Kobe Bryant has been annointed the king of clutch in the NBA for time immemorial. Why? Because he takes myriad clutch shots, he has more memorable makes than anyone else playing these days. Ergo, Kobe is the king of clutch, just like the fact that millions upon millions of Americans have no taste buds makes Budweiser the king of beers. Volume rules.
It shouldn't though. Just as SBNation.com's Rohan Cruyff assessed Kobe's awful clutch efficiency this season, TrueHoop's Henry Abbott has gone whole hog on the subject with a withering, devastating argument against Kobe's mantle.
Abbott's data shows that over Bryant's 15-year career, he's been notable only for the regularity with which he hogs his team's clutch possessions, not for his efficiency. Some 24 players who have taken at least 30 "clutch" shots (defined as when his team is tied or trailing by as many as two points with less than 24 seconds left) have better efficiency than Kobe. Carmelo Anthony? Yep. Chris Paul? Yep. Vince Freaking Carter? Yep. Chris Webber? Yep. Steve Franchise, Damon Stoudamire and LeBron James The Choking Choker Of Chokerville? Yes, yes, yes.
Kobe is certainly a great player. But if there is such a thing as clutch, he is not it. He is basically the opposite of it. And he's selfish to boot, rarely getting his teammates involved in critical possessions.