Game. (Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty Images)
Even if you've already watched Tony Parker's remarkable off-the-floor, scrambling, just-in-the-nick-of-time final-possession buzzer-beating jumper to ice the San Antonio Spurs' 92-88 Game 1 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday 1 million times, you still need to watch it from the NBA's Phantom Camera. Seriously.
The super-slow-motion footage only heightens the absurdity, brilliance, razor-thin separation between release and buzzer, and overall impact of one of the truly amazing moments in recent NBA Finals history:
While you go ahead and run that clip back to watch it again, I'll just leave these postgame comments on the play here for you, courtesy of ASAP Sports Transcripts:
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: "That seemed like a 26‑second possession. But we played it all the way through. That's probably what this series is about. It's going to go down to the last 10th of a second. Every single play you have to push through all the way to the end, and we didn't."
Parker: "It felt [like] forever [to me], too. It was a crazy play. I thought I lost the ball three or four times, and it didn't work out like I wanted it to. At the end, I was just trying to get a shot up."
LeBron James: "It was tough. You're going to make me go back to that play? Tony did everything wrong and did everything right in the same possession. He stumbled two or three times, he fell over, and when he fell over, I was like, 'OK, I'm going to have to tie this ball up.' He got up and went under my arm. I got a great contest, and he even double‑pumped it and barely got it off. That was the longest 24 seconds that I've been a part of."
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Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich: "We were very fortunate. It looked like he lost it two or three times, as you mentioned. But he stuck with it. He kept competing. He gained control of it again. He got it up there on the rim. Great effort by Tony, and as I said, we were fortunate."
Manu Ginobili, asked whether Pop's going to put that one in the playbook: "Probably not. Probably not."
Tim Duncan: "I think at this point my mind was just blank. I just wanted him to get a shot up in the air. I was trying to get position on the board, trying to work [Chris] Bosh up the lane a little bit, so I could get back to the board. I see him go down and I'm just praying he gets a shot off. Obviously, Tony makes an unbelievable play. He does just about everything in the book that he had. He fell to the ground, pump‑faked, stepped through and still got it off the ground. It was just amazing."
Parker: "It felt good when it left my hand. I was happy it went in."
If the clip above isn't rocking for you, feel free to check it out elsewhere, thanks to our pals at the NBA.
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