Saturday, December 16

The Most Clutch Players in Nba History

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10. Chauncey Billups

Chauncey Ray Billups (born September 25, 1976, in Denver, Colorado) is an American professional basketball point guard for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has also played for Team USA. Billups won the NBA Finals MVP in 2004, helping the Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals, and was given the nickname “Mr. Big Shot” for making late-game shots with Detroit.

A five-time NBA All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, he was chosen third overall in the 1997 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, and has also played for the Toronto Raptors and the Minnesota Timberwolves. Billups played college basketball at the University of Colorado, where he was honored in 2004 as the fifth player to have his jersey (number 4) retired. -Wikipedia.org

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9. Lebron James

LeBron Raymone James (born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Nicknamed “King James”, he was a three-time “Mr. Basketball” of Ohio in high school, and was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar while a sophomore at St. Vincent – St. Mary High School. At just 18, he was selected with the number one pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers and signed a shoe contract with Nike before his professional debut.

Listed as a small forward, James has set numerous youngest player records since joining the league. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003–04, NBA Most Valuable Player in 2008–09 and 2009–10, and has been both All-NBA selection and an All-Star every season since 2005. In 2010, a much-publicized free agency process ended with James going to the Miami Heat. He became the third reigning NBA MVP to change teams and the first since Moses Malone in 1982. -Wikipedia.org

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8. Jerry West

Jerry Alan West (born May 28, 1938) is a retired American basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames include “Mr. Clutch” for his ability to make a big play in a clutch situation; “The Logo” in reference to his silhouette being incorporated into the NBA logo; and “Zeke from Cabin Creek” after the creek near his birthplace of Chelyan, West Virginia. Playing the small forward position early in his career, West was a standout at East Bank High School and at West Virginia University, leading the WVU Mountaineers to the 1959 NCAA championship game, earning Most Valuable Player honors despite the loss.

He then embarked on a 14-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and was the co-captain of the 1960 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in Rome, a squad that would be inducted as a unit into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010.  West’s NBA career was highly successful. Playing the guard position as a professional, he was voted 12 times into the All-NBA First and Second Teams, was elected into the NBA All-Star Team 14  times, and was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star game in 1972, the same year that he won his single NBA championship ring. He is the all-time NBA record holder of points-averaged during a playoffs series (46.3) and, as a testament to his two-way play, a member of the first four NBA All-Defensive Teams which were introduced when he was 32 years old. Having played in nine NBA Finals, he is also the only player in NBA history to have won the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award despite being on the losing team (1969). West was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1980 and voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996. -Wikipedia.org

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7. Magic Johnson

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s.

Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996 to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time.  Johnson’s career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations. He led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in assists per game, with an average of 11.2. Johnson was a member of the “Dream Team”, the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. -Wikipedia.org

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6. Dwayne Wade

Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. (born January 17, 1982) nicknamed Flash or D-Wade, is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat. Awarded 2006 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated, Wade has established himself as one of the most well-known and popular players in the league. He had the top selling jersey in the NBA for nearly two years, as he led the NBA in jersey sales from the 2005 NBA playoffs, until the mid-point of the 2006–07 season.[

After entering the league as the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade was named to the All-Rookie team and the All-Star team the following six seasons. In his third season, Wade helped lead the Miami Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history. He was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP as he helped lead the Heat to a 4–2 series win over the Dallas Mavericks. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States Men’s Basketball team, commonly known as the “Redeem Team”, in scoring, as they captured gold medal honors in Beijing, China. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA scoring title. -Wikipedia.org

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5. Robert Horry

Robert Keith Horry (born August 25, 1970) is a retired American basketball player. He played 16 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA), winning seven championships, the most of any player not to have played on the 1960s Boston Celtics. He is one of only two players to have won NBA championships with three different teams: two with the Houston Rockets, three with the Los Angeles Lakers and two with the San Antonio Spurs. Because of his clutch shooting in important games, he has earned the nickname “Big Shot Rob”. Horry now works as a commentator on ESPN. -Wikipedia.org

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4. Larry Bird

Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is a former American NBA basketball player and coach. Drafted into the NBA sixth overall by the Boston Celtics in 1978, Bird started at small forward and power forward for thirteen seasons, teaming with legendary center Robert Parish and forward Kevin McHale. Due to back problems, he retired as a player from the NBA in 1992. Bird was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996 and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.

He served as head coach of the Indiana Pacers from 1997 to 2000. In 2003, he assumed the role of president of basketball operations for the Pacers, which he currently holds. Larry also is one of only three Celtics who have scored over 20,000 points in their career. The other two are Paul Pierce and John Havlicek. -Wikipedia.org

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3. Reggie Miller

Reginald Wayne Miller (born August 24, 1965) is a retired American professional basketball player. Miller spent the entirety of his 18-year NBA career with the Indiana Pacers. Miller was known for his precision three-point field goal shooting, especially in clutch situations. He holds the NBA record for career three-pointers made (2,560).

Currently, he works as an NBA commentator for TNT. He is the younger brother of fellow TNT sportscaster Cheryl Miller and former Major League Baseball player Darrell Miller.  Miller is one of five Pacers to have his jersey (#31) retired by the team (the others are Roger Brown, Mel Daniels, Bobby “Slick” Leonard and George McGinnis). Miller was also selected for the Pacers’ 40th anniversary team in 2007. -Wikipedia.org

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2. Michael Jordan

Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963) is a former American professional basketball player, active businessman, and majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. His biography on the National Basketball Association (NBA) website states, “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.” Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.  After a standout career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he led the Tar Heels to a National Championship in 1982, Jordan joined the NBA’s Chicago Bulls in 1984. He quickly emerged as a league star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring.

His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames “Air Jordan” and “His Airness”. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball.[2] In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a “three-peat”. Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball at the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season to pursue a career in baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships (1996, 1997, and 1998) as well as an NBA-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for a second time in 1999, but returned for two more NBA seasons in 2001 as a member of the Washington Wizards. -Wikipedia.org

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1. Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978(1978-08-23)) is an American professional basketball player who plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He decided to declare his eligibility for the NBA Draft upon graduation, and was selected with the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, then traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest.  

Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002. A heated feud between the duo and a lose in the 2004 NBA Finals led to O’Neal’s departure following the 2003–04 season. In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault after having sex with a hotel employee in Edwards, Colorado. In September 2004, prosecutors dropped the case after his accuser refused to testify, and Bryant had to rebuild his image while becoming the cornerstone of the Lakers. He led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, setting numerous scoring records in the process.

In 2006, Bryant scored a career high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points scored in a single game in NBA history, second only to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point performance. In the 2007–08 season, he was awarded the regular season’s Most Valuable Player Award (MVP). After losing in the 2008 NBA Finals, Bryant led the Lakers to two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010 and was named NBA Finals MVP on both occasions. -Wikipedia.org

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