Stephen Curry Ranks Himself 2nd to Only Michael Jordan for Game-Winning Shot

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 12, 2013

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Not that this should come as much of a surprise, but when the seconds are ticking away on the game clock, don't expect Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry to share the rock.

Well, not unless Michael Jordan gets permission from his wife, takes on a Jackie Moon-type owner-player role and finds a time machine to take him back to his playing days.

In other words, Curry's taking the big shot any and every time one arises.

As he told ESPN The Magazine's Sam Alipour (via, he's not ashamed to rank himself near the top of his list of late-game closers.

"[Michael] Jordan's No. 1, I'm No. 2 ," Curry said.

Granted, Curry didn't have free reign to choose any clutch shooter he wanted. But considering the list of names he was given to pick from—himself, Jordan, Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant and Reggie Miller—it's hard to think he was left wanting for better options.

In case you were wondering, Curry did complete his ranking of that elite, coffin-closing group.

"Then you go Ray, then Reggie, then Kobe," he said. "Three-pointer or not, same answer."

With the talent involved in that question, Curry couldn't have given the wrong answer. And given his late-game body of work, he's been justifying that lofty self-placement.

But do the numbers agree with his assessment? They're not exactly arguing against it.

Curry's been the seventh-best shooter of the 25 players who have attempted at least 20 shots in clutch—final five minutes of a five-point game—situations this season. Some of the names in front of him might be a little surprising.

Kings of Clutch
Damian Lillard112250.0
Dirk Nowitzki153148.4
Ryan Anderson102147.6
DeMarcus Cousins102147.6
Jamal Crawford92045.0
Evan Turner132944.8
Stephen Curry122744.4

For reference, Ray Allen has taken just three such shots for the Miami Heat this season. He's misfired on two of the three. Bryant hasn't attempted any yet. Then again he's just two games and 57 minutes into his return from the torn Achilles that ended his 2012-13 campaign; he'll get his chances before too long.

Like all of these elite scorers, Curry's been called a lot of things over the course of his career. As he continues taking and making these game-clinching shots, the word "clutch" keeps popping up in those descriptions:

He's on his way to adding another one of those welcome labels soon:

Maybe it's just me, but I would have loved to hear his response if his father Dell Curry, who shot 40.2 percent from beyond the arc over his 16-year NBA career, would have been an option.

Then again, if he's putting himself in front of those three shooters, something tells me he's not taking a backseat to his old man.