Robert Horry and the Art of Clutchness

San Antonio Spurs vs Detroit Pistons (June 19, 2005-NBA Finals, Game 5)

The clocks winding down, we are in clutch territory yet again but this time Robert Horry’s role is to make the inbound pass. Has he been taken out the equation? He passes to Manu Ginoboli on the left hand, three-point side, who pivots around his defender and passes back to Bobby who’s been left open by Rasheed Wallace. Brent Barry can see the smirk on ‘Big Shot Bob’s’ face; “your going to leave me open?” It’s all good. Corner pocket, ‘Mr. Big Shot’, Robert Horry three, San An victory, sorry Chauncey.

Still even though the jersey changed, fans didn’t have to expect anything new. Horry even dunked and checked his way to victory showing that even in his latter career he’d always go hard for the sweet taste of victory. Horry made it a record seven championships for his career and a top three all-time clutch player. Bird, Jordan and he…sorry Kobe.

The statistics and rings speak and count for themselves. The Hall should make way. Fame? Horry was infamous in a town where celebrities ran the courtside as well as the baseline. For the record Robert is one of only nine players in NBA history to have won seven or more championships. Out of these nine of a kind guys, he’s the only one who did not play on the 1960s Celtics. This Laker legend is in a generation and class of his own, joining his 2000 champion team-mate John Salley as the only other player to win championships with three different NBA teams.

He may have not started games, but he sure did finish them. Carrying his team and family name with pride. Robert’s arc of talent extended from behind the line as he also became the first player in NBA history to record 100 steals, 100 blocked shots and 100 threes in one season. Still, speaking of more big three’s, his seven in ’97 against Utah made for the most three-point field goals made in a game without a miss.

He’s even outdone the greatest players of all-time. Fellow Laker alumni and all-time points leader Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is now second in playoff games played behind Horry. Now if you thought that was big, the record for the number of three-pointers in an NBA Finals doesn’t belong to Michael Jordan’s 42 anymore, it belongs to Robert Horry’s 53. Could the greatest Sixth Man of all-time be the greatest clutch player in NBA history? Time will tell,  but one things for sure, there is nobody like Robert Horry, no substitute. When talking about the greats people may not start with Robert, but they sure will finish with him. Like at the end of the game, at the end of the day its all about Horry. The rafters and the Hall of Fame are waiting, here’s hoping the NBA doesn’t leave it to the last minute; they’re not experts at that like he is. Hands down, seconds out, nobody did it like him. Three, two, one…none.

“That’s just Robert man,” said Kobe Bryant.

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