HANG TIME NEW JERSEY – The 11th annual NBA.com GM Survey signifies the dawn of a new era. According to the league’s general managers, Kobe Bryant is no longer Mr. Clutch.
For 10 years, when GMs were asked which player should be taking the shot with a game on the line, Bryant received the most votes. This year, he did not.
Kevin Durant is the new Mr. Clutch in the eyes of the league’s GMs. Durant received 46.7 percent of the vote on that question this year, ahead of Bryant’s 40.0 percent.
Last season, Bryant and Durant were nearly identical in the clutch. Durant shot 47-for-120 (39.2 percent) in clutch time*, while Bryant shot 44-for-122 (36.1 percent). Durant was better from 3-point range, but Bryant got to the free-throw line more often. Amazingly, Bryant (51-for-127) and Durant (54-for-133) were nearly identical in clutch time the season before as well.
*Clutch time = Last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime, with a score differential of five points or less.
If you go by true shooting percentage, the most clutch players over the last three years (minimum 100 FGA) have been Chauncey Billups (because he gets to the line so often), Jason Terry, Steve Nash, Manu Ginobili and … get ready for it … LeBron James.
Among the 79 players who have attempted at least 100 shots in clutch time over the last three years, Durant ranks 34th in true shooting percentage, while Bryant ranks 38th.