Although I had homework to do it was the NBA finals and Tivo hadn’t been invented yet. So I ran home from University of Utah library just in time to catch Michael Jordan the Bulls take on Magic and the Lakers.
I did own a VCR in which I put a blank tape in and hit record before settling down on my couch. The game wasn’t all that interesting except the Lakers had shocked the Bulls taking game 1 in Chicago putting the pressure on the Bulls to win game 2 given the next three games would be played in Los Angeles.
But with about 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter and the Bulls up by 24, AC Green missed a shot that ended up in Scottie Pippen’s hands who dropped it off for Jordan. Jordan dribbled up the court before flicking the ball to Cliff Levinston who takes a single dribble before passing the ball back to Jordan just outside the foul line.
And then spectacular happened.
I sprang off my couch to get a closer look at what I just saw. Are you kidding me? I fumbled for the remote to the VCR and watched it again. And then again and again and again. I must have watched that 20 second stretch at least two dozen times.
I know what I saw: Jordan takes one dribble at the foul line, elevates as if he’s going to throw the ball down with his right hand. Then, at the last second, moves the ball to his left hand and gives the ball just enough English to bank it in off the square.
My eyes saw it but my mind could not comprehend it.
That was 20 years ago and it’s still the most spectacular shot I’ve ever seen.