Kobe Bryant Is the Definition of Clutch

Sometimes a person can be so masterful at what they do that the extraordinary becomes expected. Perhaps it is just human nature to cease to be impressed by repetition.

The first time you see a 3-D movie, it is an amazing cinematic experience. Eyes move in wonder as the anxiousness of what will happen next builds up. But after you’ve seen a couple of 3-D movies, the wonder begins to fade. You begin to anticipate the drama and the cinematic effects become more predictable.

Does the fact that you’ve seen it before make it any less amazing?

Basketball is a game of moments. The difference between the greatest players ever and just the great players is only a reflection of moments.

Statistics try to paint the picture of impact in a basketball game. But statistics do not take into account context; they fail to recognize moments. Statistics treat every possession the same. In statistics, each possession is of equal importance.

But in basketball, just as in life, some moments are more important than others.

The greatest players in the game stepped into those important moments and seized them. They knew that championships are won by inches. They knew that game outcomes are decided in a few precious moments at the end.

Clutch is about seizing the important moments. If PER is a measure of how efficient a player is, then clutch is a measure of how great a player is. It is not the only measure of greatness, but it is an important one.

West. Bird. Jordan. It is no coincidence that the names of the guys who hit the biggest shots or made the most important plays down the stretch of important games are a who’s who of the game's greatest players.

Almost all NBA players can play hard and focused in the opening minute of a game. The greatest players…they play their best in the 48th minute. No fatigue. No pain. Focus. Results.

They say it takes ...

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