The 10 Best Plays in NBA History (Part 3)
Hi tribe! In the last week I've posted about the best plays in NBA history. Take a look at them all here in parts one and two. What are your favourite plays in NBA history? Let's take a look at the final best three below.
3. Kobe Bryant's Last Shot
How do you capture one of the best players of all time in a single shot? Kobe Bryant's last field goal basket, that's how. The shot says everything about his "Mamba mentality" and it was the cherry on top of a 20-season career.
In Kobe' farwell game the Lakers were trailing the Jazz for more than 36 minutes. Bryant entered the fourth quarter with 37 points and he scored the Lakers final 13 points, finishing with 60. Kobe Bryant's last shot is one of the best plays in NBA history.
Behind by one, Bryant crossed half-court and Gordon Hayward went out to meet him. Julius Randle quickly set a screen and Hayward ate it. He then got past Lyles and Hayward who chased him down. Kobe rose up from just inside the 3-point line and banked the game winner with his trademark jumper.
2. The 0.4 Shot
In the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals, the Spurs and Lakers were locked at 2-all. In Game 5, San Antonio superstar Tim Duncan sunk a fadeaway 18-footer over Shaquille O'Neal with only 0.4 seconds left on the clock. The game was as good as over, so everybody thought.
The game resumed after three consecutive timeouts. The Lakers' Gary Payton inbounded the ball to Fisher on the final play and he scored on one of the best plays in NBA history. Fisher caught, turned, and shot the ball within the space of 0.4 seconds. The buzzer beater was good to the astonishment of everybody.
The 0.4 Shot won the Lakers Game 5 and they closed out the series the next game. After beating the Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals they were shocked by the Detroit Pistons, losing the 2004 NBA Finals in five games.
1. Michael Jordan's Last Shot
In Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals Michael Jordan delivered the best play in NBA history. His 17-foot shot with 5.2 seconds left was his last shot for the Chicago Bulls, the game winner sealing the 1998 NBA Finals over the Utah Jazz and clinching his second three-peat.
Jordan had got the Bulls to within a point with 18.9 seconds left following a layup. With the Jazz in possession, Jordan stole the ball from Malone and with that moment ended Malone's best chance of ever winning an NBA title. With the Jazz still up by one point, Jordan dribbled down the court and as the clock was winding down, drove toward the 3-point line and delivered a quick crossover on Bryon Russell.
Russell took the bait on Jordan's crossover - although arguably with a helping hand - and Jordan hit a trademark 20-foot jumper with 5.2 seconds left on the clock. "The Last Shot" was Jordan's 25th game winning shot for Chicago and a sixth championship from six NBA Finals appearances, further proof why Jordan is the greatest NBA player of all time.
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Wolfgang Sport started in 2017 as a way to connect my passion for American and British sports. Today it's evolved into a blockchain sports blog pushing the boundaries into the crypto world and embracing Web3 technologies.