Who Has The Most Game Winners Of All Time In Basketball?
In basketball, one of the most exciting plays that can happen is a game-winning shot as the clock is running out. Sometimes referred to as a “buzzer-beater,” particularly when the shot occurs right as time runs out, certain players in NBA history have had a knack for these moments. Below, some of the players with the most game-winners of all time are discussed.
NBA Players With the Most Game-Winners of All Time
- Michael Jordan - 9 game-winners
- LeBron James - 8 game-winners
- Kobe Bryant - 8 game-winners
- Joe Johnson - 8 game-winners
- Paul Pierce - 7 game-winners
Unsurprisingly, the player with the most game-winners in NBA history is also widely considered to be the greatest player of all time. Throughout his career, Michael Jordan made a total of nine game-winning shots at the buzzer, one more than anyone else. Three of his nine game-winners came in the postseason, and two of them were shots that won playoff series.
Unfortunately for Cleveland Cavaliers fans, both of Jordan’s series-winning shots came against their team. All nine of Jordan’s buzzer-beaters had some difficulty to them, as well, as they were all jump shots, so none of them were easy shots at the rim.
Not only did MJ have the highest number of buzzer-beaters, but he also was extremely efficient in clutch situations. For his career, Jordan shot 45% on game-winning shots in the final ten seconds of a game. For comparison, the league average in those situations is only 27%. Clearly, Jordan is one of the most clutch players of all time, and it is a big reason why he is considered to be the greatest player in NBA history.
After Jordan, there are three players tied for second in NBA history with eight buzzer-beaters, and two of them are NBA legends as well. The first player, LeBron James, is still playing today. LeBron has made eight game-winners in his career, and he holds the record for most playoff game-winners with six, three more than Jordan’s second-place mark of three. The way he is playing, LeBron still has plenty left in the tank, so Jordan’s overall record of nine could be in jeopardy one day.
Alongside LeBron, the late great Kobe Bryant also made eight game-winning shots throughout his illustrious career. Seven of Kobe’s eight buzzer-beaters came in the regular season, which is tied for the regular-season record. He also liked to do it on his own most of the time, as five of his eight buzzer-beaters were unassisted.
The third player tied for the second-most regular-season game-winners is another great player, Joe Johnson. Like Kobe, Johnson made seven game-winners in the regular season in addition to one in the playoffs, for a total of eight.
Other Notable Players
Next up on the list after these players is Paul Pierce, with seven game-winners, and then there are five players tied with five game-winners. Those five players are Gilbert Arenas, Dwayne Wade, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, and Andre Iguodala. Many of these players are future Hall of Famers as well, further proving that it is often some of the greatest players of all time coming up with the most clutch shots.