A fan pointed out how Michael Jordan is the only player to hit more game-winning buzzer beaters than Joe Johnson, and NBA Reddit went wild.
Shot clock winding down, need a shot to win the game. Who would you hand the ball? Names of legends like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James come up instinctively. Well, only one player out of those three had more success in such situations than Big3 superstar Joe Johnson.
Seems insane doesn’t it? Well ‘Iso Joe’ had his nickname given to him for a reason. He was the go to guy for most of his teams during his long and successful 18-year career. Scoring 20,000 points in the league is no mean feat, and Johnson was as prolific a scorer as any of his peers.
The stat also reveals some other interesting details. Kobe Bryant is tied with Joe Johnson at 8, while LeBron James and Paul Pierce are not too far behind at 7. Michael Jordan has 9 such shots in his career, becoming a leader in this category.
A lot of questions arise with this stat. How are two legends in Kobe and MJ, who are known for making clutch plays over and over again, stuck with such a low count? There does seem to be a caveat in the criteria for registering such events.
The stat apparently registers only those game-winning buckets after which the buzzer sounds off.
This means any game-tying shot, or even all clutch plays before the game clock ends are not accounted for in this stat. So the value surely is a cherry-picked stat at best. However, it still correctly represents how Kobe, MJ, LeBron are some of the best go-to guys ever.
Fans had some interesting reactions to the stat as well.
Proof Joe Johnson is better than LeBron. I’ve been saying that for years
— Participation 🏆 (@H_Rockhoff) May 4, 2020
Iso Joe was a problem
— Nick Rosenburg (@nickrosenburg) May 4, 2020
Disregarding Joe Johnson would be also be a disservice too. The 7-time All-Star had some great seasons with the Hawks, and the Paul Pierce-KG-Deron Williams Nets. Though he never came very close to lifting a championship, he had an extremely respectable career, and deserves his respect.
Game-Winning buzzer-beaters surely count among the greatest moments a fan can witness during a game. With LeBron still going strong, there is a good possibility that he might end up leading the category by the time he retires.