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Robert Horry explains why Damian Lillard is the greatest clutch player in history

Putting Jordan in the fifth spot is enough to get Horry in trouble.
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Robert Horry

Damian Lillard and Robert Horry

Robert Horry is easily one of the greatest clutch performers of all time. He has his own list of the players that could be mentioned alongside him. Interestingly, he ranks Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard as the best, above Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

Horry’s case

Horry knows that he’s going to get a wild backlash for putting Lillard above Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, and Stephen Curry. Putting Jordan in the fifth spot alone is going to get Horry in trouble. Chucking Curry in there is another questionable matter. But Big Shot Rob has his reasons which hold a lot of water.

People are going to say, ‘Damian Lillard? He hasn’t won anything.’ But Lillard has hit a clutch shot versus every team in the NBA. Think about that. Every team. The last minute or so of a game, he’s come through with a clutch shot, even though he got a lot of shots during the game,” Horry said, per The Crossover pod. Here's his list.

  1. Damian Lillard
  2. Steph Curry
  3. Ray Allen
  4. Kobe Bryant
  5. Michael Jordan
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Horry has a good point. Casual Blazers fans only know of Lillard’s series-winning shots in the playoffs. He has one against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019 and against the Houston Rockets in 2014. But hardcore Lillard fans know that the guard has torched all 29 teams in the NBA with a game-winning buzzer-beater or a dagger. Lillard isn’t picky with the setting. It doesn’t matter if it’s a regular-season game or the playoffs. Dame Time starts ticking once the game enters its most tense moments.

Horry’s ranking

Before he dropped his list, Horry clarified that he removed himself from contention just because he would’ve placed himself at the top. His reasoning is straightforward. The other guys have the ball at all times, and up to a certain extent, it’s their job to put the ball into the basket from the first to the last possession. Horry, meanwhile, only gets a crack at the basket in the clutch if the coach sees fit. It has only occurred a few times for Horry. But in those rare instances, Big Shot Rob delivered.

Perhaps this is why he placed Lillard in his list of the greatest clutch shooters of all time. Horry takes pride in his seven rings. But he knows that there’s a pocket of analysts who do not give a lot of weight to his titles because he was a mere role player.

These criticisms may have played up Horry’s mind. He views himself as an underdog. Horry is more comfortable going against the zeitgeist. And in his reading of present history, he gravitates toward those players criminally underappreciated. 

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