June 18, 2005

Robert Horry... Fraud?: Slate's Felix Gillette asks whether Robert Horry is the NBA's best clutch shooter or its best con man?

posted by lilnemo to basketball at 01:23 PM - 46 comments

Simply put, Gillette's an idiot. From the opening grafs:

In Tuesday's Game 3 of the NBA Finals, San Antonio and Detroit are tied with about a minute left in the third quarter. The Spurs' Robert Horry launches a high-arching three-pointer from the top of the key. Nothing but glass. Forty-five seconds later, Horry drives in for a layup—rejected. When the Pistons run out on a fast break, Horry tries to block Richard Hamilton's shot from behind—goaltending. In less than a minute, Horry's burst of bad play has helped the Pistons lock up a victory. But don't tell that to the announcers. "That's a guy," says ABC's Hubie Brown, "who is not giving up on anything."
Here's ESPN's play-by-play from the 3rd period of Game 3. Horry enters with 6:30 left in the quarter with the Spurs down 49-54 and plays through the end of the quarter. Where the Spurs are still trailing by 5 points, 65-70. Yup the victory was well in hand. Asshat. While Horry may not be a HOFer, he is one of the all time great 2nd/3rd bannana's. And that is what makes him stand out amongst most other NBA players, he understands what his role is and he plays it. A lot of players who are truly 2nd or 3rd bannanas cannot handle that, they always operate under the assumption that they are indispensable. See Damon Jones in lieu of Kenny Smith's "Butler" comments. Being a team player and playing within a concept in an era where most guys believe they should be "the man", doesn't make you a fraud. It makes you a good teammate, a good ball player, quite a bit richer, and if you're in the right spot at the right time: a legend.

posted by lilnemo at 01:40 PM on June 18, 2005

By the by, maybe Gillette should ask McDyess if he would trade his career for Horry's.

posted by lilnemo at 01:48 PM on June 18, 2005

And to pile-on. Boy that Gar Heard with his 8.7 ppg career average sure is overrated. Never mind Steve Kerr and his measly 6.0 ppg. Or Mario Elie and his 8.6 ppg. Or Derek Fisher and his 7.9 ppg. Yeah. Overrated the lot of them.

posted by lilnemo at 03:40 PM on June 18, 2005

I've never seen somebody hold a debate by themselves in a thread before. Weird.

posted by sic at 06:53 PM on June 18, 2005

Dear Members of the Robert Horry Fan Club: Please don't mention "Hall of Fame" and "Robert Horry" in the same sentence. What a ridiculous idea. Truly. Horry in the Hall of Fame (HOF)? Not. Never. Nada. Nyet. Horry has career averages of less then 9 ppg and 3 apg--and just over 6 rpg. (And his playoff numbers are even worse.) OK, getting into the HOF is more than stats. Horry has won--er, coattailed his way to--five titles ... three via Shaq with the Lakers and two via Hakeem with the Rockets. And now he's trying to win a title on the coattail of Tim Duncan. Horry has not been a leader, nor major contributor, on any of those teams. Not one. Nada. HOF? My ... what a joke. Hitting a wide-open big shot here and there, because the superstar is triple-teamed, can sure help a team ... but it is NOT the basis for HOF recognition. Please spend your time and efforts coming to the defense of the multitude of other quality players who may deserve HOF recognition, but may not get it (e.g., Dennis Rodman and others, who will be slighted for image reasons). Ramon

posted by ramon at 06:53 PM on June 18, 2005

I've never seen somebody hold a debate by themselves in a thread before. Then you must not visit spofi often.

posted by lilnemo at 07:44 PM on June 18, 2005

In my opion Robert Horry should be in the Hall Of Fame one day.Could Shaq win a title by himself? I dont think so...

posted by cable5005 at 08:42 PM on June 18, 2005

Horry is certainly a great clutch shooter. There is no doubt. He is not a Hall of famer. period

posted by daddisamm at 09:31 PM on June 18, 2005

Horry is calm and collective when the time is clutch, similar to Jordan. That is what made Jordan, clutch shots. He didn't make all of his shots either but he had more opportunities. Horry is a Hall of Famer to me.

posted by scudero at 11:59 PM on June 18, 2005

this is a stupid thread!

posted by bluekarma at 12:04 AM on June 19, 2005

this is a stupid thread! Well then, it has been perfectly complemented by your comment.

posted by avogadro at 01:07 AM on June 19, 2005

Horry was great in game two of the series, without him, the Spurs would be down 3-1.

posted by zippinglou at 09:14 AM on June 19, 2005

This is the same kind of debate that the Hockey Hall of Fame goes through every year. It seems that the HHoF is a "big hall" supporter, so players who really have no business being in the HHoF are voted in every year (see: Clark Gillies). Now, if you are a "big hall" supporter for the BHoF, then you should have no problem voting in someone like Robert Horry. However, you should realize that you then open the door for the kind of players that post similar numbers and ring counts. Does Steve Kerr get into the BHoF? He was "clutch" and he won a bunch of rings, and even had some better numbers than Horry (per 48 minutes). (see comparison)

posted by grum@work at 09:19 AM on June 19, 2005

People want to put a guy in the Hall of Fame who isn't good enough to start for his team and hasn't been a full-time starter for any team since 1998? Who else is on your Hall short list -- Sam Bowie? Shawn Bradley? Pace Mannion?

posted by rcade at 09:51 AM on June 19, 2005

this is a stupid thread! Well then, it has been perfectly complemented by your comment. you missed the point. I am referring to the fact that Horry's accomplishments in the playoffs have been extraordinary, for the most part. Last year against the Pistons, Horry was banged up and tired from having to play extra minutes due to Malones injuries, and that his legs weren't there to make the 3's. If you knew anything about how to play the game, you would know your legs are vital in making longer shots. Go out and try and make 3's with just your arms. I played in college and my uncle was in the NBA and taught me as a kid how to shoot. But I figured with my simple statement, people on here could figure it out. Obvioulsy not. You proved that.

posted by bluekarma at 10:46 AM on June 19, 2005

That's a stupid response, bluekarma!

posted by rcade at 04:58 PM on June 19, 2005

Personally, I don't care who goes into the HOF. I played college ball, and I know how tough it is to even get looked at to play in the NBA. Let 'em all in there for all I care. If nothing else, Horry should be in there on account of sportsmanship, and for tagging Paula Abdul back when she was still hot.

posted by TXboxer at 07:38 PM on June 19, 2005

Agreed. And by that criteria, Emilio Estevez should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame too.

posted by chicobangs at 07:43 PM on June 19, 2005


posted by scudero at 11:14 PM on June 19, 2005


posted by scudero at 11:16 PM on June 19, 2005

So, like you still think he's a fraud? The guy should be Hall Of Fame strictly based on his Championship performances and rings. He has 5, almost 6. How many do you think it would take, and the fact that he has never LOST a Finals, should make it obvious that he has the credentials and that EXTRA to get the job done when it is needed most. Fraud?

posted by bluekarma at 11:17 PM on June 19, 2005

bluekarma, he can hit all the game-winning threes from now till doomsday, but the fact remains, he's barely been a starter for his entire career. Good on him for doing it again tonight (and can I get a hell yeah for both teams showing up), but that doesn't change my opinion.

posted by chicobangs at 11:22 PM on June 19, 2005

Hahaha, let me laugh now !!!! After Horry's game 5 performance, can you denie he's "C L U T C H". Like I said before, without him the Spurs would have lost game 2 and now game 5, and if the Spurs crown another championship this season, Horry "W I L L" have earned his entrie into the BhF (6 Championship rings). Let alone that he left the initiator of this chat look like an A$$.

posted by zippinglou at 11:26 PM on June 19, 2005

Robert Horry is a Nubian god.

posted by platocave at 11:29 PM on June 19, 2005

No one is denying that Horry is clutch. He just doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame.

posted by chicobangs at 11:34 PM on June 19, 2005

Great game by Horry, but by his own admission he's a role player who never wanted to be the star of a team. And he isn't.

posted by rcade at 11:36 PM on June 19, 2005

Horry didn't look too bad tonight. Definitely not a Hall of Famer though. Some clutch shooting tonight scoring basically 21 points in the 4th quarter (he hit a 3 with 1 second left in the 3rd for his first points of the game)

posted by Ricardo at 11:39 PM on June 19, 2005

Horry is a fine player, and I am beyond pleased that the Spurs picked him up and he is performing the way that he is. If I could, I would have his many pretty babies. But, even he admits that his career has been characterized by being in the right place at the right time. When he plays, he contributes, but he isn't the kind of player that you would center a team on. Expanding the Hall of Fame to include Horry cheapens the honor of going to Springfield. Ask Salley or Kerr if they belong in the Hall of Fame, and I doubt that they could honestly answer in the affirmative.

posted by avogadro at 11:54 PM on June 19, 2005

Big shot Robert Horry, shooting 11 of 22 from the 3 point line in the finals. Nobody has made more 3 point fg's in the FINALS ever!!! He belongs in the Hall of Fame, because under ultimate pressure he is CLUTCH!! The Hall of Fame is filled with individuals of this caliber, not to mention 6 rings after the SPURS win this championship. That doesnt hurt either.

posted by Rage Rod 74 at 12:06 AM on June 20, 2005

Very clutch--but still soesnt belong in the HOF

posted by daddisamm at 12:23 AM on June 20, 2005

And now we come full circle, to the article written. Horry's real value is in taking clutch shot attempts. Sometimes, like tonight, it pays off, and people remember it. And no one can deny he made some great shots tonight. But does anyone remember when he *doesn't* make shots down the stretch? No! Because by not being the "star", the Tim Duncan/Shaq/Hakeem, he never has the attention paid to him when he fails. He only gets attention when he succeeds. See, no one remembers a role player missing shots; no one is looking to Robert Horry to win the game per se; had the Spurs lost, the Hubie Browns would have found some more significant player to point to as the failure. That's what Horry is playing at, the confirmation bias game. And that's why he's not a HOF player. And what the heck was with "genius" Larry Brown's lack of a good game plan on that last possession to end the game?! The Pistons/Spurs had what, 3 consecutive timeouts, and the best the Pistons can do is a lame Rip Hamilton attempt dribble into traffic?!? 6 seconds is a looong time when you're passing around the arc to a guy who's camping out- it's almost no time when you're dribbling, much less into traffic. I've seen so many games end that way, with the losing team driving into the lane for a poorly conceived, "hope it goes in" shot attempt. Detroit would have lucked out if they'd actually called the foul on Hamilton, since that would have let them reload for at least something else...

posted by hincandenza at 01:45 AM on June 20, 2005

had the Spurs lost, the Hubie Browns would have found some more significant player to point to as the failure Sure, Duncan missing a bunch of free throws.

posted by kirkaracha at 09:09 AM on June 20, 2005

Look, Robert Horry is not a Hall-of-Fame player as a HOF player has been defined in the past. I don't see why that definition would change in the future, but if it did to include Horry, I wouldn't cry bloody murder. But Robert Horry is not overrated. Until this guy wrote this article, I would have said that he was rated exactly where he should be - as a clutch role player who steps up in the payoffs. After the article, and the furor it caused here, I will have to say that Horry is a tad underrated still. Confirmation bias did not take over the 4th quarter and OT last night - Horry did. You can say that we don't remember the times that he didn't take over because of confirmation bias, but the truth is, there are thousands of role players who have never taken over an NBA game like that, much less in the Finals. You can't just dismiss Horry as a guy who is in the right place at the right time surrounded by great teammates, especially when, like last night, it's not just the final shot going in that we remember. It was the entire freaking 4th quarter and OT where he was the spark, the je ne sais quoi, the man carrying the franchise on his back.

posted by platocave at 09:19 AM on June 20, 2005

so let me guess, being in the HOF is about regular season play and has NOTHING to do with playoffs and winning championships???? A player, such as Horry, can have a certain aura about him, a certain ability to make game winning shots, time and time again, BUT he has no place in the HOF? Okay, but I tell you what...he is fastly becoming a legend. I would rather people remember me for that than whether they see my photo hanging in the HOF! Horry is known and will become mythical over the years as that kind of player. Kids in the future will say.."hey, you think you're Robert Horry or something?" LOL

posted by bluekarma at 10:45 AM on June 20, 2005

oh, Duncan can miss shots, but he is a HOFer? LMA!

posted by bluekarma at 10:45 AM on June 20, 2005

Well, if the NBA's new slogan is "The Finals....where legends are born", then we can say Horry is just that! Soon to have 6 Championship rings, and yes, being in the right place at the right time (sort of like the Don Baylor of Basketball). Without him, many of these Championship teams wouldn't have won it.... This may just be his ticket into Springfield.

posted by zippinglou at 02:27 PM on June 20, 2005

But does anyone remember when he *doesn't* make shots down the stretch? Any Laker fan worth their salt will remember him going 0-18 from 3 point land against the Spurs in '03. Or missing a "clutch" 3 for the Spurs against the Lakers last spring. Horry is not a HOF'er. but he's not the parasite (or fraud) that the author of the article sets him up to be. He's a ballplayer who's skills make him valuable to some teams. You wouldn't build your club around him. He is a very good complimentary piece, a symiote if you will. I don't get the impression that Horry thinks that he's "the man". It's not like he ran ads of his buzzer beaters, the league did, and will continue to do so to drum up viewership. You can't be a fraud if you never represented yourself to be anything other than what you are, which in Horry's case is a complimentary player; albeit a good one.

posted by lilnemo at 02:35 PM on June 20, 2005

a symiote if you will Symbiote, perhaps? Are you saying . . . ==

posted by yerfatma at 02:45 PM on June 20, 2005

In my opion Robert Horry should be in the Hall Of Fame one day.Could Shaq win a title by himself? I dont think so... Yes, because Shaq was one Robert Horry away from the scrap heap of the NBA. Come on now, Horry hit some big shots (like the one last night) and should get all the credit for doing so, but he and his role are very interchangeable with so many other players; that's my opinion.

posted by Bag Man at 03:09 PM on June 20, 2005

thanx for the correction yerfatma, could swear I typed the "b" in symbiote but yes, that is what I was going for. Just don't get me started about the Spider-Clones debacle.

posted by lilnemo at 04:06 PM on June 20, 2005

Personally, I don't think Horry belongs in the HOF. Perhaps they should create a "Playoffs and Finals" HOF where guys like "Big Shot Bob" can be enshrined. His career doesn't really cry out for immortality. On another note, if you manage to hang out in the league for fifteen or twenty years and retire with a half-dozen rings and a tidy personal fortune, wouldn't you be happy regardless of your HOF status? Especially if you, like Horry, are conscious of your legacy in the game. Like the man himself has said on more than one occasion...right place, right time. Clutch performer, good sixth man, not a HOF talent.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:20 PM on June 20, 2005

Just don't get me started about the Spider-Clones debacle. I left off somewhere around #340, so when I downloaded a complete run of ASM to get caught up, I almost puked at that. It kind of ruined the whole series/ continuity for me. And if I wanted continuity restarts, I would have read DC as a kid. </geek duration="at least 5 minutes">

posted by yerfatma at 04:40 PM on June 20, 2005

Just pretend it didn't happen skip merrily to the end of Bagley's run immediately to John Romita Jr's.

posted by lilnemo at 05:26 PM on June 20, 2005

Whatever you may think about Horry, how could anyone leave him unguarded in this situation! It was a set play after a timeout. Larry Brown must be on crack! Tell me that before the ball was even inbounded, when you saw HE was inbounding the ball and they didn't even put a man on him, you didn't know exactly what was about to happen, and it did. Horry is one of the best clutch shooters in NBA history, and one of the unlikeliest. Ok, he may have missed his share, but unlike some of the biggest superstars, he wants the ball in that situation, and for pressure-filled clutch shots from very long distances in big games, there are very few if any that can match him.

posted by salamander at 02:57 PM on June 21, 2005

In response to two ridiculous pro-Horry comments: bluekarma wrote: "Horry is known and will become mythical over the years as that kind of player (one prone to clutch performances in the playoffs)." PLEASE, BLUE: "MYTHICAL" ... WHAT NBA PLAYERS, OF ANY ERA, WOULD LIVE UP TO A TERM LIKE "MYTHICAL"? CERTAINLY NOT BOB HORRY. zippinglou wrote: "Without him, many of these Championship teams wouldn't have won it ..." PLEASE, ZIP ... "MANY" ... NO, TWO--AND TWO IS NOT MANY. THE TWO? THIS YEAR'S SPURS AND THE LAKERS TEAM THAT EDGED THE KINGS TO MOVE ON TO THE FINALS. THAT'S TWO--NOT MANY. THE OTHER FOUR "HORRY" TEAMS THAT WON TITLES (HOUSTON TWICE AND THE LAKERS TWICE) WOULD HAVE WON THE TITLES WHETHER THEY HAD BOB HORRY OR BOB HOPE COMING OFF THE BENCH.

posted by ramon at 09:02 PM on June 27, 2005

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