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Is Kobe Bryant clutch? You want to bet on it?

Feb 11, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

Remember the debate last week about whether or not Kobe Bryant is clutch? With the numbers saying he and he Lakers are really just slightly above average in that situation?

Kobe’s been down that road before and had an answer when asked about it by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

“People kind of get bored with things that I’ve done, so they try to find new ones to talk about or try to find numbers to justify certain things,” Bryant told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday. “That’s what happens when you win. I remember Magic and Michael [Jordan] going through similar things. Hey, the talk before was that I couldn’t do it without Shaq. Well I did that. And then I did it again. Now it’s something else. They’re always going to come for something else.

“But I win. We win….”

“If somebody had their life on the line, and they’ve got their options on who they want to save their life – tell me who you’re going to pick?” Bryant asked. “You’re going to look at the stats first?”

I wouldn’t bet against Kobe in the clutch. It would be nice though if he got that shot out of an offensive set with screens and off-ball movement rather than in isolation shooting over three defenders.

  1. loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    love it…love it. very true…the haters are always nit-picking. makes me think of an quote made by the infamous jose canseco, “you know you are good when you get booed”.
    we are seeing one of the greatest players to ever step on the court. i just think complainers are just too blind to see this. their hatred obscures their vision.

    • hnirobert3 - Feb 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      There’s no debating he’s a great player, I just feel it’s irresponsible when people say he’s on MJ’s level for the sake of saying somebody’s at that level. Same with LeBron.

      • craigw24 - Feb 11, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        Kobe’s biggest fault has always been that he had the audacity to immediately follow Michael Jordan. Everything else could be forgiven, but that was the original sin and believers will go to their graves with that on their mind.

      • loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        media and fans will always make comparisons in sports…always. it’s what people do in a lot of aspects of life. fair enough, he isn’t on MJ’s level but just having his name mentioned in comparisons is validation enough that he is a great player…and his career is not over yet. Lebron is great as well…just missing the title hardware. i just agree with kobe when he says some people will never be satisfied with his accomplishments.

  2. hnirobert3 - Feb 11, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    media and fans will always make comparisons in sports…always. it’s what people do in a lot of aspects of life. fair enough, he isn’t on MJ’s level but just having his name mentioned in comparisons is validation enough that he is a great player…and his career is not over yet. Lebron is great as well…just missing the title hardware. i just agree with kobe when he says some people will never be satisfied with his accomplishments.

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    For me personally (and I’ll preface this by saying I don’t like Kobe), there’s never been a debate that Kobe is a great player, all time top 10 (other than MJ at 1 and Russell at 2, it’s splitting hairs IMO) and best player of his generation. I wish LeBron and Wade had a little more of Kobe’s “F you” attitude that MJ had as well in them, maybe that’ll come with time and if they do win championships.

    Unfortunately a lot of gas that gets throw on fires is from the media who are trying to sell magazines, newspaper, commercial and online advertisements, etc.

    • loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      sure… top 10 and best player of his generation, as a kobe fan, yeah…i agree.
      absolutely the media starts fires. well, it’s their job to make hacks like us debate about crap like this! haha!
      G.O.A.T. debates are tough. everybody has different criteria. saying mj and russell are 1 & 2 is easily understandable. you can make a very strong case for those guys. others might think magic or oscar or bird or west or kareem, etc…is on that list..each have a strong case.
      yeah…i actually like kobe’s “F-you” attitude too. definately gets him the spotlight more often than say someone like tim duncan (who as well could end up being a top 10 player of all time!)

  3. ibejeph - Feb 11, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    When watching the game last night, they had a preview of Battle Los Angeles…then I thought, if aliens invaded and said, “THE FATE OF YOUR WORLD DEPENDS ON THE OUTCOME OF A SEVEN GAME SERIES OF BASKETBALL. YOUR GREATEST PLAYERS AGAINST OUR OWN!”

    Who isn’t going to pick Kobe to lead TEAM EARTH? He is our best hope…in this ficitious and ridiculous example.

    • hnirobert3 - Feb 11, 2011 at 10:57 AM

      Not at this point in his career. You’d have to go with LeBron right now. 3-5 years ago I’d go with Kobe.

      • loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 11:02 AM

        sure…Lebron would be good too but lets realize…the grizzly old veterans rule the league (kobe, garnett, duncan, dirk, pierce, allen, etc…) still. proof? look who is winning the rings.

    • loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      ha! yeah…and i would get MJ..and…Bugs Bunny…Daffy…Porky Pig….hahahahahahahaha!

      • hnirobert3 - Feb 11, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        championships are a team accomplishment. who’s the two time defending mvp? lbj is undoubtedly the best player in the league. the fact that the talking heads are starting to say lbj is the mvp this season even though he’s on a team with another top 5 player and another top 20 player speaks volumes.

  4. 1historian - Feb 11, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    MJ has 6

    Kobe has 5

    6+5 = 11.

    Who has 11?

    Bill Russell

    I know it was a different era, etc BUT – 11 NBA championships is 11 NBA championships.

    • loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      true…russell’s 11 is godly-like…proabably will never be done again. and yes…it was a different era…how many teams existed back then? like 12? also…russell was a man among boys. there were hardly any other players his size. the talent pool was scarce…but I am in no way taking anything away from his accomplishments.

      ———————————————————–
      hnirobert3 said , “championships are a team accomplishment. who’s the two time defending mvp? lbj is undoubtedly the best player in the league. the fact that the talking heads are starting to say lbj is the mvp this season even though he’s on a team with another top 5 player and another top 20 player speaks volumes.”

      sure…i said lebron would be a good pick too. the kid is awesome…i’m just saying he lacks the moxie of guys like pierce and kobe…ya know, that killer instinct which comes in handy when winning titles. when he gets there, then i will gladly put lebron up another level of greatness. the silly scenario stated who would LEAD “team earth” against the aliens. lebron would be on that team…but i would like kobe or pierce to be on it as well…LEADING them.

      • hnirobert3 - Feb 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        Fair point, but I’ve seen a different LBJ this season. It’s so corny to say, but he’s embracing the villain role. His performances against the Cavs in that hostile environment, the Lakers Christmas game and just two weeks ago in Orlando…. he wouldn’t have had “F you” performances like that last year. I’m excited to see what happens on Sunday post Paul Pierce’s “talents to South Beach” tweet when the Celts behind the Heat in Miami last time.

      • hnirobert3 - Feb 11, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        as far as my earth vs. aliens team

        starting 5
        dwight howard
        kevin garnett (pains me to say this but defense will be key against the aliens)
        lebron james
        kobe bryant
        derrick rose

        bench:
        dwyane wade
        paul pierce
        rajon rondo
        kevin durant
        blake griffin
        pau gasol
        carmelo anthony

        coach:
        doc rivers since the zen master would probably want to coach the aliens

      • ibejeph - Feb 11, 2011 at 2:41 PM

        I agree with your TEAM EARTH. I think the crunch time line up would have to be:

        kobe bryant
        dwyane wade
        paul pierce
        kevin garnett
        pau gasol

        All proven winners. Of course, they’d be up against the fearsome alien team of:

        XnnarK’s – the all time galatic assist leader.

        V’KvrK – the greatest shooter of the quastar Mardoz

        Ognnnrf – lockdown defender and winner of the Ontarian 4 point shooting contest (he shoots from so far away, they had to give him an extra point)

        Nameless One – will blow past anyone with his fearsome Crab Nebula Dribble.

        KrnT’n “the Black Hole” Spnrrhm – such a powderful rebounder that light itself cannot escape his grasp.

      • loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        I agree with your TEAM EARTH. I think the crunch time line up would have to be:

        kobe bryant
        dwyane wade
        paul pierce
        kevin garnett
        pau gasol

        All proven winners. Of course, they’d be up against the fearsome alien team of:

        XnnarK’s – the all time galatic assist leader.

        V’KvrK – the greatest shooter of the quastar Mardoz

        Ognnnrf – lockdown defender and winner of the Ontarian 4 point shooting contest (he shoots from so far away, they had to give him an extra point)

        Nameless One – will blow past anyone with his fearsome Crab Nebula Dribble.

        KrnT’n “the Black Hole” Spnrrhm – such a powderful rebounder that light itself cannot escape his grasp.

        **************************************

        Man…that was too funny! best post.

      • bruins2012wegotthecup - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:24 AM

        Bill Russell got ring number 11 when he was PLAYER COACH in 1969 in the FOURTEEN TEAM NBA not “like 12″…

      • loungefly74 - Feb 28, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        sorry man…i’m 37. that was before my time when there was only 14 teams…i knew it was around 12…hence “like 12?”…but the point still stands about whatever the hell we were talking about over a freakin’ year ago…

  5. zblott - Feb 11, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    It’s funny how Kobe lovers will poo-poo away stats that don’t support his greatness, yet these are all stats that MJ was still great at (when the stats exist for both players) despite never having good centers to hold down the paint on both ends. Kobe fans start making up stuff like “hockey assists” if he doesn’t do well in a game, which shows the pure lunacy they’ll go to to try to support him with stats, but the stats almost always support other players much more easily. Anyone notice he’s nearly last in the entire NBA in Adjusted Plus/Minus (-14.48), which is almost impossible to pull off considering his team is at +7.19?

    • loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      dude…spin it any way you want…kobe is one of the best players in the league.

  6. sanchize6 - Feb 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    Yeah 6 for 24 in a game 7 is REALLLL clutch.. give me a break.

    • loungefly74 - Feb 11, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      that’s one game…sure…but he went to the line, had like a dozen rebounds and i don’t know if you remember, the series was decided by the glass. it was an ugly game for him but you know what…THE LAKERS WON…UNLIKE YOUR CHOKE ARTIST JETS AGAINST THE STEELERS! HAHAHAHAH! LAKERS ARE THE 2 TIME DEFENDING CHAMPS! (see? see what happened? i hate writing responses like this but a comment like that forces me…you forced me dude. now go home and continue to cry over your crappy jets and pray to broadway joe…and probably a knicks fan as well which is just hilarious.)

    • louistaylored - Feb 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      okay, and Jordan went 9 for 25 against the Pacers in GAME 7 back in 98! Stop the hypocrisy man. People just dislike Kobe man, plain and simple thats it. Because your belove MJ, the man who can do no wrong, blew it in a game 7 too, but you woldnt know it from just listening. Somebody told me “Jordan would never do that” after that game smh thats all I can do.

    • zackd2 - Feb 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM

      Yeah 1 game is a real sample size…give me a break… as in lunch break – so “sanchize” can go pick up high school girls

  7. jimeejohnson - Feb 13, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Kobe is just as clutch as anybody, ever. Ask the Celtics, losers of Game 7 in the NBA Championship and more recently, at home at the Garden.

    • hnirobert3 - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      Game 7 from last year is a bad example when making this argument.

  8. borderline1988 - Feb 14, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Numbers don’t lie….and numbers are the biggest obstacle to viewing Kobe as one of the greatest, besides for the rings, which is completely overrated. Basketball is a clearly a team sport. Put Lebron in Kobe’s place on the Lakers, and do you think they wouldn’t have won the championship in 2001? or 2009?
    And do you consider Robert Horry or Derek Fisher among the league’s greatest?

    Here are the facts: The Lakers and Celtics win a lot of championships. It’s not a coincidence that most of the top individual championship winners were on one of those teams. What truly makes a player great is talent, scoring, leadership, defense, all around-game, etc. Not just getting rings.

    On a different note – how about Rudy Gay in terms of clutch?

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