999 Playoffs, Spurs vs. Lakers Game 2 – Bryant misses a game tying shot at the end of regulation
Kobe misses a desperation 3 to tie the game. Kobe had 28-8-4 to make it close. Shaq has 16 points.

3. 2001 Playoffs, Lakers vs. 76ers Game 1 – Bryant misses a game winning shot with 20 seconds left.
Kobe had an admittedly bad game, scoring 15 points. This came off of 11 consecutive playoff wins where he averaged 32ppg. (and perhaps the greatest run by one team in NBA playoff history)

4. 2002 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Kings Game 5 – Bryant misses a game winning shot with 12 seconds left
Kobe scores 30 and carries Lakers with Shaq fouled out.

5. 2002 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Kings Game 7 – Bryant misses game winning shot with 8 seconds left and game winning tip.
Kobe has a huge game in one of the biggest games in Laker history going for 30-10-7. Lakers win and move on to the NBA finals.

6. 2003 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Twolves Game 3 – Bryan misses the game winning shot with 13 seconds and 2 seconds left.
What Kobe Hater forgets to mention here is that Bryant scored 5 points in the last 22 seconds to tie the game and force overtime. Oh — and he happened to put up a 30-7-6 line.  Verrrry unclutch.

7. 2003 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Spurs Game 1 – Bryant misses game winning shot with 13 seconds left.
Bryant had a line of 37-4-2 in this game including 13 points in the 4th quarter (and 8 in the last 4 minutes). He also hit a 3-pointer with 1 minute left which pulled the Lakers within striking distance in the first place.

8. 2004 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Rockets Game 1 – Bryant misses a game winning shot with 17 seconds left.
It was a sloppy game all around. Still in the last 4 minutes, Kobe led the Lakers in scoring. This “game winning shot” was a desperation 3 with time running out. The Lakers still won the game.

9. 2004 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Rockets Game 4 – Bryant misses the game winning shot with 3 seconds left.
Let’s conveniently leave out the part where in OT, Kobe scores 6 points including a 3-point play to put the Lakers up for good. Lakers win the game.

10. 2006 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Suns Game 6 – Bryant misses a game winning shot with 6 seconds left.
This is the most misleading of them all. Kobe went off for 50-8-5 with a JV squad featuring Smush Parker and Kwame Brown in the starting lineup. He also scored 12 of the Lakers’ 13 points in OT while shooting an incredible 57% from the field. If not for a lucky bounce out to Tim Thomas, this would have been one of the great games of Kobe’s career.

11. 2009 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Jazz Game 3 – Bryant misses a game winning shot with 2 seconds left.
Another misleading stat. In the last minute of this game, Kobe orchestrated the offense, notching a layup and 2 assists. The shot he missed was a desperation 3-point try once the Lakers got the ball back with 2 seconds left.

12. 1999 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Magic Game 2 – Bryant has his game winning shot blocked with 8 seconds left.
Another strong game by Kobe, 29-8-4. The Lakers still went on to win this game and wrest control of the finals for good from the Magic.

13. 2010 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Thunder Game 6 – Bryant misses game winning shot with 0.5 seconds left.
Kobe goes off for 32-7-3 in this clincher against the Thunder. Scores the only other bucket for the Lakers in the last 2 minutes besides Gasol’s game winner. Lakers win.

14. 2010 Playoffs, Lakers vs. Suns Game 5 – Bryant misses a game winning shot with 3 seconds left.
Kobe has another monster game, almost going for a triple double, 30-11-9 with 4 blocks. In the 4th he goes for 7-3-2, accounting for 13 of the Lakers 23 points. The shot he missed was another desperation 3 attempt when the Lakers inbounded the ball with 2 seconds left. Lakers go on to win the game.

So in the games where Kobe missed a game tying or game winning shot, Kobe’s teams went 5-7. Overall, Kobe’s teams in these situations went 10-7, a 59% winning percentage. Not bad for 21 games that you went into the last 20 seconds either trailing or tied. Even more amazing, in the last 11 games that Kobe has had a game winning or tying opportunity in the playoffs, the Lakers have won 9 of them. Still believe it’s all luck? At the end of day, when you define clutchness, shouldn’t your ultimate metric for success be wins and losses? Kobe Bryant clutch stats show in these instances, the Black Mamba definitively wins more than he loses.

Even in the losses though, Kobe is great. In 9 of the 12 games where he “missed” the game decider, Kobe had 28 points or more and effectively carried his team. In a few instances, he was off the charts and put his team in a position they wouldn’t have been close to except for his heroics (see: 2006 Game 6 vs. Suns, 2003 Game 1 vs. Spurs, 2003 Game vs. Timberwolves). In a few others, Kobe has 3 or less seconds to have the ball inbounded to him and heave up a desperation three – a nearly impossible situation.

In summary — the 6/22 stat being championed around the Internet by MJ lovers, er, objective stats geeks is bunk. Looking at the games above, it is clear that Kobe’s ability to deliver in high pressure situations allowed his team to win at a very high rate, and his 5 rings only serve to reinforce that message.


164 Responses to “The Ball Don’t Lie, but Sometimes Stats Do”

  1. I in some form or another agree with both of the two articles written here about kobe’s “clutchness”. I do agree with you that he is successful in multiple circumstances but the one thing i try to drive into the minds of kobe nation is that although he is very good, he should not be considered the greatest clutch player. i dont see him as more than marginally better than most people in the clutch.

    Posted by coolsig5 | February 3, 2011, 4:17 am
    • and by most people i meant superstars. it is pretty obvious he is better than the average NBA player.

      Posted by coolsig5 | February 3, 2011, 4:19 am
    • Well said COOLSIG5. I think that the point of my post was missed by my counterpart: Kobe has had his share of clutch moments, but it is misleading to declare Kobe to be significantly better than everyone else.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | February 3, 2011, 5:12 am
    • it sounds like the article is confusing kobe clutch with lakers clutch. a laker win despite kobe missing the gamewinner is actually damning kobe even more, on his shot selection. true clutch finds the open man to win the game or makes the shot. every miss is a nonclutch moment.
      obviously talent is there & PPG is there but its @ a .447 lifetime playoff clip. he’s a .455 season which says he isn’t elevating his game in any productive way. he’s just taking more shots. clutch isn’t in PPG, its the FG% when it matters.

      just for comparison, other clutch scoring threats lifetime playoff fg%:
      Bird .472
      Magic .506
      Bill Laimbeer .468

      Posted by vaanhalen | February 4, 2011, 10:59 am
      • Vaanhalen, I beg to disagree. My point is that the game winning shot format as used by The NBA Realist is misleading. The true judge at the end of the day is wins and losses in these close games. By this metric, Kobe does better than most.

        You can argue that his team was better than most. However, as I’ve shown above, his impact in these games is tremendous. He may not always hit the game winning shot, but he literally is able to win his team to victory when it matters most.

        Posted by Brown Mamba | February 4, 2011, 5:09 pm
        • I’m not exactly sure how Kobe airballing a 3 point shot against the sun, and Artest taking the rebound and scoring a buzz beater, count as Kobe success or “making his team win”. Same goes with Robert Horry taking a rebound for a buzz beater 3 pointer in 2002, or Pau Gasol taking a rebound and scoring in the last second to beat Oklahoma, etc. Sure, the Lakers won those games. But was it because of Kobe’s clutch???

          Posted by triqui | August 5, 2012, 8:53 pm
          • Kobe Bryant must simply be the most fortunate player in the history of the NBA.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | August 5, 2012, 11:02 pm
          • … it’s better for one’s quality of life to simply disregard those who blather on about this player with such fervent, reverential nonsense.

            The Kobe “true believer” crowd are fully incapable of accepting the reality that their hero has essentially been a one-trick pony who has alienated teammates, coaches, and everyone else with whom his path has crossed over the past two decades …

            If they’re content with one regular season MVP in 16 seasons (6.25% success rate) and two Finals MVPs during that time frame (12.50% success rate), so am I … I guess hitching one’s wagon to the ” he finished second – only because he didn’t even want first – in the scoring race last year, which proves he’s still the best” hallucination is more than enough for some …

            Posted by Ken | August 6, 2012, 12:34 pm
          • … it’s better for one’s quality of life to simply disregard those who blather on about this player with such moronic views as “MVP success rate”.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | August 6, 2012, 4:32 pm
          • I would not categorize Bryant as a “one trick pony”.

            I fell confident that Bryant is a very divisive force in the clubhouse, however.

            Winning a league MVP is nothing to sneeze at, either.

            I do understand that you are offering a relative comparison to other greats when you do that, though.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 6, 2012, 8:20 pm
          • Let’s check out Hakeem Olajuwon’s success rate – one regular season MVP in 18 seasons (5.6% success rate) and two Finals MVPs during that time frame (11.1%) … what a bum …

            Posted by Gil Meriken | August 7, 2012, 3:27 am
          • And let’s not leave out Jerry West’s MVP success rate metrics …

            1 Finals MVP out 14 seasons (7.1%) and 0 Regular Season MVPs (0% – did the math myself).

            I reserve my ad hominem for guys like Ken (and would not personally insult guys like Paulie or Lochp, as much as I disagree with them), but here goes: Ken, you are an imbecile, and I mean that sincerely.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | August 7, 2012, 3:35 am
          • paulie seems reasonable enough … i recall seeing his top 10 or 20 list from time to time … rather than accept the cherry-picked rambling of a feeble rounding error hiding behind his keyboard in the 909, it would be enlightening to see how paulie’s top players fare using the admittedly simple MVP rate metric …

            here’s a start (based on my top 5 since 1975):

            1. Michael Jordan
            15 seasons | 5 RS MVPs (33.3%) | 6 Finals MVPs (40.0%)

            2. Magic Johnson
            13 seasons | 3 RS MVPs (23.1%) | 3 Finals MVPs (23.1%)

            3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
            20 seasons | 6 RS MVPs (30.0%) | 2 Finals MVPs (10.0%)

            4. Larry Bird
            13 seasons | 3 RS MVPs (23.1%) | 2 Finals MVPs (15.4%)

            5. Tim Duncan
            15 seasons | 2 RS MVPs (13.3%) | 3 Finals MVPs (20.0%)

            AND LeBron James …
            9 seasons | 3 RS MVPs (33.3%) | 1 Finals MVP (11.1%)
            extrapolation for a full career: 15 seasons | 5 RS MVPs (33.3%) | 3 Finals MVPs (20.0%)

            AND Kobe Bryant (extrapolated based upon my expectations of what’s left of his hubristic career) …

            20 seasons | 1 RS MVP (5.0%) | 2 Finals MVPs (10.0%)

            The foregoing may be driven by minimal confirmation bias, but it sure beats finding two players who I have never seen included in top 5 lists and suggesting, via disjointed logic, that their shortcomings validate one’s repeated efforts to place Kobe beside MJ in the pantheon (and invalidate the rest of us who are simply not true believers) … it boils down to metrics vs. the eyeball test of some blowhard in riverside … really …

            but nothing personal …

            Posted by Ken | August 7, 2012, 11:00 am
          • Ken,

            Your forecast for James seems about on. It would be very difficult for any player to win more than 5 MVP awards.

            James will likely add DPOTY to his trophy case next year.

            MVP voters (other than for the NHL) get pretty fickle when the same player deserves the award and they make illogical choices.

            I forecast James as finishing his career at #7 on my all time list; ahead of Duncan, but behind Wilt/Magic.

            It would take a really impactful player to break into my top 6; that’s a really tough peer group.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 7, 2012, 11:18 am
          • Ken,

            You may wish to also examine the career of Moses Malone and his 3 regular season MVP awards.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 7, 2012, 11:20 am
          • agreed … i have guys like Moses Malone, Julius Erving, and Shaq in my 6 – 15 range …

            Posted by Ken | August 7, 2012, 11:26 am
          • I love the Doc, but setting my emotions aside, I had to rate him “down” to #20 on my list as most of his really big years came in the ABA, which was a very poor defensive league.

            Doc was a spectacular sight to behold in the ABA days and was still a fantastic player in the NBA, but his NBA impact wasn’t really on the same level as those I have above him.

            There is no doubt that Doc’s high flying in the ABA took a physical toll and that also affected his NBA career.

            Doc was dynamite player, but had a glaring weakness when forced to shoot jumpers.

            I spent a lot of time, effort and discussion to arrive at my choices and I feel that my hierarchy is organically well balanced and also representative across eras and also positions.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 7, 2012, 11:35 am
          • apologies in advance b/c i know the list is out there if i expend some effort, but would you mind sharing your top 20 again in this thread …

            thanks …

            Posted by Ken | August 7, 2012, 11:55 am
          • nothing to apologize for.

            Taken from the Kobe and the Clutch Playoff Myth thread.

            As with anything that is “alive” adjustments are made periodically.

            Moses Malone
            Karl Malone
            David Robinson
            Rick Barry

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | July 19, 2012, 7:06 am

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 7, 2012, 12:18 pm
          • Bill Russell and Wilt are the only per-’75 players that really move me when I consider the era before Finals MVPs were awarded …

            I have LeBron James with 3 or 4 more years of peak performance and Kevin Durant with 7 or 8 more years of peak performance. Coupled with all of the exciting point guard play in the Association these days, the future of professional basketball looks bright, indeed.

            I have LeBron projected to finish his career firmly in the top 4 – 8 range, with Durant somewhere in the 15 – 25 range.

            Posted by Ken | August 8, 2012, 3:28 pm
          • You should give closer examination to the career data of West and Robertson.

            Give some thought to the Free Throw Attempted data of West, in particular. Also, consider his steals totals for the portion of his career that they measured it, then do some cross analysis of the top performers in steals (Alvin Robertson, Michael Ray Richardson,Iverson, Chris Paul, etc) and gauge where West would have been had they charted steals when he started his career rather then when he ended it.

            You should likewise not disregard Pettit nor Baylor and Cousy.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 8, 2012, 6:12 pm
          • LeBron is essentially Magic Johnson in Karl Malone’s body.

            The difference is in HOW they played the game.

            When I watched Magic play, the entire team was transformed. There was a flow and movement to the game that does not exist today.

            I don’t see that in James’ play, as great as it is.

            I truly admire the effortless manner in which Durant plays. Watching him play, I translate that his team members really enjoy playing with him; that they want to win.

            The thing that I have never seen from Bryant is that reckless desire to win. Bryant even admitted that he would never go into the stands for an errant ball, unlike Bird.

            To me, that is what really separates the great form the very good. I see Jordan, Magic, Bird, Duncan busting a nut to win. I see them accepting all of the blame for failure; likewise I see them completely defer success.

            I don’t wish to turn this into a “Kobe bash”, because he is a great talent that has accomplished much. . . but, I have yet to see those traits displayed by Bryant.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 8, 2012, 6:38 pm
        • This would be like me stating the fact that Robert Horry has 7 titles in 17 seasons (41%). You believe this to be luck?
          And another thing, it’s amazing how Kobe lovers keep FG% out of their stat sheets

          Posted by adambe | October 13, 2015, 12:21 am
      • Did you just compare Bill Laimbeer, a post player, to Bird and Magic. Laimbeer shooting a career playoff fg% that low is pretty poor for a post player in a period where shooting %s were markedly higher.

        Also, if you compare playoff TS% and efg% of all of those guys, Laimbeer has the worst combination of them. And Kobe, Bird, and Jordan all shoot so much worse than Magic Johnson in the playoffs. In fact Magic is pretty ridiculous shooting 59.5% TS% and 51.6 efg% while also posting an insane 42% ast rate. So is Magic the most clutch playoff performer ever??

        Either way, Kobe is a marginally less efficient shooter overall, and it’s barely a statistically significant difference between he and Jordan and there is no significance to the difference between Kobe and Bird.

        Posted by lol | February 6, 2011, 8:54 pm
  2. Great post. KB24 is the most clutch playa baby! Screw the haters!

    Posted by JohnB | February 3, 2011, 5:13 am
  3. this is the TRUTH mamba. people don’t respect the entire package. that’s what makes kobe clutch

    Posted by DrinkingHaterade | February 2, 2011, 11:11 pm
  4. This dont make sense. Some of these ganes Kobe scored alot but was not really clutch in the late part. You are just trying to spin bro. He sucks in gm wnners

    Posted by Kwon Aiyan | February 4, 2011, 7:44 pm
  5. KB missed 79 shots, 79..

    I don’t care he has to make the shot in only 2 secs because many other players also do that.

    I don’t care if they win when goes to overtime, because other players also have some situation like that, and so what if goes to overtime and win? Nothing to do with he miss the last shot.

    Stat doesn;t lie, give you a clear example, Gilbert Arenas.

    Gilbert Arenas has lot of big games right? 40 pts, 50pts, 60pts.

    But can he compare to those real top scorers? Hell no, why? You know it….because of stat

    Check out his stat you know why, thats why we need stat to clear some points.

    Posted by Jimmy | February 4, 2011, 9:19 pm
  6. I would love to see FG% next to all those arguments about how many points Kobe scored. Correct me if I’m wrong but Kobe is 39-55 when he gets 30+ shots the Lakers are like 39-55. So stating obvious stats from boxscore isn’t quite giving the whole picture.

    Also, when you mention the little story behind the each shot, and then emphisize that Lakers still won the game, it only proves some of those Kobe shots are really ill advised bricks. But he has good team-mates to clean those up.

    “At the end of day, when you define clutchness, shouldn’t your ultimate metric for success be wins and losses?”
    – I wouldn’t go that far. Would you say that Duncan was clutch in the last win against the Lakers? He missed the game winner. But ultimately the Spurs won. You can’t define clutchness of a single player by the overall effort of the whole team.

    Finally I think that you miss the point of the article about Kobe being not clutch. It’s pure mathematical stat when the game is on the line with 24 seconds or less left in the game. We are not looking at the whole game, last 5 min, last 2 min. No, the sole purpose is to look at one single possession with time winding down. And in those situations Kobe is 6 for 22. Its barely good. I’m not saying he’s overrated or anything like that. He’s great in close game, no doubt. But when we look at those single possessions Kobe is just awful, compared to others.

    PS. “Kobe as an 18-year old rookie that for some reason was taking the shot with Van Exel, Jones, and Shaq on the team. Huh? The fact that they let him shoot it in this situation is an indication of the coldblooded-ness most people see in him now.” – Seriously, how is this even a valid argument in a discussion.

    Posted by Emace | February 5, 2011, 3:31 am
    • but Kobe is 39-55 when he gets 30+ shots the Lakers are like 39-55. – small error. Without the ‘is 39-55’ after Kobe. Need some caffeine.

      Posted by Emace | February 5, 2011, 4:49 am
    • Clutch isn’t defined by a game-winning shot. Game-winning shots are a PART of being clutch, but being clutch overall is elevating your play in the final minutes with the game on the line. If Kobe’s game 7 last year showed anything, it’s that he is indeed clutch. He was off all night shooting but he pulled in every possible rebound, played out of his mind on the defensive end when it was win or go home time and to top it all off, he hit one of the most difficult jumpers I’ve ever seen even though, again, he was in absolutely no rhythm throughout the entire game. To think that Game-winners define clutch is beyond retarded, that means there are no players that are actually clutch because no one is going to have a great fg% in game-winners.

      Posted by Stupid | February 11, 2011, 6:56 pm
      • completely agreed. People really give Kobe a hard time about that game 7. I mean, he had 10 points and 4 rebounds in the 4th. He did what needed to be done to win the game. Well said.

        Posted by Brown Mamba | February 11, 2011, 8:49 pm
    • Clutch is about the end of the game. Not just one shot. It’s about when the game is winding down and you need to be clutch the rest of the way to either catch up or stay up and just win the game. It’s about having the willpower to do whatever it takes to succeed. No matter what. Killer instinct. This is why he is the most clutch. And this is why you give him that last shot no matter what.

      Posted by jshah | April 26, 2012, 11:39 am
  7. @jimmy @emace I think you guys are missing the point of my article. All I’m saying is that we can pull stats from any angle we want to in order to support our bias (in this case, The NBA Realist happens to be a huge Bulls fans — hmm, I wonder what his motivation could be?)

    However, it’s always the story behind the stats that is more interesting. Kobe has won 9 of his last 11 playoffs where he had a game winning shot in the last 24 seconds — that an 82% winning rate in games you were behind or tied with a few seconds left in the game. Against the Phoenix Suns in 2006, he had 50 points and 12 of the Lakers’ 13 OT points, are you really going to put that game in the “unclutch” column because he missed a shot when the game was tied? He is 3-0 in the Lakers 3 biggest games over the last 11 years (Game 7 vs. Blazers, Game 7 vs. Kings, Game 7 vs. Celtics). You can spin these numbers anyway you want, but the fact remains, in the biggest games on the biggest stage, Kobe finds a way to get his team a W. That to me, that’s the biggest indicator of being clutch.

    Btw -@jimmy. Those desperation threes do matter. One of the great aspects of Kobe is that he absolutely wants to take the shot in the final seconds. Many players are concerned with their shooting percentages, stats, etc. As a result, they often will defer to lesser skilled players to miss the shot. This helps their own stats, but doesn’t help their team win.

    Posted by Brown Mamba | February 5, 2011, 7:57 am
    • I understand your point of view, and I’m not denying that when game is on the line, he is one of the best to close it out. However, I still have to argue about the ‘team clutchnessness’ (is it even a word?). You say that Kobe is 3-0 in the biggest games. But we do have to consider team factor which is undeniable. And if I were a Kobe fan, I surely wouldn’t mention game 7 vs Celtics, for some reasons. In my opinion, you can’t find Kobe being clutch by comparing it to Lakers wining/losing record. Like I mentioned the Duncan/Spurs example.

      Still a great article.

      Posted by Emace | February 5, 2011, 8:16 am
      • Thanks emace. This may be another topic for another day, but I still somewhat dispute the notion his game 7 was that horrible. Listen, he shot horribly no doubt. BUT, he set a finals record for himself with 15 rebounds (which is remarkable for any guard to do), additionally, he had 10 points and 4 rebounds in the 4th quarter when the Lakers needed it most. Again, no glamor points here — but he did what it took to get the Lake Show over the hump.

        Posted by Brown Mamba | February 5, 2011, 3:10 pm
    • We are talking about clutchness, not winning. Based on your arguement, Luke Walton and Paul Gasol are just as clutch as Kobe because the Lakers won all those games.

      Posted by The NBA Realist | February 5, 2011, 10:36 am
    • you mean the Lakers won 9 of its last 11 playoff games where he a game winning shot in the last 24 seconds?

      Kobe or Lakers? Lakers of Kobe?

      one person or team?

      Posted by logan | February 6, 2011, 7:40 pm
    • “The NBA Realist happens to be a huge Bulls fans — hmm, I wonder what his motivation could be?”
      Says the guy named Brown Mamba.
      Brown Stain Mamba more like it.

      You’re the one putting a spin on things to support your bias. Must I delve into the statistics in each of these games? Should I show shooting percentages? Teammate contributions? Turnovers? It would get ugly for you. I will save you the embarrassment.

      Why are there 14 examples here, but 16 in TNR’s article? Did he edit it after you wrote this?

      Posted by William | February 21, 2011, 3:23 pm
    • In the waning moments, during the heat of battle professional athletes are thinking about stats?
      Look, no reasonable person would deny Kobe’s willingness to take the shot, but your above statement destroys your credibility. That is PURE SPIN, as is your whole article.

      Posted by William | February 21, 2011, 3:32 pm
  8. Just answer this question. Is he clutch in Game winners situations only? Forget about the rest of the game. Is he clutch in game winners? How do you explain 6/22?

    Posted by Kwon Aiyan | February 5, 2011, 10:21 am
  9. Great article,keep on Brown Mamba!

    Posted by nimble | February 6, 2011, 4:36 am
  10. This argument boils down to “Kobe is not clutch according to your definition, but he is clutch according to my definition”.

    So the question is: whose definition of clutch is better? Brown Mamba’s, of course.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | February 6, 2011, 2:34 pm
    • Exactly.

      Posted by SoCalGal | February 6, 2011, 8:10 pm
      • the first article was about CRUNCH not clutch.. crunch as in ‘last shot’ where you ask anyone in the league and all the coaches who they will give the last shot to? “Kobe” is the answer there… LAST SHOT – Crunch shot. Kobe is what 31% for game winning or tying shots?

        Brown Mamba you are always saying “a desperation 3 with time running out.” your just making excuses as ALL game winning shots are supposed to be desperation, either you miss or make… KOBE = 79% miss.

        if Kobe actually ran with the plays then he would probably get a good shot up and have a better chance rather than airballing the shot and having his TEAM mates clean up.

        Posted by Guillermo | February 7, 2011, 1:44 pm
        • If Kobe actually ran the plays? You mean the plays that are called for him? Phil Jackson is on record that the Lakers “want him to take those shots”. He actually has a problem with some of the shots Kobe takes in the last two minutes, not the last second shots.

          Posted by Gil Meriken | February 7, 2011, 11:07 pm
  11. The entire problem with statistics is that they can be used to prove almost anything.

    First you have to define the parameters, then you have to restrict your conclusions to those parameters.

    The comments to this article prove the point that anyone coming in with a bias can find statistics that back up that bias. However, that doesn’t make the bias either true or false.

    Posted by Craig W. | February 9, 2011, 5:51 pm
    • Thank you Craig. This was largely the point of my article. My personal feeling is that the best measure of clutchness tends to be what your peers think of you. These are the guys that go into battle with you, and understand your ability to bring them back when things look hopeless.

      One small example here: when the US Olympic team played, who did everyone defer to in the final moments of the Gold Medal game? Kobe. Lebron, Wade, et al in one game showed who they believed was most clutch in that situation (and oh by the way, he delivered)

      Posted by Brown Mamba | February 9, 2011, 9:55 pm
  12. Stats don’t lie, people do.

    45% is 45%. But does it mean that someone who shoots 45% is worse than someone who shoots 55%? Not enough information.

    And yet, someone will claim to be “scientific” and “objective” when they say 55% is more than 45%, it’s a fact! Yes, it’s a fact that 55% is more than 45%, but the conclusions based on those facts can be faulty.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | February 9, 2011, 11:33 pm
  13. 2002 Game 5 WCF vs Kings: Kobe misses potential game-winning buzzer beater as defender Bobby Jackson pulls Kobe’s jersey completely out of his shorts as Kobe elevates. No call. This play came immediately after Chris Webber freed up Mike Bibby’s go-ahead jump shot with one of the most blatantly illegal picks of all time. No call. That play came immediately after the officials awarded the Kings the ball on an out-of-bounds play when replays clearly showed possession should have been awarded to the Lakers (in the days before replays were allowed in this situation). This sequence probably directly led to the makeup 4th Quarter of Game 6 that all of the conspiracy theorists cite as an example of biased officiating toward the Lakers.

    Posted by The Dude Abides | February 10, 2011, 10:26 am
    • Dude. stop your bitching. That entire series was called horribly, starting from Game 1. Moreover, no one got the brunt of it more than the Kings did in Game 6. That game was downright fixed.

      As far as Kobes miss goes, every player gets bumped, pushed, pulled in the final 24 seconds. Its known as the refs “swallowing the whistle” and Kobe is no different than anyone else. The only difference is the others have a higher shooting percentage in those same situations.

      Posted by Fite hider | February 10, 2011, 1:12 pm
  14. Brown Mamba, tonight was a great example of what you are talking about.

    According the “clutch stat” as defined here, Kobe was neither clutch nor un-clutch.

    But we both saw the shots he hit tonight, and while they may not fit the definition of the stat, I think we can all agree they were big, big, shots, and that you probably want Kobe taking the big, big, shots.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | February 11, 2011, 12:46 am
  15. some truly interesting points you have written.

    Posted by Serina Sox | February 11, 2011, 5:06 am
  16. My biggest beef with the use of stats on Abbott’s article is the indistinct conclusion offered by Abbott. Abbott indicates that the only purpose of his article is to prove that Kobe is NOT the most (or even very, according to him) clutch player in the NBA. He states that he does NOT intend to prove someone else is more clutch, that that’s an article for another day. By saying 1 player is NOT the most clutch out of a pool of hundreds of players inherently makes his argument easier to prove.

    For example, let’s say I was a gambling man and I was going to place a bet on 1 team to win it all this year. I put my money on the Lakers because I think they have the best shot. If however, Vegas lets me retract my bet and offers me the option to either: [1] bet on the Lakers to win it all, or [2] bet on the Lakers to lose (i.e. if any other team wins, I win); I would place my money on 1 of the other 15 playoff teams to win it all (sorry Laker faithful, but money talks).

    Even if I were to give Abbott the benefit of the doubt by believing it wasn’t his intent to subtly bolster his argument by gaming the odds in his favor, his list of players with a higher FG% than Kobe runs contrary to his stated intent of “not naming players who are more clutch than Kobe”. He doesn’t want to put specific players ahead of Kobe, but then supports his argument with statistical data that numerically puts a slurry of other players ahead of Kobe! Huh?! He wants you to accept his data as proof that Kobe isn’t number 1 by a long shot, but doesn’t say that any of the players ahead of Kobe are more clutch than Kobe. Why is that? Why wouldn’t he say a guy like Melo is the most clutch player because he sports an awesome 47.7% FG% in “clutch” situations? After all, Melo is a pretty darn good player, and by naming specific players, it would only further support his argument that Kobe isn’t the most clutch.

    I suspect Abbott avoids this route because the readers would then give his list a serious look, rather than a passing glance. Names like Melo, CP3, B.Roy and the like make you think, “Ok, this seems pretty legit. I can buy that those guys are pretty clutch, and these numbers back that up.” Then you see the other names on the list: Shawn Marion, Hedo Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis?!, you to put 2 and 2 together and come to the logical question of, “Are you sure, Abbott?” Now, Rashard may have shot 39.1% in these “clutch” situations, but I have witnessed his disappearing act in the 2009 Finals. How can a guy, who doesn’t even put forth maximum effort IN THE FINALS, be the 6th on the list?!

    Now, some may say that this list is only about FG%; it is not end-all of clutchness. If that is indeed the case (and I agree that being clutch is way more than a simple FG%), then it must also be admitted that the list can’t be used to definitively say that Kobe isn’t the number 1 guy in the clutch. Sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.

    Lastly, the number-crunching portion of statistics is only part of the process. Logic always prevails over numerical results. If I establish an intent to define “clutch” as Abbott has, and my list has Rashard-freakin’-Lewis as number 6, as a responsible analyst I would have to accept that my results were flawed, and that it would be irresponsible of me to present my data as factual evidence proving my claim. It’s just as Gil said, the numbers are true. Lewis did shoot 39.1%, and no one can deny that. However, his presence on the list of “clutch” defies logic and conventional wisdom, and thus puts to question the legitimacy of using that list to define “clutch”.

    Posted by K. Yang | February 13, 2011, 2:13 am
    • Well put K. Yang — it’s the reason why guys like Abbot and Hollinger end up with misled conclusions (whereas I think guys that combine both stats with good sensibility, e.g., Bill Simmons, make a lot more sense)

      Posted by Brown Mamba | February 13, 2011, 8:18 pm
  17. Great article. Kobe does tend to get too much hate. Glad to see another article supporting Kobe’s clutch-ness (the other good one was I think at Silver Screen and Roll refuting Abbott’s article). Now Kobe may not be the best clutch performer based purely on stats, but he is no doubt great. He no doubt is guarded the most heavily compared to the rest.

    Yes, he misses and yes he may decide to shoot an off-balance 3 instead of throwing it to an open teammate but for better or worse, Kobe is Kobe because of his drive and determination (some could call it selfishness). He’s gotten alot better about going into Solo Mamba mode now that his teammates are much better, although he still goes into every once in awhile, which I think more often than not, is not a good idea. But, Kobe’s Kobe and I’ve come to accept that part of him.

    I think it’d be awesome if in the next few years, he becomes more of a PG for the Lakers and puts up like 20-5-10 or something. He’ll still be a threat and draw double/triple teams. A nice way to finish his career off.

    Posted by P2 | February 13, 2011, 11:19 pm
  18. The person that wrote this article is f*ked in the head. Kobe has a 27 percent field goal percentage when he has the chance to win a playoff game.

    Why don’t you try spinning that one you Kobe d*ckriders? I bet you qu.eers would love to swallow his lovejuice.

    Posted by Brown Mamba wants Mamba | February 21, 2011, 12:56 pm
    • Like I said before, you can’t spin the numbers. Kobe shot 27% in playoff game-winning situations. No one can change that. However, the article provides no other players for comparison. It’s one thing to simply say he had a horrible shooting percentage in those situations, but what about other players? Also, how many of his shots were unassisted? Unassisted FGA’s are harder to make, thus lowering shooting percentage. If you want to dig even deeper, how much would Kobe’s FG% change if he had an elite passing point guard to give him better looks? As much as I like Derek Fisher, he can’t thread a needle like Steve Nash.

      If you’re a guy that believes “If Kobe is doubled and can’t get an open look, he should just pass the ball because that means someone else is open”, I agree to a certain extent. Who is the open man? Is it Kwame Brown, or Derek Fisher? Additionally, where’s the data that talks about the FG% of the players that Kobe passes to in the same game-on-the-line situations? Is their FG% higher than Kobe’s?

      My point is not to say the data is wrong. It can’t be, it’s numbers and numbers don’t lie. However, the numbers that were provided don’t really prove anything because there were not adequate comparisons to any other players in similar situations. It’s easy to look at the 27% FG%, have a knee-jerk reaction and start calling everyone else idiots for not agreeing with you. This is especially the case because the writer, like Abbott, specifically states that he’s not putting someone else as a better option than Kobe. The author keeps a somewhat level head and mentions immeasurable factors that come into play, such as the ability to create one’s own shot. However, saying that Kobe isn’t the most clutch without specifically putting anyone ahead of him makes as much sense as saying Tiger Woods is no longer the consensus #1 without putting anyone ahead of him.

      If the writer can’t even draw a hard conclusion while using data with no relative perspective, how can anybody say that his article proved anything?

      Posted by K. Yang | February 21, 2011, 2:00 pm
  19. As per your title, Stats don’t lie, Statisticians do. Both articles bring up good points but one thing I’ve been saying since I started watching Kobe play, he picks bad shots. I’ve seen it over and over and over. Yes there are some memorable moments when he hits big big shots but throughout those games there are so many times when he misses.

    TO the Kobe Nation: Numbers don’t lie.
    1.) Kobe hit two game winners during 3 championship runs, early in his career with Shaq.
    2.) Kobe’s only other game winning shots in the playoffs did not end in titles, so even if they won those games with Kobe hitting big shots they still weren’t good enough.
    3.) In the last two years Kobe missed all 3 tries. All 3. I watched all four games.
    First, they lost in Utah… come on Utah? You let Utah get that far ahead, the series should have been 4-0.
    Then, game 6 2010, Thunder. Horrible shot. Durant should have won that one, in fact had Durant been smarter games 2 AND 6 would have been theirs and the Lakers would have lost the series. Good thing Gasol was there or that would have been Kobe’s WORST game I’ve seen…
    until… Phoenix, the next round. Sorry but a shot with 3 seconds against Phoenix’s defense is NOT desperation and that rebound by Artest will go into the books as THE LUCKIEST rebound EVER. He was in the wrong place at the right time.

    Posted by Stormon | February 21, 2011, 1:10 pm
    • Since you’re all about the numbers, where are the numbers for the other players that you’d rather have?

      Also, what does your second point have to do with anything? Are you discounting them because they didn’t lead to titles? By that logic, none of LeBron’s crunch time production should be counted at all because he’s never won a title right?

      As for your third point, haven’t you noticed that Kobe’s teammates seem to get a lot of offensive rebounds at the right time? Is it possible that when Kobe is doubled, he now has teammates that can’t all be boxed out, thus boosting the odds for an offensive rebound? Did it ever occur to you that maybe Kobe shot the ball as fast as he could so that if a miss were to happen, there would be enough time for a put-back/tip-in?

      Posted by K. Yang | February 21, 2011, 2:12 pm
    • KOBE IS LUCKY!!!

      Posted by Gil Meriken | February 21, 2011, 3:11 pm
  20. The moral of the story is that Kobe under-performs in the end of games. When he hits shots they look good but when he misses his teammates clean up. I would MUCH rather have Melo, Wade, or Lebron with the ball in his hands down with under 24. Take a look at these guys and see who CREATES more points with under 24, down. I guarantee Lebron does. Even though Kobe scores a lot all you have to do is guard him well if you’re up and they have the ball ’cause 79% of the time you’ll win. As with Lebron if you guard him and he doesn’t have a clean look he’ll find his teammate. Kobe NEVER does that.

    Beyond all that I think I’d trust Melo with seconds left any day.

    Posted by Stormon | February 21, 2011, 1:20 pm
  21. Oh and as for Kobe taking over in the 4th? Lebron does that more often and better.

    Posted by Stormon | February 21, 2011, 1:37 pm
    • Yeah, I’ve seen LeBron take over in the 4th. I’ve seen that Detroit playoff game where he scored practically all his teams points in the fourth. I was actually disappointed watching it because of all the points he scored from the FT line. Now, there’s nothing wrong with getting points from the FT line, it’s part of the game for a reason. However, I don’t find that be be clutch at all. How is relying on one’s own innate size, strength and speed to generate contact, clutch? How can relying on the referee’s whistle be clutch?

      Posted by K. Yang | February 21, 2011, 2:17 pm
      • Surely you’re not talking about 2007 game 5 when Lebron scored 29 of the Cav’s last 30 points? In the 4th quarter and both overtimes he was a combined 5/8 from the FT line. Surely your not implying that that is an inordinate amount of free throws!

        Maybe your talking about a different game? Or maybe you’ve been exposed as another spin doctor revisionist historian Kobetard!

        Even if such a game existed, you make it sound as if it’s par for the course, as it pertains to Lebron James. Such a game would be a statistical anomaly. Lebron doesn’t need to rely on whistles.

        It’s ashame your undying, obsessive loyalty to Kobe makes it impossible to appreciate another great player’s historic performance.

        Posted by William | February 23, 2011, 4:21 am
        • I am not even a Lebron fan and I was in awe witnessing that. By far the most clutch performance in the history of the NBA.

          Posted by DFJ | February 23, 2011, 8:57 pm
        • You know what, I watched the highlights of that game again just because of what you said. I retract my remark disparaging LeBron and I admit that his performance was truly impressive. He truly took over and did everything his team needed to win.

          As far as the free throws, 8 attempts IS a lot considering the time frame in which they took place. 4th quarter + 2OTs is 22 minutes. To get a sense of scale, proportion his FTA rate per unit time during the 4th + 2OTs over the course of the game. 8FTA*58min/22min = 21FTA. If one player got 21 free throws over the course of the game, I would say that’s a lot.

          In response to the rest of what you’re saying, have you read anything else I’ve posted on this page? Where in my posts have I even mentioned that Kobe was the best at anything? Go ahead and quote me, if you’ve even read what I’ve written.

          If you DID read what I wrote, and all you got from my posts were “this K. Yang is just ‘another spin doctor revisionist historian Kobetard!'”, then I truly am sorry that you completely missed the point of my posts. Read them again. Not once did I say or insinuate that Kobe was/is the most clutch of anything.

          The sole purpose of my long-winded posts was to disprove the legitimacy of Abbott’s and The NBA Realist’s articles. In both articles, the writer uses historical stats, which are inherently objective, to determine who is most “clutch”, an attribute that most people would say is subjectively defined. Beyond the intrinsic obstacles of doing that, both articles ignored basic tenets of using statistics and in an objective and unbiased manner. In Abbott’s article, he uses his FG% list to “prove” that Kobe isn’t the most clutch, but chooses to ignore the presence of supremely un-clutch players near the top of the list (i.e. Rashard Lewis). When a data set does not accurately reflect reality, how can it accurately prove anything? In the NBA Realist’s article, he isn’t comparing apples to apples. Matter of fact, he isn’t even making any comparisons! All he shows is Kobe’s 6/22 and calls it a day. Without knowing how other players fared in similar circumstances, it’s completely illogical to say the 6/22 proves anything.

          Now, maybe Abbott and The NBA Realist have legitimate reasons as to why they think Kobe isn’t this or that. I have no issue with their perspectives or opinions, whether they’re subjective or objective. My only issue is the inappropriate use of data and numbers as “proof” of their arguments. If someone wants to use numbers to back up their argument, by all means go right ahead; just be sure to use the numbers in a truly objective and unbiased fashion.

          Lastly, I don’t know why you felt it necessary to paint me as some rabid Kobe fan. That I am unimpressed with the way LeBron takes over games in the fourth quarter does not force me to be the rabid Kobe fan that you believe me to be. I don’t pretend to know you and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t pretend to know me.

          Posted by K. Yang | February 24, 2011, 6:23 am
  22. Hey Bud, sorry for the insults. I shouldn’t throw the term Kobetard out there so freely, especially in your case.

    I still view your statement as irresponsible revisionism. Your argument of free throw attempts in minutes played is irrelevant deflection. Here’s why-
    “I was actually disappointed watching it because of all the points he SCORED from the FT line.” He scored 5 out of 29 points from the line in a quarter and 2 overtimes.

    “How is relying on one’s own innate size, strength and speed to generate contact, clutch?”
    I don’t even need to get into this. The idiocy of this statement stands alone.

    Just because I don’t know you per se, does not mean your bias doesn’t show through.

    Posted by William | February 24, 2011, 3:20 pm
  23. Yeah, I’ll admit it. When in my initial post regarding LeBron, I do make it sound like he scored a ton of points from the FT line. Upon reading your post and checking the box score + highlights again, I realized my mistake and retracted my statement in the subsequent post.

    As far as my “FTA in minutes played” argument, it’s in reference to your statement: “Surely your not implying that that is an inordinate amount of free throws!” I do in fact feel that 8 FTA’s over 22 minutes is a lot. That’s just my personal opinion. I never tried to “prove” that it was a lot. I only scaled the figure over the course of the game to provide a point of reference that most fans could associate with.

    “How is relying on one’s own innate size, strength and speed to generate contact, clutch?”
    How is this an idiotic statement? Perhaps “clutch” wasn’t the appropriate word to use in finishing that statement, but I still stand by it. When I see LeBron play, I see him rely on size, strength and quickness wayyy more than actual basketball skills. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. The game of basketball as it is today, rewards players with those types of attributes. Who am I to say he shouldn’t do what he does, if what he’s doing is the most effective, efficient way for him to score and help his team win? If that route is working for him, he should keep doing it until it no longer works. That said, I don’t have to be impressed by the way he’s doing it. In my mind, watching him abuse the opposing defenders (in a very game-legal way) is like watching two boxers in different weight classes duke it out. Sure the bigger dude is gonna beat the smaller guy into a pulp, which in and of itself is entertaining in some circles, but impressive? No (and just to reiterate, this is all MY opinion).

    As far as me being biased? Hell yeah I’m biased! I’m a Laker fan first and if any of my fan-ness trickles down to the players on the team, I’m gonna support them over guys on other teams. I’m aware of my bias and am admitting it. That said, I TRY to look at different scenarios and perspectives with an open mind. I TRY to focus only on the facts. I TRY to make sure my stated opinions don’t appear to come off as facts.

    Regardless, it’s a two-way street and slip-ups happen all the time. As much as I try, my bias will still slip in unintentionally. Occasionally I might post something about why I don’t like LeBron for reasons X, Y and Z. Whether my reasons were motivated by bias or not, some people might assume it’s because I’m a Kobe fan and I’m just a hater. Both those things will never change. It’s just human nature. I don’t mind you calling me out for my bias, because it’s true. The only things I don’t appreciate are the insults; so thank you for the apology.

    Posted by K. Yang | February 27, 2011, 6:19 pm
  24. So … let’s revisit this article. So who would rather have Lebron take the game winning shot than Kobe? Hmm. OK.

    Posted by Gil Meriken | March 7, 2011, 10:58 pm
  25. lets look closer at these games , brown biased mamba.

    as you see at the end of the phx lal game 5

    kobe did not hit the shot, he was doubled and had a wide open fisher in the corner,with 3 seconds left plenty of time for someone to setup and shoot ron artest hit the shot, also the lakers in that game had two 20 point scorers in addition to kobe, derek fisher and pau gasol with pau shooting 50 percent ,kobe shot 44 percent , the lakers held an 18 point lead and lost it, if kobe gets credit for keeping his team in the game with you, then he deserves blame for letting teams back into the game as well, in fact the suns were down 56 to 74 with 3 44 in the third here is what kobe did in the meantime he shot 4 out of 12 the rest of the way , he fouled dudly on an and one play, and drew a tech in the 4th in a close game, that stuff adds up, and thats not very clutch to get a T, like that. In the 4th quarter alone Kobe shot 3 for 9. For three of his misses he shot the ball at 26 feet, another was 21 feet, and two were 16 feet, whats he doing not driving the ball in late game situations, thats very unclutch, he got bailed out and that was not a clutch performance by kobe, that was the lakers winning in spite of Kobe.

    Posted by samtotheg | April 6, 2011, 10:19 am
  26. ok lets look at the okc game , kobe shot 12 for 25 not bad , he didnt enter the 4th til 6 minutes 20 seconds, the lead for LAL at the time was 86 to 82 and was 1 for 4 including missing the jumper pau put back, the lead decreased again from 4 to a 1 point win, again if kobe then can get credit for keeping games close he can be blamed for giving the opposing team a chance to win. Also note the thunder team has a whole shot 36 percent and the lakers shot 46 percent as a team, hmm the defense gets more credit for that win, than mr bryant.

    Posted by samtotheg | April 6, 2011, 10:31 am
  27. now for the magic vs Lal game 2 in the finals kobe shot 10 for 22 45 percent and finished with 29 points , in the 4th quarter , kobe shot 1 for 4 and had 3 turnovers in the overtime he shot 1 for 2 and had a turnover , that again is not exactly clutch

    if you watch the end of the game clip kobe had 4 guys on him and at 2.3 seconds he had fish and ariza to his right by the 3pt line and had odom to his left, kobe got swatted again not clutch. The numbers dont lie but the irony is the numbers dont show just how bad kobe is in the clutch.

    Posted by samtotheg | April 6, 2011, 10:46 am
  28. the game 3 against the jazz , kobe was putrid all around 5 for 24 from the field he shot 20 percent from the field , gasol was 8 for 15 ,if kobe can get credit for carrying his team, he can get the blame for fumbling, why did he get 9 more shots than pau when he made 3 less from him, and shot 33 percent less than pau, the lakers were up by 8 heading into the 4th quarter, kobe in the 4th shot lets see 1 for 5 with a turnover and missed free throw in the 4th again not exactly a clutch carry his team performance, I would say they lost because of kobe,

    look at what the kobe loving media had to say about his bad 30 foot shot.

    kobe isn’t clutch is not a myth.

    Posted by samtotheg | April 6, 2011, 11:04 am
    • Well done, SAMTOTHEG. I also took a closer look at the individual games in the article. It’s funny how Brown Stain Mamba takes anything positive Kobe did in these games and tries to pass it off as a retort to THE NBA REALIST’s fact-based article. Why don’t you respond to SAMTOTHEG’s posts Brown Mamba?

      Kobe is overrated as a clutch performer. End of discussion///

      Posted by William | April 20, 2011, 4:57 am
  29. I was at a Laker’s home game- I think in 2003 where Kobe Bryant was late (3rd quarter?) entering the game, as he was attending a court case. He flew in late and later scored the winning points. Does anyone have more details? Getting old, I guess…

    Posted by james | April 17, 2011, 7:22 am
  30. thanks, william I am glad you saw what I saw,yeah he says the numbers dont tell the whole story , so I figured out the whole story and the it gets worse for bryant , and yeah I am still waiting for his rebuttal,and anyone watching this playoff series against NO , I think kobe is proven my case for me, I remember the year he won mvp I said, it should go to paul and cp3 is a better player, cp3 gotta triple double tonight, while kobe bryant was 5 for 18 ,just saying.

    Posted by samtotheg | April 25, 2011, 12:59 am
  31. This is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the worst attempt to justify Kobe’s ineffectiveness in the final moments of playoff games. He is not clutch… 1-11 lifetime, with under 10 seconds in a 5 point game, in the post season is not clutch.

    To me, and most non-bias basketball fans, clutch is hitting big shots with the game on the line. A guy can drop 81 points a game, but if he is 1 for 11 lifetime in the clutch, than he is not clutch.

    People who believe that Kobe is clutch, also believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. Stats don’t lie because they are “FACT” and not media hyped propaganda.

    End of discussion.

    Posted by Joe | May 3, 2011, 2:17 am
  32. Don’t you have to do the same thing for LeBron for all this to mean anything?

    Posted by Mike | May 9, 2011, 8:25 am
  33. and that last comment was directed at the article writer

    Posted by Mike | May 9, 2011, 8:46 am
  34. So where’s the big list of excuses for why he’s missed 80 of 117 clutch shots during the regular season?

    While you’re drumming up those excuses, how about coming up with a list of excuses as to why other players have missed shots, or better yet, why not come up with a big list of outs and excuses to explain why the real most-clutch players in the league are so much more clutch than Kobe and why Kobe is just barely above average.

    Oh yeah, and put together a really long post about how “cold-bloodedness”/arrogance is more important than making shots.

    P.S. Throw in a few more excuses as to why Phil Jackson said Kobe is a ball hog and counter-productive to the team and explain (make up an excuse) why Phil Jackson requested that he be traded so many times.

    I’m interested to hear what kind of excuses you can come up with.

    [Kobe shot 4 consecutive air balls against Utah, not 1.]

    Posted by Brian | May 15, 2011, 4:43 am
  35. What makes you so sure that other players with betters stats for “clutch” have had it easier than Kobe? Take a closer look at LeBron, Jordan etc and really evaluate the breakdown of the misses since you’re so willing to do it for Kobe. Why with Kobe EXCLUSIVELY is it impossible to have your case proven with cold hard numbers. If you say 5 (rings) is the only number you’ll need I’m going to rip out my hair. MJ has six so he won more yet (I maybe wrong) you insist that Kobe is the better player.

    Posted by ish | May 19, 2011, 2:29 pm
  36. Good Article Brown Mamba. I have to disagree with you though, stats don’t lie. But what you have shed a LITTLE light on is that we are not merely computers spitting out numbers but are humans, and as such we understand circumstances that surround situations. You mentioned some of those regarding Kobe’s clutch in this post. But agian, to make clear NBA realist’s focal point of his post, it was about the game winning shot & the result of that shot only that he based his debate. He did not qualify it by circumsances (none of the other players – MJ & Lebron – were qualified in NBA Realist’s post). Yes, clutch is more than the game winning shot, but that is what we are talking about right now. So in that regard, it is what it is. Also, as another poster mentioned, don’t confuse Kobe’s clutch with the Lakers clutch. In some of your rebuttal exmaples above it just shows how good the Laker TEAMS have been. In Only 5 out of the 14 rebuttals you gave was Kobe the Alpha Dog and in only 1 did he not have a legit #2. He was playing on good teams, so your “Lakers Won” means nothing (again see Realist’s focal point anyway). The “Lakers won” not “Kobe hit the game winner”.

    Posted by no fan be objective | May 20, 2011, 9:13 am
  37. I think most people are taking this out of perspective, whenever you think of the most clutch players you think of players that wit 24 secs on the shot clock and the ball in there hands they will make the shot, now kobe IS a clutch player in oher situations, but in the LAST SHOT he isn’t as clutch as a lot of other great players, which was the whole point of the original article from NBA REALIST, Kobe is great but not in those situations, thats all

    Posted by calum craft | May 30, 2011, 10:33 pm
  38. calium craft please show evidence of kobe being clutch in the post season, really show us when he was clutch, dont just say shit without any proof first.

    Posted by samtotheg | May 31, 2011, 12:11 am
  39. it would be interestiing if you include kobe’s FG % in those games. of course you won’t lol

    Posted by Daniel | July 20, 2011, 12:04 pm
    • “t would be interestiing if you include kobe’s FG % in those games. of course you won’t lol”

      Lulz Daniel. Lulz indeed at you for being the kid not paying attention in statistics. Lookin like Michelle Bachmann trying to use stats.

      The FG % is one of the most misleading statistic in sports, hands down.

      Kobe’s point per shot is .98 from the field, career. MJ’s is 1.02.

      For every 100 shots each take, MJ scores a whopping FOUR more points than KB. MJ’s PPS isn’t all that much higher than Wade, who’s PPS is .99, LBJ’s PPS is also, right there.

      These elite scorers barely differ from each other in the amount of points scored given identical shot attempts. Between all these players, the guy who takes THE MOST shots or gets the most foul calls (MJ cough cough*) will be the guy with the most points. FG % makes for the most sophomoric and idiotic comparisons between guards there is in the NBA. Truly fucking stupid idiots. eFG% and TS% are superior to FG% by leaps and bounds, but still they are far from capable of telling the whole story.

      True champions are defined by their ability to will their way towards wins facing whatever odds. This keeps being said but kids don’t want to listen. Basketball like most competitive sports is very much a mental game. You wanna bet against KB in the finals when it matters? Sure you do…

      Posted by Thien | December 15, 2011, 11:14 pm
      • Exactly, how is FG% misleading?

        FG% tells the result of how many shot attempts actually went through the net, how is this subject to a bias or misinterpretation?

        Posted by Paulie Walnuts | December 16, 2011, 6:22 am
        • I think what Thien is suggesting Paulie is that, at best, FG% is an incomplete metric (a la batting average in baseball — which in a post-Moneyball era, is practically a worthless statistic nowadays, only valued by fantasy geeks).

          Again, my point here is, you can pull stats anyway you want to create the story you want to tell. There is one stat that is “unspinnable” — wins and losses. At the end of the day, in these situations in his last 11 playoff games where the Lakers were trailing or tied with under 24 seconds left as per this article’s writing, Kobe had an amazing 80%+ winning percentage. Don’t see any way of spinning that other than — teams led by Kobe have a knack for winning down the stretch.

          Posted by Brown Mamba | December 16, 2011, 2:28 pm
        • Paulie: FG% is misleading because it does not take into account free throws or 3-pointers. For example, if a player is shooting 8/18, goes in for a layup, but is fouled by the defensive player thereby preventing what would have otherwise been an easy 2 points, he would recieve 2 free throws but his 8/18 shooting statistic would remain the same. However, had he not been fouled, he would have been 9/19. As such, FG% is not really an accurate measure of scoring ability. Similarly, a player who shoots 2/6 three-pointers may have a 40% FG avg, but nonetheless scores the same number of points as a player who shoots 3/6 (50%) in two-pointers.

          If our objective is to measure scoring ability, we need to break it down into basic building blocks: the number of scoring attempts vs number of scoring makes. True Shooting percentage (TS%) does a great job of this by counting a FGA as one possession, and a FTA as 44% of a possession (based on advanced analytics that takes into account the “and ones” since 1947).

          With that said, Thein ‘s measurement of Jordan vs. Kobe is misleading for 2 reasons:
          1.) Points per shot is a metric that completely disregards missed free throws since it only measures FGA (not FTA) as shots
          2.) Jordan’s 2-years with Washington, when he was 39 and 40 years old respectively, drag his TS% down considerably and is not an accurate reflection of his scoring ability. Neither are Kobe’s first 3 years when he spent time on the bench. Moreover, Kobe has yet to play out the last few years of his career, when his shooting percentage, like nearly every other player, will decline.

          As such, we see only a career 56.8 % (MJ) vs 55.7% vs Kobe. However, a more appropriate comparison would be measure both players when playing at a high level (Jordan from 85-98, disregarding his last 2 years with Washington, and Kobe from 2000-2011,disregarding his first 3 years with the Lakers since no one wins when we compare 2003 MJ to 1997 Kobe). The result is that MJ shot 58.2% while Kobe shot 55.7% – a 2.5% differential which is significant when comparing TS%. This disparity becomes even bigger if we were to measure them at their absolute peak (MJ from 88-93) and Kobe from (06-10) in which the stats are 59.5% vs. 56.5%. Moreover, he did this when the league avg for TS% was a full percent lower than in today’s game.

          All thats said, FG% absolutely becomes a very accurate indicator in the final 24 seconds, and with the game on the line since the real measurement of success is miss or make. In other words, a player does not get multiple chances to up their TS% average. Moreover, there are rarely free throws attempted since the refs swallow the whistle.

          Posted by The NBA Realist | December 16, 2011, 4:09 pm
          • Mamba and Realist,

            Thanks for answering my question, though it was largely rhetorical. I was hoping that the previous commenter would provide insight to what he was thinking.

            I would agree that FG%, in of itself, can be misleading. This is why I have REPEATEDLY written that multiple levels of metrics are needed to reach the truest answer. Still, when both players play the same position/role and Player A has a FG% of .510 and player B has a FG% of .456, it seems pretty clear that one is the better shooter than the other.

            Mamba, as much as you worship at the alter of Kobe, you need to temper that worship a little when you say that “teams led by Kobe have a knack for winning. . .” Really? like 2003? 2004? 2005? 2006? 2007? 2008? There are several seasons that “Kobe led teams” did not cash.

            If you want to grant the Lions share of the credit to Kobe when they win, shouldn’t you thus apply the same level of blame for when they lose?

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | December 16, 2011, 10:17 pm
  40. Wait, so basically what you are saying is

    “Well, Kobe didn’t make the shot in the clutch, but his team still won, so he was clutch.”

    THATS the conclusion you came up with? You do realize that basketball is a team sport, right? Maybe your conclusion should have been

    “Well, Kobe didn’t make the shot in the clutch, but his team still won, so someone else on the Lakers must have performed in the clutch.”

    But you try to justify this stance by saying that he played well in these games despite not hitting the clutch shot? So a good game is clutch now? Are you kidding me?

    Brown Mamba? Is that another way of saying Skip Bayless?

    Posted by Keystone Heavy | February 7, 2012, 8:58 am
  41. This article is a perfect example of “changing the goalposts” when someone refutes a myth with evidence.

    Now one’s performance during the rest of the game matters more than a “clutch” shot? Well, at least you’re getting closer to enlightenment, Kobe homers…

    Posted by The Realist #2 | February 7, 2012, 9:39 am
  42. I like how most people obviously disagree with what you are saying. FG percentage needs to be stated, the fact that he takes 40 million shots for his 40.00001 million points. Also, he may lead his team somewhat but he is a craphole of a person(which to me as a fan is a big problem). I hate people who are just shit holes of teammates.

    Posted by Bryce | March 26, 2012, 11:39 am
    • And he needs to learn to step back…because the USA team is not his team, its Lebron’s team and if they need a spark in the 4th they will turn to Lebron and he can’t throw a hissy fit about it. Hes not the best player in the world anymore and he needs to stop thinking he is.

      Posted by nightbladehunter | August 7, 2012, 1:25 pm
      • When has he thrown a hissy fit when they turn to Lebron, exactly? When he’s on the bench, I see him cheering on the sideline for his USA teammates, don’t know why it wouldn’t be the same mentally when he’s on the court.

        Posted by Gil Meriken | August 7, 2012, 1:31 pm
        • Gil he has to feel like hes the first option and that he is just being nice about it. His last game worries me because he is quite capable of shooting the USA right out of a game. This is Lebron’s team and Kobe has to understand that hes not even the second or third option on the team. Hes there to provide vet leadership but hes not the Alpha male on the team. History has shown us that Kobe doesn’t do well sharing the Alpha male role.

          Posted by nightbladehunter | August 9, 2012, 8:08 am
          • “he has to feel like hes the first option and that he is just being nice about it.”

            More speculation.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | August 9, 2012, 10:13 pm
          • “History has shown us that Kobe doesn’t do well sharing the Alpha male role.”

            Well, that really came to fruition

            Kobe really ruined this Olympic team and was a horrible teammate, fractured the locker room, and lost the respect of all his teammates. What a cancer.

            Your “worries” were justified.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | August 12, 2012, 10:11 pm
  43. Can you do one of these for LeBron James?

    Posted by Tito | May 31, 2012, 8:31 pm
  44. for avoidance of doubt … can the Kobe “true believers” edify the rest of us regarding expectations for the 2012/13 season with Nash and Howard now in the mix (along with Pau, MWP, Jamison, et. al.) …

    Also, …

    1. Are we still going with the “he has no help” routine?

    2. Are we still going with the “Jordan had more help” routine?

    3. Are we still going with the “nobody wins alone” (i.e., the Lakers have merely surrounded Kobe with levels of talent and skill consistent with past franchise players across the league) routine?

    My interest lies squarely in locking the mouth breathers amongst us into planting their goalposts and living with the results without the unearned benefit of excusing away the actual performance of their hero …

    Posted by Ken | August 10, 2012, 10:37 am
    • Kobe will now have played with Shaq and Howard, the two most dominate post players of the generation.

      I wonder what Jordan’s career would have been like if he had Hakeem and then Robinson?

      Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 10, 2012, 11:59 am
      • don’t forget to throw in some proxy for playing with Pau and Bynum over the past five or six years, too … so between tentpoles of Shaq and DH12 (Olajuwon and David Robinson, in your example), he will also have played with maybe a Rik Smits and Jermaine O’Neal combination (in their respective primes) …

        Of course, when left to fend for himself with ONLY Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and Brian Grant to help him suffer through the Chucky Atkins exercise, he did personally KILL IT with a 28 / 38 masterpiece in 2004/05 …

        Posted by Ken | August 10, 2012, 12:18 pm
    • Nope, barring injury, it will be a failure if the Lakers do not win the title this season.

      You won’t hear “it’s only their first season together” from me, or praise a Finals appearance without winning it.

      Posted by Gil Meriken | August 10, 2012, 1:06 pm
    • I only wish I locked in those “mouth-breathers” who used to say “Kobe will never win a title without Shaq” …

      Posted by Gil Meriken | August 10, 2012, 1:11 pm
      • And right on cue..diversionary bs! lol. Had to get in a weak anti-Lebron/Heat jab, eh? You do realize that Kobe didn’t win a title in his first season with Shaq or Gasol or Bynum, right?

        Anyway, your diversion is is besides the point. The whole “Kobe needs help/can’t do it by himself” was always nonsense but it’s especially so now.

        Posted by ks | August 10, 2012, 1:34 pm
    • Ken,

      Boom. You got it exactly right. I’m sure you’ll get some diversionary bs in response.

      Posted by ks | August 10, 2012, 1:25 pm
      • for my $$, I have already seen everything I need to from Kobe to assess his place amongst the greats …

        In his prime (26 – 29 years old, 8+ years of experience, 3 rings and 115+ playoff games under his belt), he pounded his chest, declared that he was long overdue to be “the man”, and seized control of his team … and then he proceeded to play exactly .500 basketball for THREE SEASONS, missed the playoffs and then suffered through two embarrassing seasons capped by first round exits, and finally went to the media to constructively demand a trade.

        Regardless of the circumstances, I’m unaware of any other all-time Top 20 player, in their prime, delivering that kind of dismal performance for a sustained period of at least two years. None …

        Yes, he played with the likes of Kwame Brown, Smush Parker and Luke Walton during his run at the helm. He also played with Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Andrew Bynum and other professional basketball players.

        Posted by Ken | August 10, 2012, 2:03 pm
  45. Gasol and Bynum are a great tandem, both with flaws.

    Bynum has health issues and maturity that is questionable based upon his display against the Mavs in 2011.

    Gsaol is a terrific post player and a very selfless player who is very willing to pass.

    I wonder if Bryant had a negative affect upon Gasol.

    How many anecdotes are circulating about Magic or Bird or even Jordan being bad teammates?

    Kobe has been called out by former players and even a former coach. Despite the potential of a questionable motive, we would have to conclude that Bryant is hardly the “inspiring leader” that he is often characterized as.

    The Lakers acquired both a great offensive player (Nash) and a transforamtive defensive player (Howard) that can both help their team but do NOT require a lot of shots.

    The question I have is whether Bryant can physically continue at his present pace of minutes and whether he can subjugate his shot attempts for the betterment of winning, as is often believed to be the case.

    Posted by Paulie Walnuts | August 10, 2012, 12:32 pm
  46. great news … most of the woefully insecure straw men have been accounted for … everyone can rest easy, as the inland empire is a scorching inferno these days …

    Posted by Ken | August 10, 2012, 1:18 pm
    • haha ken all good points, gil is a moron,anyhow Laker kobe tards do not celebrate yet you will not even make it to the finals, Kobe for one will self sabotage his team with his shotjacking , and combine that with the thunder being in their way , the lakers might win 2 games against the thunder. Look at the matchups d howard can be guarded one on one by kendrick perkins, ibaka can get gasol, artest will be destroyed by durant, harden can outplay bryants old ass and or sefalosha while not an offensive threat can force the brick mamba to struggle, and westbrook will murder steve nashes old ass. sorry thunder are repeating in the finals barring injury.

      Posted by samtotheg | August 11, 2012, 1:19 am
  47. HaHa. most of you idiots don’t even know what you are arguing about. What is everyone who is arguings credentials here? Do your jobs require any true critical thinking, research, or evidence based facts that are critical to multimillion dollar jobs/projects for billion dollar corporations?

    There only a very few truly who have commented that have presented any intelligent evidence for their cases(which even tho they may be wrong, at least they have put forth evidence in which to have a legit convo), and thats on both sides(for kobe, against kobe). Brown Mamba, nba realist, k.yang are amonngst the very few who even present points worth responding to.

    yes, SOME of the article writer’s arguments were not very solid, but his big picture is a realistic portrayal.
    The point of this article is that numbers are indeed numbers, but numbers can be misleading when looking at the true physical manifestion of a given situation in an attempt to discern a credible pattern that truthfully mimics the assumed original query/hypothesis combo.

    If anyone still reads this thread, please respond. I’d absolutely love to fight against some of your ‘points’, if you are even capable of understanding reasoning, let alone > HS reading comprehension.


    Posted by Vin | October 16, 2012, 1:38 am
    • Someones a little pretensious….

      Posted by pointguard40 | October 16, 2012, 3:10 pm
      • Yes, sorry I get a little worked up when I see a bunch of novices ‘arguing’ over very basic things that can be easily cross referenced by mere clicks, yet that seems to be lacking with the exception of a few people as I’ve noted. Yes, I am going to be arrogant. But I will back up everytihng I say. I will also concede to a point that has been well made and backed up. I see almost every comment here no different than mine, yet the owners no doubt have no idea that they themselves follow the same mold, lack of self actualization at its finest. Granted, at least the pursuit of that endows respect even if the pursuer has yet to be actualized… but i’m getting ahead of myself.

        Posted by Vin | October 16, 2012, 9:08 pm
    • +1 for bringing the funny … I relish these pseudo-intellectual arguments from folks like Vin all the more when they are also laced with rampant misspelling, delusions of one’s own station as an imaginary master of the universe, and a nice blend of capitalization, punctuation and sentence structure clearly ripped off from my kindergarten grandson …

      Vin, don’t ever change …

      Posted by Ken | October 16, 2012, 3:41 pm
      • lol the spelling/punctuation insult. was wondering when that was gonna show up. you had to reach for that one huh? got anything else chief?

        and psuedo intellectual… what exactly defines you as an intellectual? and you have a grandson? what wisdom do you bestow upon thee grandpa? i think that brain might be fermenting a little when going to the ol’ original spelling/grammar insult.

        So Ken, what would you like to debate? I see your semi recent statement..

        “Regardless of the circumstances, I’m unaware of any other all-time Top 20 player, in their prime, delivering that kind of dismal performance for a sustained period of at least two years. None …

        Yes, he played with the likes of Kwame Brown, Smush Parker and Luke Walton during his run at the helm. He also played with Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Andrew Bynum and other professional basketball players.”

        This is going to be fun! Please state your top 20 of all-time. And I will go from there :).

        In fact your whole ‘August 10, 2012, 2:03 pm’ post made me lol! But lets start with the basics. Answer my question… And I expect facts when you make a point, as I will give facts backed up by statistics on the regularly referenced websites.

        The court is yours.

        Posted by Vin | October 16, 2012, 9:00 pm
        • Why don’t you start by presenting an argument instead of needlessly stroking your own ego and bumping this thread that had been dead for a while. What exactly makes us all “novices” and you so superior? Did you play in the NBA? Did you coach/GM? Please expound. Especially on your comment about self-actualization? You? Self-actualized? Please. You aren’t the only person on here capable of formulating an argument and conceding to other’s good points. You also aren’t the only one capable of “backing up everything you say”. That’s why we’re all here. We have evidence, the arguments come from our interpretations. You won’t win a single argument on here going off about with non-basketball or objective related sentences such as “Granted, at least the pursuit of that endows respect even if the pursuer has yet to be actualized”. It has literally nothing to do with any topics discussed in this thread.

          Posted by pointguard40 | October 17, 2012, 11:31 am
          • Hey pal. Lets see, where to start with your post… Presenting my argument begins with first having the people I am going to debate against, that have already stated their ‘case’, clarify it so as to be able to follow a logical flow, and a logical flow starts at the beginning. So by laying out ground work, and understanding those chosen few of whom I started with, I can proceed with my argument once i truly understand their position. see that makes sense right?

            There only only a very few people here who have provided real evidence. I have named them. If I passed over your name as one of the people who provided solid fact, then I apologzie to you specifically, but I will re-read and see if I apologized needlessly. In general, most of the people here have posted weak points, do you agree or disagree?

            And yes, I realize I am not the only person here capable of formulating an argument, I think i started that quite clearly in my original post, going so far as naming the ones.. perhaps you should read what I wrote, and re-read what you write before posting and losing credibility.

            And I won’t win a single argument about posts about non-basketball subjects such as the terms ‘self actualized?’, or objective related sentences? Do you know what you just wrote there? Objective sentences are the very BASIS of FACT, not opinion.. thank you for agreeing with me! Though I think you perhaps made a mistake with that.. as you seem to be arguing against it(hard to tell, you are all over the place).

            And what on earth does being a GM, or NBA coach, or NBA player have to do with making me superior to you? you think people in the NBA are the only authoritive figure of which can act superior over given pupils or ‘subjects’?

            And I’d sure like explain self actualization, and its application here in this thread. My point was.. I came here, and yes I was arrogant and I accept the fact that I am and recognize it while I am doing it and you will not hear an argument from me against the fact that i am arrogent. That is part of self actualization, Understand Yourself in otherwords. Yet, the people who have called me arrogant, or pretentious, themselves in almost every post(and yes I will go through examples if you’d like me), have exhibited an enormous amount of arrogance and condescending behavior. And since they are mad that I am arrogant(such as ken), it makes me think that they themselves do not actually see themselves that way. Does this explain it to you? i can dumb it down further, and provide examples if you want.

            But I hope I have addressed all your points to your liking.. but if you want to further debate on what I’ve posted, or are further confused on anything else, you had only to say, and I will continue!!


            Posted by Vin | October 23, 2012, 9:07 pm
        • I’ll make it even easier for you … use any listing of Top 20 players in NBA history you can find, including your own, and name the player(s) in that list who choked as badly as Kobe did in his three years as “the man” in his prime …

          As for facts, the Lakers went from perennial title contenders (fact) to doormats in the Western Conference (fact) the minute Kobe “took over” from Shaq (fact) … they failed to win a single playoff series for those three years (fact), despite having quality NBA talent like Lamar Odom and Caron Butler on those teams (fact) … in 16+ seasons, Kobe has one regular season MVP (fact) and two Finals MVPs (fact); that rate of production (less than 6.25% and less than 12.5%) is significantly lower than the comparable MVP production of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird and Tim Duncan (facts all). If Finals MVP was an award during the entire careers of Wilt and Bill Russell, they would also be there (facts all) … based on his current trajectory, LeBron James will also be there (pro forma fact) ,.. over the past two years, Kobe has “led” his team brimming with two or three other all-stars (Pau, Bynum, MWP) to a 1 win / 8 loss record in CLOSEOUT playoff series (fact) … he has also presided over three 30+ point blowout losses in playoff CLOSEOUT games in the past 7 years, vs. Phoenix in 2006, vs. Boston in 2008, and vs. Dallas in 2011 (facts all) …

          Find me other Top 20 players with that astonishing pile of dung – in their Prime – on their permanent record …

          Last fact for the moment: based on any clutch metric out there, Kobe is far from the best (fact) … also, an uncontested dunk in the first quarter scores the same two points that a fadeaway 21 footer with three opponents draped all over the shooter (fact), so save the “eyeball test” nonsense for the rounding errors who share your “Kobe mythology” affliction …

          Posted by Ken | October 17, 2012, 5:39 pm
          • Ken, you are not too skilled at reading comprehension.

            Or comprehension in general.

            But you are good at making straw men!

            Posted by Gil Meriken | October 23, 2012, 4:15 pm
          • Hey Ken.

            Making it easier for me? I have asked YOU, to post your top 20. YOU said YOUR top 20 players and then went on to say ‘who have choked as badly as kobe during the three year prime while he was the ‘man’.

            See, here is what I plan on doing… taking the 20 players who you think are top 20, and then going through each of their careers to find out if they ‘choked’ like kobe did while they were ‘the man’. I need to know what players you specifcally think are top 20 to start my argument. You did provide me a paragraph below that with what your definition of choking is, and that will be perfect for me to use as a criteria against others, so you have half the job done.

            Or maybe i can provide a shortcut, Here are top 20 players in my opinion… do you agree wtih my list? if not what changes would you make? This list I found, and is in no particular order that I care about..

            Michael Jordan
            Magic Johnson
            Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
            Wilt Chamberlain
            Larry Bird
            Bill Russell
            Kobe Bryant
            Hakeem Olajuwon
            Oscar Robertson
            Shaquille O’Neal
            Julius Erving
            Tim Duncan
            Karl Malone
            Jerry West
            Charles Barkley
            Steve Nash
            Scottie Pippen
            John Stockton
            LeBron James
            Moses Malone

            If you agree, I will need a few days to review each of their careers/statisitcs and any other information that I can find which I will post objectively. And if you are correct, I will owe you an apology and you can rejoice in my embarrasment and feel free to link this to any website on the net to show how wrong I was and I will accept my defeat.


            Posted by Vin | October 23, 2012, 9:22 pm
          • I re-track the statement that you said ‘YOUR’ top 20. You did not say that, you said top 20 in general. Still my argument will go on. Let me know if you think the top 20 posted are agreeable to you..


            Posted by Vin | October 23, 2012, 9:37 pm
          • I’d immediately replace Nash and Stockton with two of the following four players:

            Elgin Baylor
            Isaiah Thomas
            Scottie Pippen
            Bob Cousy

            Looking forward to reading the product of your research … hopefully it’s studded with lots of straw men and doesn’t require too much skill in the area of reading comprehension, or else I’ll probably have to drive into the 909 so Gil can help me understand …

            Posted by Ken | October 24, 2012, 8:58 am
          • I missed Pippen in your list; what did you expect? My reading comprehension limitations and all …

            So pick 2 of 3 …

            Posted by Ken | October 24, 2012, 9:02 am
          • Baylor is in the top 20; Pippen is just outside of the top 20.

            Havliceck is also in the top 20 and not Nash.

            Otherwise, the list is the same as mine, though I do have a hierarchy.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | October 24, 2012, 9:48 am
          • Bob Pettit should also be there. After much consideration the past three years, I had to bump Julius Erving out of the top 20.

            As great as he was, the others I have ahead of him are simply better and more accomplished. And, I do downgrade the ABA years slightly for comparison value.

            Posted by Paulie Walnuts | October 24, 2012, 10:05 am
        • Some more inconvenient facts …

          1. Over the course of his 16+ year career, the Lakers win %age WITH Kobe playing is slightly worse than the team’s win %age WITHOUT him playing (fact) …

          2. In seven NBA Finals series, shooting guard Kobe’s FG %age is less than 41% (fact) …

          3. In those same seven NBA Finals series, Kobe has an assist to turnover ratio of barely 1/1 (fact) …

          4. Among others, Kobe Bryant has played with the following 21 all-stars and/or high-quality NBA talent in his career (facts all) …

          Shaquille O’Neal
          Cedric Ceballos
          Nick Van Exel
          Eddie Jones
          Brian Shaw
          Robert Horry
          Ron Harper
          Dennis Rodman
          John Salley
          Horace Grant
          Rick Fox
          Karl Malone
          Gary Payton
          Lamar Odom
          Caron Butler
          Andrew Bynum
          Paul Gasol
          Ron Artest / MWP
          Steve Nash
          Dwight Howard
          Antawn Jamison

          5. Based on basic and advanced statistics, Kobe is vastly inferior to Michael Jordan and LeBron James in every category with the exception of very slight advantages in FT %age and 3FG %age (fact) …

          Your move, Carthage …

          Posted by Ken | October 18, 2012, 8:41 am
          • Very good sir. I will take this in consideration when going through the list of top 20 players and use this also as a criteria.


            Posted by Vin | October 23, 2012, 9:24 pm
        • Two housekeeping issues …

          1. In my 10/17/2012 5:39 PM post, I intended to add “… in the last minute of the 4th quarter …” following “… draped all over the shooter …” in the last paragraph …

          The notion of Kobe as particularly “clutch” is largely a myth propagated in the era of the ESPN highlight (opinion … based on the fact that highlight packages invariably feature only made shots and generally pay particular attention to “tough” shots, which appear impressive but receive no point supplement based on degree of difficulty and OFTEN result from poor decision-making and team play) …

          2. In my 10/18/2012 8:41 AM post, I misspelled “Pau” as “Paul”, courtesy of spellchecker interference …

          I humbly apologize …

          Posted by Ken | October 18, 2012, 8:57 am
        • Since the annual NBA GM survey results have been published, I have decided to place one final, albeit unnecessary, nail in Vin’s coffin …

          For at least the last eight years (2005 through 2012), NBA General managers have been surveyed each late Summer on a myriad of subjects related to the upcoming season [FACT] … one of those questions asks the GMs to identify the player that they would select above all others to start a franchise (their response to this question typically corresponds with the projected MVP vote for each GM, btw) [FACT] …

          For six of these past eight years, LeBron James has been the overwhelming selection by GMs (and he finished second in both of his “off years”) [FACT] … when he was a 20 year old, only Tim Duncan was picked ahead of him, and he was picked second to Kevin Durant in the wake of “The Decision” two years ago [FACT] …

          Where’s Kobe, one wonders … ?

          Posted by Ken | October 22, 2012, 12:26 pm

            You must then also like the answers for the past decade on:

            Which player in the NBA would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?

            Can you tell me who the GMs chose for that question from 2000-2010 … while you are at it please tell me what the rankings were for

            Which player has the best basketball IQ?

            Only curious, since you are so high on the ANNUAL NBA GM SURVEY, and I know you are not one to cherry-pick results.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | October 22, 2012, 2:58 pm
          • Yes, of course (I’ll bite, this time) …

            As to “basketball IQ”, I really shouldn’t waste even a moment arguing the merits on that issue, but you really need the edification …

            First, how can anyone defend the collective view of men with nary any graduate school training when they draw conclusions regarding the cognitive abilities of an athlete in a team sport, apparently based on non-administered assessments? Even those with terminal degrees in psychology entirely lack the confidence that this can even be done …

            Second, it’s a complete mystery to me how anyone of sound mind could watch Kobe play and LeBron (among many, many others) play, and conclude that Kobe has the higher basketball IQ (by way of example, consider shot selection, assist-to-turnover ratio, general decision-making and emotional maturity [e.g., Shaq dispute, PJ dispute, Smush Parker dispute, Karl Malone dispute], command of his own emotions, understanding of how he is perceived by others, etc.). Speaking Italian and trying to act corporate doesn’t do the job for me (or trained Ph.D.s) … but you know what does? Maybe a Situational Judgment Assessment … spoiler alert: Kobe’s SJA was called Shaq, and your boy bombed that one …

            Third and for my $$$, guys from LeBron (superstar) to Shane Battier (rotation player), from Kawhi Leonard (young buck) to Rajon Rondo (star, with all of his emotional warts), from Andre Miller (twilight of his career) to Chris Paul (prime of his career), all demonstrate far greater “basketball IQ” than Kobe … unless you, in all of your pseudo-intellectual glory, insist otherwise …

            Bottom line, I’ll leave the actual last word on this matter to professionals that assess cognitive abilities for a living, not the Mitch Kupchaks and RC Bufords of the world (they should stick to their own expertise, like, you know, “best player to start a franchise” or “projected MVP”)…

            And as to “last shot” …

            Despite the fact that the data suggests otherwise (see, among many other sources that very clearly refute – WITH FACTUAL DATA – the tired mythology of Kobe’s longitudinal efficacy as a “shooter” of the last shot [by the way, he’s a “shooting guard”, so, you know … who cares?]), I do, in fact, see that those very same GMs voted conclusively for Kobe to take that last shot over most of that period (FYI, the poll doesn’t go back to 2000, I believe) …

            So, for the first 100 or so offensive possessions, the GMs want LeBron James for the job; for the one last offensive possession, they want Kobe. Great …

            Is that really impressive to you, somehow, as a Kobe disciple? I don’t think I get it … at least the data (basic and advanced statistics, as well as subjective recognition like MVPs) back up the views as it relates to LeBron’s greatness … but Kobe as the best player to “shoot” that last shot? Even the data cries foul …

            Posted by Ken | October 23, 2012, 7:40 am
          • There remain a few thorny issues with your post, Gil …

            First, please point me in the direction of the source data you rely upon on in your assertion that Kobe was voted highest “basketball IQ” by NBA General Managers for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Since that’s approx. 100% of the time period, I’d like to see that data and have been unable to find it myself …

            Also, please point me in the direction of the source data you rely upon on in your assertion that Kobe was voted “best player to take the last shot” by NBA General Managers for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Since that’s approx. 45% of the time period, I’d like to see that data and have been unable to find it myself …

            I’d hate to think you just made up approx. 75% of your “facts” when I devoted 10 minutes or so of my morning using your latest drivel as target practice …

            Just doing some “fact checking” … oh, yeah, one more issue … I noticed that the results for “basketball IQ” and “best last shot shooter” are embedded in the “fun to watch” and later “miscellaneous” categories, which is also where I categorize the most important data points in my life …

            Posted by Ken | October 23, 2012, 8:50 am
          • Considering the source, I’d say there’s about a 100% chance that the answer to both questions was Kobe a number of times.

            Gil’s point is well-taken though. Who would trust the annual GM survey on anything at all?

            After all, these same GMs are the ones who have repeatedly stated they want the ball in Kobe’s hands with the game on the line, when almost every single shred of evidence that I’ve ever seen points to that being the wrong decision.

            Posted by lochpster | October 23, 2012, 1:53 pm
          • I did a bit of digging and discovered that during the period of 2000 to 2010, Kobe Bryant was voted the “highest basketball IQ” by NBA general managers exactly ZERO times … in fairness, it appears that this question hit the “miscellaneous” list for the first time in 2009, but still …

            And Gil’s mentor or alter ego David Friedman contends that Kobe was voted “last shot” wizard by these same GMs from 2002 through 2010 …

            My previous points all stand … at best, GMs should stick to assessing basketball talent, not matters better left to psychologists; as Lochpster affirmed, the data refutes Kobe as a keen choice to take the last shot; Kobe’s a shooting guard, so recognition in this area isn’t to be confused with “best player across all positions” discussions; the “last shot” is one of 80 to 120 shots (+/-) taken by each team each game; Gil had incorrect data in 3 of 11 years as it relates to the “last shot” question, and 11 out of 11 years as it relates to the “basketball IQ” question …

            So he was factual in 3 of 22 instances …

            Know I understand why you adore Kobe as you do … your accuracy in making assertions looks an awful lot like FG made and attempted in an NBA Finals game by Kobe …

            Posted by Ken | October 23, 2012, 3:13 pm
          • Lochp, thank you for being able to read and comprehend the written language. I may disagree with you, but I respect your ability to understand an argument.

            Ken, not so much. You are very good at making straw men, though, I commend you on that!

            Posted by Gil Meriken | October 23, 2012, 4:18 pm
          • I am too sleepy tonight to go over this and the rest of the below posts, including Gil’s, but I look forward to this tomorrow or Thursday. And if you have anymore ‘nails’ in my coffin, please keep them handy.

            Until then.

            Hasta la pasta.

            Posted by Vin | October 23, 2012, 9:32 pm
          • A simple request.

            If you’re going to repeatedly accuse someone of straw men, please point out what the actual misrepresentation is. I’m not smart enough to read minds.

            Posted by lochpster | October 24, 2012, 11:03 am
          • Yessir LochpSTER!

            I stated:

            “You must then also like the answers for the past decade on:

            Which player in the NBA would you want taking a shot with the game on the line?”

            and I asked:

            “Can you tell me who the GMs chose for that question from 2000-2010 … while you are at it please tell me what the rankings were for

            Which player has the best basketball IQ?”

            This was converted/weaved with straw by Ken into:

            “First, please point me in the direction of the source data you rely upon on in your assertion that Kobe was voted highest “basketball IQ” by NBA General Managers for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.”

            Let me ask, did I assert this? NO. Did I imply this? Subjective, and unfounded …. so STRAW.


            “Also, please point me in the direction of the source data you rely upon on in your assertion that Kobe was voted “best player to take the last shot” by NBA General Managers for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.”

            Did I assert this? NO. Did I imply this? Subjective and unfounded … so STRAW.

            And finally to knock the scary straw man down :

            “Gil had incorrect data in 3 of 11 years as it relates to the “last shot” question, and 11 out of 11 years as it relates to the “basketball IQ” question”

            Ken huffed and he puffed and he blew that straw man down!

            Lochp, you however did seem to understand my point that the Annual GM Survey result may not be the best thing to point out (because you believe it lacks credibility). My related implication on that is that if you are not willing to stand by the rest of the results of the survey, you probably shouldn’t quote only the part you like.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | October 24, 2012, 3:02 pm
          • For anyone who has ever read even a random sampling of Gil’s posts, the implications were crystal clear … that they were largely factually incorrect is also consistent with Gil’s demonstrated worldview and track record …

            “Subjective and unfounded” … OK, Gil … if not Kobe, then whom?

            Since you appear to misunderstand the meaning of a straw man fallacy, let me point you in the direction of an ironic one that actually began this squabble …

            Take a look @ my post dated 10/22 @ 12:26 PM and then @ your post dated 10/22 @ 2:58 PM … where did I state or imply that I “liked” or that I am “so high” on the GM survey?

            And … ka-boom … as KG says, “paint your face, clown” …

            Posted by Ken | October 24, 2012, 3:20 pm
          • I’ll be returning to my default position of entirely disregarding Gil’s posts … so apologies to the regulars here for my role in moving the chains on this tired subject …

            Posted by Ken | October 24, 2012, 3:38 pm
          • It’s a very strong implication that if you quote the Annual GM Survey that you “like” it … stating that I asserted that “Kobe” was the answer to those questions is a leap the size of the Grand Canyon compared to the assumption that you “like” the Annual GM Survey.

            I will now go back to only responding to the worst of Ken’s inane posts.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | October 24, 2012, 3:56 pm
          • Let me restate that, so the semantics police don’t come out in force:

            It’s a very strong implication that if you quote the Annual GM Survey in the manner that Ken did, that it’s clear he supports or “likes” it … stating that I asserted that “Kobe” was the answer to those questions is a leap the size of the Grand Canyon compared to the assumption that you “like” the Annual GM Survey.

            I will now go back to only responding to the worst of Ken’s inane posts.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | October 24, 2012, 3:58 pm
          • Ah, I see. There were no straw men, after all. Just more deliberately misleading tripe.

            You see, Gil, a straw man requires a deliberate attempt to mislead. If anyone is attempting to mislead here, it is you. If Ken can be accused of anything, it’s of jumping to conclusions-a conclusion which was entirely reasonable to make. I made the same one.

            Ken, I don’t believe your catch was a straw man either. The fact that you used the annual GM survey as evidence in your post implies that you like what it has to say. If not, you shouldn’t be using it as evidence.

            Posted by lochpster | October 24, 2012, 5:31 pm
          • Lochp, actually you did not – you even said you assumed that I meant that Kobe was the answer for many of them. Not a bad assumption.

            This is VERY different than Ken then saying that I ASSERTED that Kobe was the answer for EVERY year, and then proceeds to say I was wrong because Kobe was not the answer EVERY year.

            Also Straw man is when you prop up an argument that was not made “Gil said Kobe was the #1 answer on all of them” – and then proceed to knock down the argument you made for yourself.

            Posted by Gil Meriken | October 24, 2012, 5:42 pm
          • Fair point. I missed the subtle difference.

            You win this round 😛

            Posted by lochpster | October 24, 2012, 7:06 pm
          • LOL thanks Lochp – whether or not you are sarcastic, any “internet victory” should be equated with “meaningless victory”

            In any case, to put this to bed properly for those who really care about the Annual GM Survey, here are the results (the links at before 2004-05 are broken):

            Which player has the best basketball IQ (question began in 2008-09 season)?

            1. Steve Nash
            2. Tim Duncan, Lebron, CP3
            5. Kobe

            1. Steve Nash
            2. CP3
            3. Kidd

            1. Steve Nash
            2. Kobe
            3. Kidd

            1. Steve Nash
            2. Kobe
            3. Kidd

            1. Steve Nash
            2. Kobe
            3. Kidd

            Which player would you want taking the shot with the game on the line?

            1. Durant
            2. Kobe
            3. Carmelo

            1. Kobe
            2. Durant

            1. Kobe
            2. Durant, Melo

            1. Kobe
            2. Paul Pierce
            3. Melo

            1. Kobe (88% of votes)

            1. Kobe
            2. Carmelo

            1. Kobe
            2. Wade

            1. Kobe
            2. Ray Allen

            1. Kobe
            2. Ray Allen

            and for good measure (and probably the #1 reason why you probably shouldn’t cite the Annual GM Survey if you are not high on Kobe):

            Who is the best perimeter defender in the NBA?

            1. Tony Allen
            2. Lebron
            3. Avery Bradley, Iggy, Rondo, Sefolosha

            1. Tony Allen
            2. Rondo
            3. Kobe, Lebron, Westbrook

            1. Kobe
            2. Artest
            3. Rondo

            1. Kobe
            2. Battier
            3. Artest

            1. Bowen
            2. Kobe
            3. Artest

            1. Bowen
            2. Artest
            3. Kobe

            1. Bowen
            2. Artest
            3. Kobe

            1. Bowen
            2. Artest
            3. Kobe

            1. Artest
            2. Bowen
            3. Kobe

            Thanks for reading!

            Posted by Gil Meriken | October 24, 2012, 9:08 pm
  48. whoops … “[N]ow I understand …” …

    Posted by Ken | October 23, 2012, 3:16 pm
    • Vin, I understand all of the terminology used in your posts. My problem is that this is a BASKETBALL forum and for whatever reason we are talking about who is and isn’t “self-actualized” among the readers of this blog. We should be talking about basketball and for you to pointlessly bump this thread without presenting a case of your own or any sort of rebuttal to another person’s argument (until about your 4th or 5th post towards Ken) is needless. To my point about GMs/Coaches, I simply was making a point that you have no reason for your arrogance, whether you are self-actualized in it or not. We have all done numerous basketball related research. Oh, and to your point about my “objective related sentences” comment, I apologize. It was supposed to read “non objective related sentences”.

      Posted by pointguard40 | October 24, 2012, 7:38 am
  49. This article is disgustingly biased, trying desperately to prove that Kobe’s clutchness is well-deserved.
    Kobe is a great clutch player but his overall success is obviously exaggerated. This article is nothing but an excuse piece. If you breakdown a game with anyone, you can point out some half-wit explanation or a lame justification why a person missed a shot.

    Posted by James | April 25, 2013, 7:39 am
  50. Excuse me, this statistics are incomplete. He made a game tying shot against the Suns with 0.7 secs left when Parker stole the ball in the hands of Steve Nash. And there is this another game winning shot against Suns over Raja Bell and Boris Diaw. I don’t know if there’s more but damn, this is incomplete. P.S. This is also in the playoffs.

    Posted by Kristoffer Villegas | August 25, 2013, 4:18 am


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