Top 10 Most Clutch Players in NBA History

The Top Ten
1 Michael Jordan Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials, MJ, is an American retired professional basketball player.

Look, Kobe is probably my favorite basketball player of all time, but Jordan is way more clutch. I mean, there are so many legendary shots Jordan made to win the game. Has Kobe made a shot that won a championship? No, but Jordan did against the Jazz.

Statistically, Jordan is far superior when it comes to game-winning shots. Kobe is really clutch, but Jordan is the king of clutch.

Kobe is 1-11 lifetime in a 5-point game with under 10 seconds left. This vote is a joke to any self-respecting basketball fan. Honestly, Kobe shouldn't even be in the conversation. I'm taking Jordan, Horry, hell, even Derek Fisher is more clutch than Kobe. Kobe fans need to face facts and stop believing all that media hype. Jordan's the G.O.A.T. and the most clutch player ever, hands down.

2 Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant (1978 - 2020) was an American retired professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. Kobe Bryant has won 5 NBA championships with the Lakers and was the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history... read more

The comparison has always been made: "Kobe is the next Jordan, or the closest thing to Jordan." Now that Kobe is retired, the fact that he is mentioned in the same sentence as Jordan at the end of his career is amazing. At this point, it can even be argued that Kobe may have been better than Jordan.

One of the reasons for this is that Kobe is the most clutch human being to have ever lived. Time after time, he hit game-winning shots, whether it was one-on-one, double-teamed, a floater, or a fadeaway from the corner. Kobe in the fourth quarter became superhuman in his ability to take over the game entirely.

Overall, I'm not going to say Kobe is better than Jordan because I don't necessarily think he is. But when it comes down to the last four minutes of the game, I'll pick Kobe over any other player. That's why he should be at the top of this list.

3 Larry Bird Larry Joe Bird is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association. Bird is a 3x champ, 1x ROTY, 1x Finals MVP, 3x 3PT Contest winner, all with the Boston Celtics. (1979-1992)

After reading the comments, it seems like most people here equate last-second shots with being "clutch." And although hitting a buzzer-beater is part of being clutch, there are many other qualities that must be considered, and Larry Bird has them all.

Yes, he was an assassin when it came to hitting a last-second shot. But beyond that, Bird could beat you on defense or by passing the ball. He was easily the most "clutch" player ever.

I would not go as far as to say that he's the best player ever, but if I needed a player to win me a game in the final few seconds, it would absolutely be Larry Bird. If the Celtics were up by 2, tied, or down by 2, he seemed to always figure out a way to secure the win.

4 Reggie Miller Reginald Wayne Miller is an American retired professional basketball player who played his entire 18-year National Basketball Association career with the Indiana Pacers.

This man may not be a top 10 or 20 player all-time, but he is definitely part of the top 10 clutch players of all time. We all remember his famed moment against the Knicks.

Welcome to your Kodak Moment, Spike Lee.

Straight up, I've never seen anyone hit more single last-second game-winners than Reggie. I would have Reggie at 1, Larry Bird at 2, and Michael Jordan at 3!

Are you serious? How is he not the clutchest player of all time? He single-handedly beat the Knicks by himself.

MJ is overrated for this reason. Anyone who says MJ is the most clutch is just riding the Jordan bandwagon!

5 LeBron James LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. LeBron has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and the Lakers.

LeBron actually has a higher field goal percentage on go-ahead buckets in the final five seconds of overtime or regulation than Kobe in the regular season. Moreover, in the postseason, he has made more with fewer attempts than Kobe in the same situation. Sure, one could point out his two rings, but rings are a team accomplishment.

In 2007, he had no chance. In 2011, the Big 3 still didn't have good team chemistry. In 2014, the Spurs just really stepped up their game. And in 2015, basically, LeBron and a bunch of nobodies took a 67-win team to a six-game series.

Now, I know Michael Jordan is the most clutch ever, but LeBron needs to be in the top 10. Unlike Kobe or MJ, he knows when to pass the ball to another teammate and let him take the shot.

6 Magic Johnson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association for 13 seasons.

One-footed buzzer-beater against the Celtics covers it all. He wasn't even shooting with his right leg. He shot it with his left leg.

Magic Johnson was very clutch. He could hit a buzzer-beater or make a great pass to someone else for the last shot.

7 Jerry West Jerry Alan West was an American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association.

We call him Mr. Clutch for God's sake! Unbelievable that he's not even in the top 3. I agree with what another person said on here, being "clutch" is not only about hitting buzzer-beaters, but also picking up your team and putting them on your shoulders in the late stretches of games to lead them to victory. Jerry West did both of those things as well as or better than anyone else in history. No way he should be anything less than top 3.

Already the best on this list, he did it WITHOUT the 3-point shot. If it had existed back then, he would have won substantially more games with his clutch shots. He would even have won the 1970 NBA Finals, but his 64-foot buzzer-beater was worth only 2 points, and it only forced overtime, which the Lakers lost. With the "3," his shot would have won the game.

8 Stephen Curry Wardell Stephen Curry II is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is widely considered to be one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, if not the greatest. He is one of the most beloved stars in the NBA today, as... read more

Before it's all said and done, Curry will go down as one of the most clutch shooters in NBA history. His shots to tie games, take leads, or win games in crunch time (last five minutes of a game) are trending up. As the Warriors play to challenge the 95-96 Bulls in 15-16, Curry has taken a larger role and is leading the NBA in scoring.

The only thing that can slow him down is a lack of opportunities to win games with a shot because they beat opponents so badly that Curry sits entire fourth quarters sometimes.

He should be number 1. He doesn't just chuck up shots. He methodically picks and chooses them unless he has to "chuck" them up with time expiring and from long, long, long distances, and they still go in. So, I wouldn't say chuck. I'd say it's a controlled long shot.

And so everyone is clear, Michael Jordan averaged 1,635 shots a year through his career. Curry has only averaged 1,100. Just because Curry makes more and has a crazy high make percentage, you shouldn't hold that against him. Jealousy really is so ugly.

9 Dwyane Wade Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association.

This guy makes jaws drop every time it's crunch time. Wade has the killer instinct to just go at you hard and deliver a blow right in your face. The dude played god-awful in the Chicago Bulls series this past year while LeBron was carrying the team for the first three quarters, but Wade showed up every fourth quarter and played his best five minutes of the game.

And don't even get me started on the '06 finals. This man is on a mission, a mission to be the greatest ever.

Everyone remembers his '06 finals, which were arguably the best NBA finals performance by a single player. But who saw him on the Olympic team in 2008? He was not only the best player on a team with LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Derrick Rose, but he also delivered another one of his ridiculously clutch performances in the gold medal game against Spain.

10 Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association.

He had to carry the Celtics for a good part of his career, hitting clutch shots. Pierce is not MJ, but he deserves higher.

The step-back jumper was money, and he would also get people on the up fake to draw the foul. Simple but very effective.

One of the most underrated players of all time. I would give the ball to The Truth with 3 seconds left anytime.

The Contenders
11 Robert Horry Robert Keith Horry is an American former professional basketball player and current sports commentator.

There's never been a role player, not even close, with as many clutch shots, and there never will be again. Can you remember a time he missed a clutch shot?

I saw it happen only once, against the Spurs in Game 5 in 2003, and the ball was halfway down before God divinely intervened to force it back out.

Horry has the name "Big Shot Bob" for a reason. Don't believe me? Watch Game 5 of the 2005 NBA Finals. The guy has three points in the first three quarters, then drops 21 in the 4th and OT to give the Spurs a 3-2 lead.

Tell me that isn't clutch.

We are not arguing about the best players. It's all about what they do in the final minutes.

Robert Horry is the man I want with the ball in hand, taking a three to go to overtime.

12 Ray Allen Walter Ray Allen, Jr. is a former American professional basketball player who is currently a free agent.

James catches, puts up a three, won't go. Rebound Bosh, back out to Allen, his three-pointer, BANG! Oh, what a shot from Curry! Oops, wrong Mike Breen moment. Jokes aside, Allen made the most clutch shot in Finals history.

If he had missed, The Big Fundamental would have six rings like Jordan, and LeBron would have only three (assuming he wins with the Lakers).

50% of shots taken when trailing by one or two points, or tied, in the final 24 seconds of playoff games since 1996-97.

6/12... only game-winners, so here I didn't count shots in crunch time (5 minutes).

4-6th place in all-time clutch, in my opinion... better than Kobe for sure...

13 Kevin Durant Kevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association. He has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, and the Nets. He was MVP of the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals.

He should be in the top 5 since he is the right guy you'll find in crucial moments. He's able to attack you, bait a foul, hit a perimeter shot, and hit a 3-pointer that kills the heart of the opponent.

He's one of a kind clutch shooter of all time.

Remember that four-point play two years ago to clinch a win for the Thunder against the Grizzlies? That's the stuff that makes Kevin Durant clutch.

This man is probably the greatest scorer to ever walk this earth. He is so versatile, quick, and lengthy. He can get any shot he wants, which includes the final one to clinch the W.

14 Damian Lillard Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously played for the Portland Trail Blazers.

The only player besides MJ to have two playoff-series-winning shots, and he still has more than half of his career left. All-around clutch. DAME TIME!

"The Shot" was from the free-throw line over a guy with a twisted ankle, while Dame's were a 0.9-second three and a cold-blooded from-the-logo over a guy who went third in DPOY voting. Best man.

I'm a Warriors fan, and I think Damian Lillard is the most clutch NBA player.

15 Dirk Nowitzki Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German professional basketball player for the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association.

Dirk is a clutch player in every way. He is the leader, strength, and best player of the Mavericks. He belongs in the top 10.

LeBron is beginning to show signs of wear and tear. Dirk is a quiet, humble superstar who makes others around him better every day. Dirk is clutch and had an all-star season at 37. Check the numbers!

Dirk is way more clutch than any other player on this list. He has countless game-winning shots and three buzzer-beaters for the win. What does LeBron have? Only one game-winning shot.

How can LeBron be above Dirk when he only has one buzzer-beater and one game-winning shot?

16 Bill Russell William Felton "Bill" Russell was an American retired professional basketball player. Russell played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association from 1956 to 1969.

He went 10-0 in Game 7s. That's about as clutch as it gets.

17 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.

Best 2-point shot ever. Unstoppable. I can't fathom how no 7-footers have taken Kareem as a role model and learned to shoot the sky hook over the last two decades.

No single individual can hold this dude, period! I'd give him the ball first in clutch time. Greatest scorer of all time for a reason.

18 Kawhi Leonard Kawhi Anthony Leonard is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Clippers of the National Basketball Association. He has played for the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, and the Clippers.
19 John Havlicek John Joseph "Hondo" Havlicek is a retired American professional basketball player who competed for 16 seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning eight NBA championships, four of them coming in his first four seasons.
20 Chauncey Billups Chauncey Ray Billups is an American retired professional basketball player who played 17 seasons in the National Basketball Association.

He should be at least in the top 8. How on earth do you think he got his nickname for being clutch and hitting big shots, for gosh sake!

He was called "Mr. Big Shot" for a reason.

21 Tim Duncan Timothy Theodore "Tim" Duncan is an American professional basketball player who has played his entire career for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association.

There's a lot to be said about a player who has never had a losing season nor ever missed the playoffs. Ever!

22 Kyrie Irving Kyrie Andrew Irving is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association. He has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and the Nets.

Mr. Clutch, whenever he was needed in the big moment, he produced absolute magic, from deadly ankle-breaker crossovers to clutch 3-point shots. Way more clutch than Curry and a true winner!

He at least should be in the top 15 most clutch and reminds me of Jordan in full clutch mode. Overall, underrated and deserves a higher spot.

Finals shot and shot versus Warriors on Christmas. He can take over a game offensively when his team needs it.

I don't even like the Cavs or the Timberwolves, but time and time again, I see Kyrie hit three, four, or five shots in a row when his team needs it.

23 Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Kyam Anthony is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association.

Most game-winners since 2003 behind Kobe, still playing in the NBA.

Down to the wire, he's the guy you give the ball to.

Highest game-winning shot percentage ever in the NBA right now.

24 Tracy McGrady Tracy Lamar McGrady Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player who is best known for his career in the National Basketball Association, where he played as both a shooting guard and small forward.

So many game-winners... and if he was doubled, he either still scored or got the game-winning assist.

Also, he has the greatest clutch performance the NBA has ever seen!

If not for injuries, he would be a top 20 player. The top reason was that he could score at will, especially in the clutch!

Seriously, he should be at least top 5, I think. Thirteen points in 33 seconds is just too much.

25 Bob McAdoo

In the clutch, his shooting percentage topped them all in the days before 'legalized traveling and double-dribbling.' Check the stats prior to MJ.

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