Saturday, April 9, 2011

Score One For The Kobe-Haters

Henry Abbott and his legion of Kobe-hating followers had to wake up Wednesday feeling pretty good.

That's because the night before the man they love to hate, Kobe Bryant, found himself in a true clutch situation and failed to deliver a win for the Los Angeles Lakers.

I don't want to hear anything about what Bryant, or anyone else, does in a five-point game with five minutes to go.

That's not clutch to me.

But having the ball with a chance to take the lead in the final 10 seconds is, and that is the exact situation Bryant found himself in on Tuesday night.

He turned the ball over, and Los Angeles lost the game.

The next day, Abbott posted a Twitter message from someone giving him props for getting it right about Bryant in the clutch, someone who obviously paid no attention to the fact that Abbott's lengthy diatribe had absolutely zero information in it about how Bryant performs in the final 10 seconds in game-winning situations, one of the many objections I had to the piece when it first came out.

TNT brought us closer to the real truth about Kobe Bryant in crunch time when, before the Los Angeles game at Miami, they displayed a stat which showed Bryant was 35% (.349, 22-63) on go-ahead shots in the final 30 seconds since 2003-04, a few points higher than the .313 Bryant shot over the course of his entire career when tied or down by one or two in the final 24 seconds, the key stat Abbott used for his piece.

But we still don't know what percentage Bryant shoots on go-ahead shots in the final 10 seconds, broken down by year and opponent.

And as long as that information is kept secret, Abbott and the Kobe-Haters will continue to score points whenever Bryant fails in the clutch.

And I'm sure that is fine by them.

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