Perhaps the greatest test of an NBA superstar is their ability to step up when their team needs them most. How a star performs in clutch situations can often make the difference between a win and a loss, between a Championship and an early playoff exit.
All of this begs the question: who are the best clutch performers?
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Kobe Bryant and LeBron are first and second in most clutch points scored.
The most points in clutch time since the NBA started tracking in 1996-97 is Kobe Bryant (2,369), just ahead of LeBron James (2,338).
The best FG pct (min. 500 FGA) is Shawn Marion (49.2%).
Clutch time is the final 5 minutes with the score within 5 points. https://t.co/DZdQMgKmeU
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 30, 2020
Clutch scoring is more than game-winners and overtime makes. It involves any shot in the closing minute of a close game. Kobe never backed down from taking the big shot is widely recognized for his ability to make them.
LeBron James, on the other hand, is often criticized for passing up late-game scoring opportunities. On more than one occasion, he has passed the ball to a teammate when the game is on the line. Still, the numbers show that he steps up to the call with points of his own.
As two of the best players ever, it’s only fitting that these two would be at the top of this list. They’re about as fearless as they come.