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The NBA has a long and storied history of stars stepping up to the challenge of taking and making big-time clutch shots.
But if your season is on the line and your team down one with 10 seconds left, who would you pick to take the final shot if given the chance to select any player from all of NBA history?
MORE: Every game-winning buzzer-beater this season
Before giving our picks, we want to hear from you!
The great thing about it... there is no right or wrong answer!
Here are the picks from some members of our NBA.com staff.
Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13): The conventional wisdom says to take Michael Jordan, the author of countless big shots.
But did you know that LeBron James actually has more postseason game-winners than Jordan?
I can't believe I'm saying this ... but I'm taking LeBron. I feel like I just had by Chicago Bulls fan club membership revoked. For his postseason career, Jordan went 5-11 on potential go-ahead shots in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime. As for James? He's 7-15.
It's not just that he delivers the goods, it's that he does it in every way. Running off balance floaters? Ask Toronto Raptors fans. Catch and shoots on out-of-bounds plays? The Bulls know about that. Driving all the way to rim? Sorry, Indiana Pacers. 3-pointers from well beyond the arc? Feels like yesterday for the Orlando Magic.
James has done it every which way imaginable and has the size, strength and speed to get whatever he wants, whenever he wants against whoever is guarding him.
Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles): The first person who came to mind was Michael Jordan, so I'm going with Jordan.
As Mike Lynch of Sports-Reference.com recently detailed on The Ringer, Jordan has the most game-winning buzzer-beaters in NBA history. That isn't the only measure of how clutch a player is, of course, but it certainly helps Jordan's case. According to Lynch, Jordan had six game-winning buzzer-beaters in the regular season and three in the playoffs, two of which ended a series.
Furthermore, Jordan is tied with Joe Johnson (!) for the most unassisted game-winning buzzer-beaters in NBA history with seven.
A lot of Jordan's buzzer-beaters are iconic, too, such as his game-winner over Craig Ehlo in 1989.
LeBron James is a close second and maybe he'll be No. 1 on my clutch list once it's all said and done, but Jordan gets my vote for now.
Gilbert McGregor: (@GMcGregor21): Kobe Bean Bryant.
There might be numbers and statistics to dispute the notion but I don't care.
In clutch moments, there was no one to be feared more than Kobe when he had the ball in his hands. His journey to becoming that clutch player was that of a superhero origin story. After the airballs in Utah, Kobe worked endlessly to never come up short like that again - literally and figuratively.
The result? Kobe was so cold-blooded in these clutch situations that he gave himself the Black Mamba nickname…AND IT STUCK. Now, when someone makes a clutch play, they usually credit their own personal Mamba Mentality.
While there were times that he didn't convert in clutch situations, there was never a doubt in my mind that Kobe would come up big. Every time. I think back to Portland, when he hit an insanely difficult shot to tie the game, then hit another difficult triple for the win.
That's just one example of how clutch this guy was.
Seeing Kobe hit insanely difficult high-stakes shots led me to believe that each time he rose up for one it was going in. Even if he missed one, he'd hit the next.
In those moments, his focus got even greater and he got even better…which is amazing to think considering how good he already was. Even his last pro performance was a clutch one, the perfect completion of the superhero arc that made up his entire career.
Juan Estevez (@JuanEstevez90): Michael Jordan.
It has to be MJ. Not only he has the most game-winners of all time, but he has literally decided playoffs series and even championships with his clutch shots. Cavs and Jazz fans, among others, can attest to that.
If there is a pressure situation, there is no one in NBA history I would choose over Jordan. Well, there is no one I would choose over MJ in ANY situation... but the clutch is no exception. Just give the ball to Michael, open the floor and let the magic begin.
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