A lot has been made of the “LeBron James is clutch” debate. Some will argue he isn’t. Some will argue he is. I’ll just go on record stating he absolutely is, he just had an unfair reputation there for a little while. But my opinion isn’t the topic here.
A poll of current NBA players conducted by ESPN The Magazine discovered that current players would select Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant to take (and make) last second shots over LeBron. According to the poll, 23 picked Mike, three picked Kobe, and nobody picked LeBron.
In fact, one Eastern Conference player said he would specifically want James to pass to Bryant on the last play.
“That’s like ranking the shortest giant,” an Eastern Conference guard said, per ESPN.com. “I’d want the ball in LeBron’s hands at the end of the game, but I’d want him to pass to Kobe or Jordan for the last shot. And don’t forget, LeBron is not a great free throw shooter, either.”
But, are the numbers and stats correct? It seems that the numbers you might expect to see aren’t exactly the truth.
On game-tying or go-ahead field goals in the final 24 seconds of the fourth quarter, LeBron is shooting 42.1 percent (7-for-17) while Kobe checks in at 25 (7-for-28). Jordan topples all with a 50-percent clip (9-for-18).
Well then, I guess we don’t really know anything at all.
Still, the perception around the league is that Kobe is still the guy to go to when a clutch basket is needed. Well, unless you can bring back the retired Michael Jordan, but that’s about it.
(h/t Bleacher Report)
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