One of the biggest criticisms aimed at LeBron James is that he isn't clutch. Through his near-two decade career, James has consistently been the best performer on his team. But despite this, fans have run a narrative that James is not a player for the big moments. This narrative was further bolstered by James' poor performance in the 2011 NBA Finals, where he shrunk against the Mavericks. But time has shown that his performance was the exception rather than rules.
Since that series, James has gone on to win four NBA championships since that time, but the narrative about not being clutch has stayed with LeBron. While he isn't one of the best shooters in the NBA, James has made the most late-game winners and buzzer-beaters in NBA history. Furthermore, he has been able to lead his teams to the NBA Finals 10 times in his career, something that would have been very difficult without a clutch gene.
James gives it his all every game he plays. But rarely does he get the credit that players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, or past players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant get for their clutch abilities. So of course James would be thrilled when he encountered a reporter who didn't espouse this narrative further.
During a press conference in the past, one reporter from ESPN Brazil asked LeBron James how he has been able to improve his clutch gene throughout his career, mentioning that he had been clutch during his entire stint in the NBA. LeBron instantly started smiling and asking the reporter his name. He said that there aren't many people who acknowledge his clutch abilities, and added that he appreciated him for his question.
“What’s your name? I appreciate you saying I’ve been clutch my whole career. There’s not many like you.”
James has shown his ability to get the win for his team throughout his career. Even as recently as this playoff run, James scored an incredible game-winning shot against the Golden State Warriors to help them secure the seventh seed ahead of their playoff run. But despite this, he isn't given the credit for being clutch. Regardless, there is no doubt that James is a player for the big moments.