Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 at 10:00 am  |  71 responses

Kobe Bryant: ‘I’m Not Clutch’

NBA fans, players, coaches, and front-office personel think Kobe is lethal with the game on the line, but he (jokingly, of course) doesn’t seem to agree. From the LA Times: “One curl off a screen, one catch at the top of the key and one game-winning three-pointer could’ve continued the narrative of Kobe Bryant showing how he’s a clutch player and how the Lakers are poised enough to win close games. Instead, Bryant’s potential game-winning shot hit off the front rim, the Lakers lost Game 1 to Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals and Bryant is dripping with sarcasm about his late-game shooting. ‘I’m not clutch,’ Bryant said. In fact, there is data to support that argument. Bryant missed two of his final three shot attempts and committed a turnover in the final 2:42 of the game. Ever since Game 3 of the Lakers’ first-round series against Utah in 2009, Bryant has missed five consecutive game-tying or go-ahead attempts in the final 24 seconds of the game. And according to NBA Statscube, Bryant has gone shot six for 30 (20%) from the field in what the site calls ‘clutch moments,’ the last five minutes of games when the margin is within five points.”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Admittance is the first step to acceptance.

  • jay

    admit your a hater then.

  • http://NBA.com EJ


  • http://twitter.com/pepemiwe PepeMiwe


  • Naiym

    I am a Kobe hater and I can admit dude is Clutch.. He’s being arrogantly humble.(Which is an oxy moron that means he knows that it isn’t true). He’s as clutch as they come and he knows it..

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    The thing is, Kobe isn’t clutch. Hasn’t been since that stretch of game winners he had a couple seasons back.

  • J.C.

    Chin up Bean. Still better than the Heat.

  • Red Star

    The Zen Master has taught Kobe well! Not clutch, LMFAO!!!

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    Those stretch of game winners were LAST season….But I agree Kobe has not been as clutch this year

  • angus

    Kobe has never been clutch in his career the numbers dont lie, yet why do people always say how clutch he is? laker fans chime in on the reason im curious.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    Angus: Kobe has made alot of Big time shots and missed many big time shots….The thing with Kobe is that he is willing to take a shot with the game on the line and deal with the consequences, good or bad…That coupled with the fact that he has a massive amount of offensive moves in his arsenal..makes fans, players,coaches,media,etc. believe he is clutch…..maybe clutcher than he really is

  • KobesBestFriend

    his clutch factor rating in 2K is the best

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    Royal calling him clutcher made me smile, if only due to the fact that I made a nickname for Bean off of it. Black Mamba step aside, “The Clutcher Chucker” anyone? anyone?

  • http://www.slamonline.com jumpman3224

    People focus on the final seconds of a game for clutch, but to me it involves the entire closing stretch of a game and more often than not, even if Kobe misses the game winner he is there for them down the stretch in all phases of the game (defensively, scoring, distributing, etc.)

  • http://www.dimemag.com Royal

    You get points for being creative, Nicolas

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    Shout out @clutcher.

  • http://POsterous BOko

    HEs clutch because with 5 min left in a sold out arena he scores his teams final 12 points or put his team on his back..like the other dude said hes not afraid of taking any shot anywhere on the court

  • SpursFan

    We know Kobe, we know.

  • http://aol.com Run”N’Gun219

    jumpman3224^ you hit it right on the head…. So the only part of the game that is clutch is the last second shot? What about when its a tight game< and you hit 7 shots in a row to keep your team in it? how about when your team is up and the other team is making a run, and then bam!! u hit a shot to stop the run and hush the crowd… cuz in my book that equals clutchness to me, not just the last second shot. so yes kobe is clutch

  • syedh88

    honestly, who would people choose to have the ball in their hands at the end of the game? u can look at stats and everything, but the man has it in his DNA to finish off opponents, and he DOES have a rich history in closing.

  • http://twitter.com/smk73 smk73

    But as the man said, “I’m going to do what I do,” and what he does is try to be the hero. In his mind, being the hero means taking the shot. The problem is Kobe takes the shot whether or not it’s a good one, and more often than not, it isn’t.

  • http://www.englishman.com Englishman

    He is obviously being sarcastic! Kobe is clutch and you are all haters. I doubt there is anybody in the league who has hit more game winners or big shots in the closing seconds. Think how many games hes played in his already long career, how many game winners he taken (missed and made) and then there is his success! One of if not the most complete players (offensive and defensive) to play the game. If you had to choose between him and Lebron to take the last shot there is not a chance that you would choose Lebron. Kobe Bryant is the most clutch player in the nba hands down.

  • http://twitter.com/smk73 smk73

    And so he’s missed his last five shots – but because everybody in the arena knew he was gonna be gunning, the defense was all over him, so on like 3 of the 5 somebody’s been able to rebound the brick and put it in. So maybe Kobe really _is a hero: not for taking the shot, but by falling on the grenade, so to speak – getting everybody to look at him so somebody else can make the play. So yeah, even his misses are clutch!

  • robb

    he’s so clutch that he isn’t clutch

  • mj23

    robb no he is not he missed about 70% of game winners or shot to tie the game in last 24sec

  • mj23

    in carrer for the playoffs

    and smk73 thats called a ball hog

  • mj23

    are people blind?this guy misses about 70% of his game winners in his carrec and they call him the best clutch player?mj shot anout 54% in those situations IN YOUR FACE!

  • JTaylor21


  • mj23

    and i apreciate kobe for saying the truth

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    we need a new word for whatever kobe is, cuz i think being “clutch” means you actually have to hit most of those important shots.
    jerry west, clutch. robert horry, clutch.
    why does that word look dirty.

  • tRay

    @airs prob cuz you put a z lol

  • unrel

    what exactly is clutch?.. you can’t put numbers on clutch.. that’s silly.. why is jerry west mr clutch?.. because of a half court heave?.. it’s hard to really put a ‘stat’ on what clutch is.. is it number of game winners.. is it FG% in the last 2 minutes in games within 3 points?.. here’s my definition.. and call me stupid.. F stats.. to me.. clutch is the guy that’ll get the shot with the highest chance at winning.. and in kobe’s case.. he’s the best shot taker in the game..

  • toinefan88

    Anybody who is not a Lakers fan should be very nervous with the ball in his hands with the clock ticking down.

  • http://Nba.com GP23

    The shots he has made though have been really important, anyone remember his clutch shots against the Pistons in 04, Blazers, when he made two huge threes, one to put the game in overtime, and the other to win the game. Also Phoenix in 06, when he made that huge lay-up, then that fall-away junper to win. Just think of them airballs he made at utah when he was a teen, and now look at him. Give credit when its due. Overall, 2nd most clutch player in history after mike.
    Sorry for the essay.

  • mj23

    yes unrel
    peaple remember the makes not the misses its very sad and media hype it up

  • Everynowhere

    He’s not clutch. He just has 5 rings because he’s lucky.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    its true, whatever’s happened before the last 20 years seems to be overlooked.
    if you look at jerry west’s CAREER you’d see how many “clutch” shots he’s actually made, time after time, not only in the reg. season but in the playoffs.
    and no, that is not only limited to the heave against phoenix, of course its the most memorable.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    so, is it safe to assume that the collective definition of “clutch” in this group here really only means: ‘the willingness to take important shots, be it miss or make.’?
    why isn’t tmac or iverson or any freakin superstar there’s ever been in the NBA considered clutch then.

  • bashmo

    Kobe has missed over 70 percent of game tying or gamewinning shots in his career it was in an article. Statistically he is not clutch. He is just great at hitting tough shots.

  • mj23

    wow some people open they eyes BRAVO!!!!

  • mj23
  • mick

    31% 31% 31% , kobe fans are so funny

  • Fat Lever

    Maybe Kobe is just adhering to the Sex Panther Percentage Theory. You know, 60% of the time…it works every time.

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    fat lever ftw!

  • Jeremy

    When you take that many well defended shots.. won’t your shooting % go down? Would you rather anyone else with the ball in today’s nba? I think clutch shouldn’t have a number to quantify it.. so if eddie house’s “clutch” shots are of a higher percentage… ? you will allow him to take defenders off the dribble?

    Kobe is an incredible player, who has hit some big shots.. but missed more. Appreciate him while he’s still here I say.

  • bike

    Kobe was clutch with that chick in Colorado. He clutched her.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    It is funny how the definition has been changed from last second shots to overall shotmaking in the fourth. By that measure LeBron had always been clutch, which Kobe stand have argued against for years. For the record.I think Kobe is clutch but I hate hypocrisy.

  • robb

    @mj23 Sometimes It’s kinda hard to understand what you say. And I imagine it’s pretty hard for you to understand jokes.

  • http://slamonline.com Sergio

    Smartest player out there. Him saying that cleans the slate. In his eyes and the opposition. Jordan did the same with a Nike commercial. At the NBA level is all about mind games. It’s a chess game. Ali did it to Foreman. Russell did it to everyone. Bird and Magic did it to each other. MJ perfected it. And as always, Kobe is copying MJ.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Don’t be a drag, just be a queen…

  • Jer dawg

    The stats can go to hell! Where was this stuff when Jordan was around? This stuff about PERs and % when game was on the line. The Henry Abbott of ESPN saying stats show Kevin Martin as the most clutch when game is on the line. Who are these geeks?!? Do that with Jordan and he’ll look mortal, just as people do with Kobe.
    There aren’t too many players that leads comebacks with timely shots in waning moments of the game. With few ticks on the clock there isn’t too Many guys that can take a dribble and get shot off and make it. Creating and making shots is what makes Kobe clutch. Kevin Martin needs to have someone else set the table with 3 minutes left in game, down 5. Come on!

  • slamfan4life

    kobes not clutch? thats like sayin DRose isnt fast

  • TheNightWatch*8*

    A missed game winner doesnt mean your not clutch. Head Up Kobe.

  • feez22

    @Jer dawg the stats can go to hell? see this is the funniest thing. When stats prove that KOBE isn’t clutch, the stats can go straight to hell. YET when ESPN points out that lebron is 1-8 in situations to tie or win the game within 24 seconds the stats are the ULTIMATE TRUTH. ROFL. ROFL. LMAO at your comment on where this stuff was when jordan was around… in fact it was not around in masses. HOWEVER MJ leads players all time in PER and is one of the CLUTCHEST players % wise in nba history. Retroactive stat tracking isn’t to discredit players today. It is to show people how great players were before this era. It is to show people facts about players that played back in other era’s. To dismiss stats and advanced stats is ludacris to me. It is also ludacris to strictly use those stats and not watch the games. It is most beneficial when you WATCH THE GAMES and Look @ the stats for reference. Laker fans might not want 2 admit… but kobe has missed TONS of shots late in the 4th in NUMEROUS CLOSE GAMES this year. In fact, kobe has missed clutch shots in 3 out of the 4 down to the wire games the lakers have played THIS YEAR(games 1, 3 & 4 of the hornets series & gm 1 of the mavs series). the rest have been 10+ point wins with kobe being on the bench at the end of game 6. If the stats are correct they should back up what you see. If you have been seeing clutch kobe this season+playoffs you have been watching too many highlights. point blank. He is 2-8 in shots to tie or win the game this year. lebron is 1-8 in those same shots. Yet who is painted as the least clutch in the nba this year? and how big is the MARGIN? “Brainwashed”

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Kobe has hit 27 game-winning/tying shots in his career. That’s pretty clutch. But he also missed alot. So?? “Clutch” and “Perfect” are two different things. Most people would give Kobe the last shot because 1. He’s the most willing to take the shot on the court, all the time. and 2. Results don’t lie. He can hit the game-winning shot.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Kobe over his career is a 30.1% shooter when he has an opportunity to tie or take the lead with less then 25 seconds left in the game. The league average is 30.0% – Kobe is not clutch, he is brave, but just as (not more) human and “clutch” as everyone else.

  • feez22

    w/ that being said i commend kobe for having the balls to take the last shot with confidence for all these yrs. The fact still remains that he misses about 2-3 of the clutch shots he shoots. His career shooting % in the clutch is around 31%. I’d take melo in the clutch over kobe from what i’ve seen… 6-11 in clutch game winners/tiers this yr… oh ya stats should go to hell and they don’t count. NVM…

  • Anonymosdef

    Wonder why this article was taken off the main page so quickly hmmmm….probably because feez22 and nbk shut ish down.

  • Anonymosdef

    Best believe slam is a HUGE part of the media machine that shapes perception and they want no parts of telling the truth. Hype moves units not facts.

  • http://slamonline.com Michael


  • korda

    people are you mad?! he made his last clutch shot in playoffs in 2006!!! he’s not clutch, the media makes him clutch when in fact even lebron has better clutch percentage than him, not to mention melo or billups… you are SHEEP

  • Aja R.Witt

    If he’s not clutch then who will take the final shot? Derek Fisher? Maybe if they want to lose.

  • Rasta

    Ofcourse kobe aint clutch!!! B!tch a$$ finally sees himself as he truly is? About mofo time! If he gave up the ball to Shaq and played ball like Derek Fisher knew he can, they woulda won 4 straight. Maybe even more. kobe is such a watered down Zima, a sex offender, a fake, and his underbite looks retarded especially after a loss. What a lil BIYATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Harlem_World

    Dirk and Melo are more clutch by the numbers.

  • George

    Kobe haters? What Kobe DID TO YOU!!! Huh? N-O-T-H-I-N-G…:):)

  • Wade = Clutch

    Kobe is most definetly not clutch , obviously you don’t know the definition of clutch if your saying he is. For you to be clutch it has to be out of skill , not luck . And a lot of those shots that he took involved the element of luck . So Kobe , most definetly not clutch .

  • KoBynum716

    ^^ But wade is clutch?

  • Darrell Robinson

    You might not be right now, but when you are you are VERY tough to defeat. You’re not fooling anyone Kobe. Especially your Lakers getting swept by the Mavericks in this year’s playoffs.

  • http://slamonline ordinarybrutha

    You don’t win five championships and not be clutch. just like any high risk situation you win some you lose some. Sometimes as fans we have a tendency of confusing the concept of clutch with profection. Kobe has been responsibe for many unbelievable clutch situations.

  • Kevin Jackson

    Oh my God!!!! You guys are unbelievable!!! I suggest everyone in this post go to youtube and look at Mr.Kobe Bean Bryants career then check yourself into rehab get off the crack because it has severely distorted some sense of reality……KOBE IS CLUTCH!!!! Facts Kobe has 5 rings,MJ himself out of his own mouth said and I quote”KOBE BRYANT IS THE BEST ALL AROUND PLAYER OF THIS GENERATION!!!! Jordan said this in front of a bunch of kids at a basketball camp and then said it agin on a radio station!!!! So for those of you who hang on to everything the G O A T says,I think that he knows the game BETTER THAN ANYONE IN THIS POST!!!

    AND I GOT A NEWSFLASH FOR YOU…..UNTIL LEBRON JAMES DEVELOPS A LOW POST GAME,A MID RANGE GAME AND KILLER INSTINCT HE IS “NOWHERE EVEN CLOSE TO KOBE BRYANT LET ALONE MICHAEL JORDAN!!! Dont get me wrong I am not a LeBron hater,but he is NOT the best ALL around basketball player in this league,KOBE BRYANT IS PERIOD!!!!! People are amazing,though Kobe doesnt piss and moan about it, his foot was swollen throughout the whole playoffs and he was dealing with a bad knee Not to mention a broken or dislocated finger,he Will be back there is NO WAY HE”S DONE!!!!

  • asd

    Kobe isn’t clutch, he’s just brave. Jordan is all-time clutchest. Highest Finals average and playoff average, 56% game-winning shots makes. Kobe’s numbers drop in the Finals, and stay the same in the playoffs.