1- Michael Jordan
You can sum up MJ's clutch skills in two possessions. 1998 NBA
Finals against the Utah Jazz everyone remembers the shot over Byron
Russell that was a serial killer putting a dagger in the heart, but
what I remember more was the steal of Karl Malone to get Jordan in
position to make that shot. It is the little things that are the
difference between a great player (see: Karl Malone) and a legendary
players (see: Michael Jordan).
Being clutch is always about hitting the game winning shot. It is
about making all the plays to get you in position to make that shot. No
one was better than that than Michael Jordan. There has never been a
better "serial killer" in the history of sports.
2- Joe Montana
Being clutch is also about being calm. So it is no wonder Montana
got the name "Joe Cool". The famous story of him kidding about John
Candy being in the stands as he prepared to take the 49ers down the
field for the winning score in the Super Bowl against the Cincinnati
Bengals is legendary.
The best players never get caught up in the moment they embrace it
while others run from it. Montana was a classic case of the QB you want
to be under center. You want your best players to play their best in
the biggest games and that is the Super Bowl and there was no one
better that Montana in those pressure moments.
3- Tiger Woods
You won't hear the words fear and golf often together, but mention
Tiger Woods to anyone on the PGA Tour and you can see the fear in their
eyes. How clutch is Tigger (yes I call him Tigger on purpose)? He won
the freakin US Open on one leg. Just willed his way to a victory. How
disheartening is that to his competitors that they can't even beat him
while he is crippled?
I repeat how clutch is Tigger? He has never lost a final round lead ever!!!!!! Now that is clutch.
4- Kirk Gibson
Sometime Clutch is defined as a singular event and no clutch moment
was bigger than Kirk Gibson pinch hit homer in the 1988. It wasn't that
Gibson was just hurt. A lot of athletes have performed well while being
hurt, but Gibson was crippled barely able to walk to the plate. Add on
to the fact that he was facing the best closer in the game in Dennis
Eckersley the chances of success where slim and none. It definitely a
case of mind over matter Gibson hit the homer that by all accounts won
the Series for the Dodgers. When one swing can win and entire series
5- Robert Horry
Sometimes you are just born clutch. Robert Horry was an ok NBA
player. Just like a million other ok players in the league, but anytime
someone says the name Robert Horry what do you think?
Didn't matter if it was with the Rockets, Lakers or Spurs when you
needed a clutch bucket Big Shot Bob was there. Here is what was so cool
about it. Almost all of his clutch shots where by accident. My favorite
one is against the Sacramento Kings when Kobe missed a layup and the
ball gets back tapped to a waiting Horry who just drains the 3.
Being Clutch was in his DNA from birth.