If Kobe Bryant’s Six Game-Winning Shots Are Not Clutch, Then What Is?

Miami, Milwaukee, Dallas, Sacramento, Memphis, and Toronto—all last-second victims to Kobe Bryant, considered by some as the most clutch player of the last decade, and by others as not even worthy of being in the conversation.

The debate has been fierce, and the statistics for Bryant's worthiness—especially against it—have been swift and steady, with his detractors clutching to numbers credited to a website and ESPN.

Most are familiar with the website so I won't go into great detail, and everyone has heard the musings of ESPN which uses complicated methods like the PER system to measure the value of a player on the court.

All of this dims in comparison to what has actually transpired on the court of play because Bryant's sixth game-winning shot this season—coming against the Toronto Raptors—gave him the most in the last decade.

Take a moment to let this information process before a rush to judgment commences. Over the past decade, no other player has successfully ended a game with a last-second shot as many times as Bryant.

The argument that Bryant is not a clutch player looks ridiculous when enlightened by that information, but unbelievably this accomplishment—like Bryant's many others—has been trivialized.

There have even been some who say that just because Bryant hit a couple of game-winning shots, it does not make up for the fact he takes more of those shots than any other player in the league.

This maneuver is usually initiated to draw attention away from a feat that most were not even cognizant of, and return the debate to a more familiar arena, such as Bryant's propensity to attempt questionable shots.

When used to ignore Bryant's clutch status, it is an effective tactic; but by employing this measure, other avenues are opened which must be considered also.

Bryant does take more shots in critical ...

About the Author