Robert Horry was nicknamed Big Shot Bob (or Big Shot Rob) because he was known for hitting some of the biggest shots in NBA history. Horry hit game-winning shots to help his Rockets, Lakers and Spurs teams win 7 NBA titles. Horry is not a Hall of Fame player but he is viewed as one of the most clutch players ever.
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Who was Big Shot Bob? Robert Horry’s Nickname
Robert Horry was the Houston’s Rockets 1st round pick in the 1992 NBA Draft out of the University of Alabama. Horry was a long (6’10”) small forward known for his good size and NBA athleticism coming out of college.
In the NBA, Robert Horry became known as a player who made a ton of big shots to help his teams win championships. He won 7 rings with the Rockets, Lakers and Spurs.
Those championship teams featured all-time greats including Hakeem Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan. What makes Horry interesting as a player is that he won so much but was never the best, or even one of the best, players on his teams.
Horry played starter minutes and averaged just about 10 points per game in his first four years with the Rockets. But after that, he never averaged 10 points per game again and mostly did not play anything close to starter minutes.
But the big shots kept coming! In Horry’s third year in the league in game 3 of the 1995 NBA Finals, the name Big Shot Bob was born with the play below.
And ten years later, in the 2005 Finals now playing for the Spurs, Horry continued to drill insanely big shots in the biggest moments of the season.
Some stats experts have questioned the whole idea of clutch play, saying people love to project narratives onto statistics. I often argue in favor of using stats, but in this case, I can’t agree.
Some players seem made for the big moment. As a Boston sports fan, I watched too much David Ortiz to believe anything else.
But usually, the most clutch players are players like Larry Legend, Michael Jordan and Tom Brady – some of the greatest to ever live. That is not Robert Horry!
But it’s hard to deny that Big Shot Bob was a clutch performer: he won 7 titles and hit huge shots to help win several of them.
This article attempts to measure the most clutch players in recent NBA history (because that is when the stats he uses became available). While Lebron and Michael are near the top of the list, Big Shot Bob is on it. He was a truly clutch player.
Who did Robert Horry Win His Rings With?
Horry won 7 NBA rings with three teams. He won back-to-back titles with the Houston Rockets in 1995 & 1996. Those teams featured Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Sam Cassell, Kenny Smith, Mario Elie and, yes, Big Shot Bob.
In addition to the shot that launched the name Big Shot Bob, which I showed above, Horry hit a long two-pointer to win game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
Horry went on to play on the Lakers dynasty featuring Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Phil Jackson. Again, he was not a featured player on those squads, but he hit 3 huge shots as part of their 3-peat.
First, Big Shot Bob nailed this dagger in Game 3 of the 2001 Finals to sink Allen Iverson’s Sixers squad.
Then in 2002, Horry hit a couple of big playoff shots for the Lakers. First in game 3 of the first round against Portland, Big Shot Bob nailed the game winning 3.
And then in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, Horry came through again after both Shaq and Kobe missed layups for the Lakers.
Finally, Big Shot Bob hit the dagger I posted above to help the Spurs win the 2005 NBA title. He was also part of the 2007 Spurs team that swept Lebron’s Cavs squad. Those Spurs teams featured The Big Fundamental, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginnobili.
Big Shot Bob was hardly a key piece for any of those championship squads. He was 10th in minutes for the 2nd Spurs title team and 8th for the 2nd Lakers championship squad.
He was 4th in minutes for the 1st Rockets title team, but that was his career statistical peak. He still averaged only 10 points per game as the 6th leading scorer on a squad featuring Clyde Drexler, the Dream, Kenny Smith, Vernon Maxwell and Sam Cassell.
My point here is that Big Shot Rob was never one of the very best players on his teams. But he was clutch. Those teams won 7 NBA titles. He helped them win.
To this day, Robert Horry is tied for the 7th most titles by a player in NBA history. Everyone tied with him and ahead of him on the list won titles as part of the golden era Celtics of the 50s and 60’s.
Big Shot Bob was a winner!
Was it Big Shot Bob or Big Shot Rob?
If you search for information about Robert Horry’s nickname you will find him called both Big Shot Rob and Big Shot Bob. It seems that Big Shot Bob has come to dominate. But it also seems like that name was a joke.
Lakers fans have discussed how when he got to their team he was called Big Shot Rob. It makes sense because his name was Robert and people called him Robert Horry not Bob Horry.
But, as the story goes, when Horry got to the Spurs some writers had switched it to Big Shot Bob, probably because of the alliteration. Word was Horry was no fan of the switch.
But when Tim Duncan heard that Horry did not like it, he started calling him that in interviews as a needle. Given Duncan’s dry sense of humor, the reporters never knew he was joking and many picked up on Big Shot Bob and that version has stuck.
How Many Clutch Shots Did Robert Horry Make?
The answer to this question depends on your definition of clutch. I am going to take a very narrow approach and say Horry hit six clutch shots in his career. There are videos of all six shots embedded above in this post.
Those are not the only big shots Horry hit. His first big shot came for the Rockets in his rookie year when he hit a late shot to take the lead in the Western Conference Finals vs the Sonics. But the team went on to lose that game, so I am not counting it as one of the clutch shots for Big Shot Bob.
There are many other big shots Horry hit during the regular season, but I am happy to stick with the big 6 playoff shots shown above in deciding his most clutch shots.
Is Robert Horry in the Hall of Fame?
No. Despite the support of some fans and Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, Robert Horry was clearly not a Hall of Fame player. He averaged 7 points per game for his career! I am not saying you can”t be that poor of a scorer and be a Hall of Famer, but it is pretty rare.
Dennis Rodman averaged 7 points too, but he was also one of the greatest defensive players AND rebounders to ever live.
Robert Horry was not that. He was often the 5th, 6th, or 7th best player on his team. And for many years he was lower than that.
Robert Horry was not a great player. He was a clutch one. Those traits often overlap but they are not the same.
Horry did make the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. That is more than you can say for me or you.
Robert Horry was not one of the greatest players in NBA history, but he was one of the most clutch players. Big Shot Bob hit at least 6 huge playoff shots to help his teams win 7 NBA titles in his 16 year career. Horry was sometimes also called Big Shot Rob with the mixup in names being encouraged by Tim Duncan.
I have been a Boston sports fan for more than forty years. I write about games, players and seasons from the past.