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.”