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You read that right.
Contrary to popular belief, LeBron James is a better clutch performer than Kobe Bryant.
Everybody thinks Kobe is a better clutch shooter, but the desire to shoot the clutch shot doesn't mean you will succeed in such opportunities.
Let's look at the playoff statistics in "shot attempts made with the intent to either win or tie the game within the final 24 seconds, during which a player’s team is either tied or trails by three or fewer points:"
Kobe is seven of 27 in such opportunities. How about the All-Star some people call a "choker?"
LeBron James is at an impressive five of 12.
In more than 100 fewer playoff games and 15 less attempts, LeBron has made nearly as many game-winners. He shoots almost 25 percent higher.
Also, LeBron has better performances in playoff games, simply taking over games against some of the league's best. That is as "clutch" as hitting a game-winner.
Take Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals as a case in point. James and the Heat were facing elimination from the playoffs, courtesy of the Boston Celtics, down three games to two.
Not only that, LeBron's legacy was on the line.
He responded with one of the best playoff performances the NBA has seen. Hitting jump shots, three pointers and driving to the basket with a purpose, LeBron ended up with 45 points, 15 rebounds and five assists.
The only reason he didn't have more assists was because his teammates just weren't making shots.
There was no need for James to even play in the last couple minutes of the game—he had suffocated the Boston Celtics for 45 minutes. Even when the Celtics made a run, LeBron countered with shots of his own—destroying any momentum.
That's not even LeBron's best clutch performance. In 2007, during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, James scored the final 25 points for the Cavaliers, including overtime.
Unlike Kobe, who has been able to defer to players like Shaquille O'Neal in playoff situations, on the Cavs, James was the only option.
He held down the entire game singlehandedly while the Detroit Pistons defense was trying to lock down on him.
Talk about clutch.
The Epoch Times rates that game as the fourth-best playoff performance of all time. Kobe doesn't land a single spot in the top 10.