Kobe Bryant's reign as the NBA's most "clutch" player is over.
That, anyway, is according to NBA general managers, who in a poll voted Kevin Durant the league's best choice to take a shot with the game on the line.
For 10 years the GMs had chosen Bryant for such a situation. And while measuring "clutchness" is notoriously tricky, there is evidence to support the general managers made the right choice. Last year, when the game was in the last 10 seconds and their teams were behind by three or less, or tied, Durant went 5-for-12 and Bryant went 2-for-10. Durant also was statistically more effective in the final three minutes of close games.
It wasn't a landslide win for Durant, though. He got 46.7 percent of the vote, Bryant got 40 percent and Carmelo Anthony got 6.7 percent.
Some, like John Schulman of NBA.com, parse out the clutch-shooting data even further. He defines clutch situations as the last five minutes of a game with a point differential of five points or fewer. He ...