Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – LeBron James claimed he doesn’t care that 26 of his NBA peers said they don’t want him to take the final shot when the game is on the line if Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant were available.
In an anonymous poll among NBA players as to who they want to take the last shot, Jordan got 88 percent of the votes while Bryant was a far second with 12 percent.
“I’d want the ball in LeBron’s hands at the end of the game, but I’d want him to pass to Kobe or Jordan for the last shot,” said an Eastern Conference guard, sarcastically. “And don’t forget, LeBron is not a great free throw shooter, either.”
Number show that James is a better shooter from the field than Bryant on game-tying or go-ahead field goals in the final 24 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime of postseason games. He checks in at 41.2 percent (7-for-17), while Bryant is at 25 percent (7-for-28). Jordan was tops at 50 percent (9-for-18).
“I don’t think the definition of clutch is who takes the last shot. There are guys who come through for their teams in different circumstances,” James argued.
Despite making the game winner in Game 1 of the Eastern conference finals against the Indiana Pacers and in hitting a 19-foot jumper with 27 seconds to play in Game 7 of the Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, James continued to battle a perception that he is not a clutch player due to poor showings in the 2007 and 2011 NBA Finals.
“That was a big shot but people forget about it because I made it,” said James, referring to the 2013 Finals Game 7 shot. “And I got the steal on the way down on the next play, too.”