It's been 2 1/2 months since Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals — 2 1/2 months since the San Antonio Spurs came within 5.2 seconds of closing out the Miami Heat to win the fifth NBA championship of the Tim Duncan/Gregg Popovich era, 2 1/2 months since missed free throws and uncleaned glass left the door ajar, and 2 1/2 months since the greatest 3-point shooter of all time kicked said door off the hinges.
You know about what happened after that — about Chris Bosh's game-saving stuff on Danny Green and about Shane Battier's resurrection. About Duncan's haunting misses and LeBron James' title-sealing "MJ moment." About Miami winning its second straight O'Brien and the many celebrations that followed, both with and without Drake.
But what did that moment — that game-, series- and history-altering moment — look and feel like at the AT&T Center, the Spurs' home court, where a capacity crowd had gathered to watch the game on the arena's scoreboard? Now, we know:
All that push and pull, storm and stress, from Kawhi Leonard's first missed free throw through his make to push San Antonio's lead to three, from LeBron's missed long ball through Allen's answered prayer, from the ecstatic din of the early portion of the video to the crystal-clear call of Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy by its end ... I mean, man, what tension. Triumph becoming disaster, and vice versa, in the flick of a wrist. That's what made Allen's shot perhaps one of the greatest in NBA history, and what makes this video such a remarkable opposite number to Norris Cole's post-triple elation explosion.
It's a cruel, brutal example of just how quickly fortunes can change, but it's also a compelling, if gutwrenching, reminder of the emotional resonance that keeps us trudging through the desert of the offseason, year after year, to come back in search of happier outcomes. Still: Sorry, Spurs fans. Better luck next time.
- Sports & Recreation
- San Antonio Spurs
- Miami Heat
- LeBron James
- Chris Bosh
- Shane Battier