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Clutch: Is it Real?

On Imported Blog

"Kobe Bryant is so clutch." I constantly hear this statement from people, whether they're basketball fans or not. I have never bought any of this; in fact, I don't believe in being clutch. I'm going to lay out my logic why. Unfortunately, I didn't use any statistics, just pure reasoning. I think there's a variety of statistica proof on the Internet against the notion of clutch. Hopefully, though, mine will make intuitive sense.

My argument is as simple as this: people have a misconception about being clutch because they take into account the number of successes, not the percentage. What does this really mean? Here's one of my favorite quotes (I'll explain how it relates, don't worry):

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

Doesn't this quote deal with failure? Well, yes. But, there's a certain part of the quote I want to focus on. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. Wait, isn't Michael Jordan regarded as a clutch player? 26 misses a lot, especially compared to the limited opportunities one has to make a game-winning shot.

What I'm trying to say is that basically people care about the number of successes. It doesn't matter if a player misses 4 game-winning shots; if they make the fifth, they will be regarded as clutch. There is a similar phenomenon with All-Stars and scoring. Fans think the best players are the ones with the most points. But, that's obviously not true. NBA statistic sites, like Wages of Wins, highly stress the importance of Field Goal Percentage. A player who scores 20 points or more is not that beneficial if their FG% is below 40%. They might as well pass up the opportunity and give it to a teammate who has a higher conversion rate.

Engage and Win

On Family Minister Wannabe

In the 1997 NBA Finals the Bulls were playing a tough fought game 6 against the Utah Jazz. Wtih 25 seconds to go, the score was tied at 86 and the Bulls had the ball for what everyone thought would be the final shot of the game. Everyone in the world thought that final shot would come from a guy named Michael Jordan (maybe you’ve heard of him). The shot went up and fell in for a 88-86 lead that ended in a 90-86 win and the 5th NBA Championship in 7 years for the Chicago Bulls. But, Michael didn’t take the game winning shot the point guard, Steve Kerr, took it and buried it. Steve Kerr was the hero of one of the best NBA Finals games in history.

This is a great lesson for us as parents! You see, everyone, including the coach, Jordan, and Steve Kerr expected Jordan to take the final shot. Kerr, after passing the ball off to Pippen, could have and maybe should have disengaged. He could have just stood away from Jordan to give him space and time to take the shot. BUT HE DIDN’T! He was fully engaged in the play! He got to a spot where Jordan could pass him the ball if he needed to pass and when Jordan did pass, Kerr took the shot he was presented and nailed it for a win.

We have to be this way as parents in all things with our kids, but especially when it comes to their spiritual lives! We must be ENGAGED! It’s easy to look to the church or the Youth Minister (see what I did there, made myself Michael Jordan in this illustration) and watch or disengage and let others do the work, but that’s not how God designed it! God gave your children to you for you to disciple and that has always been the plan!

Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

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