Photo JC Gellidon, unsplash
Being known as the birthplace of basketball, you would think that the sport is well known in the United States, but even considering that the sport is famous in that country is an understatement.
Moreover, due to the current technology launched in the market, you can now place online bets as well, with some trustworthy websites like BetZillion secure enough to provide users with the trust to bet with cryptocurrency.
Not only the viewers but the players are just as passionate about performing to their best, producing some awe-inspiring plays throughout the years.
Let us look at some historical plays made by basketball icons as we interview the BetZillion expert, Tim Harrison, who recalls some jaw-dropping buzzer beaters to half-court shots he has witnessed throughout his career.
Greatest NBA Plays of All Time
Although many plays throughout NBA history have broken all realms of possibilities, a few plays stand out in particular.
Some due to their historical significance, while others due to their sheer creativity and unpredictability.
- The Larry Bird Steal
During the 1987 eastern conference finals, the Boston Celtics were facing the Detroit Pistons, where Larry Bird made a shocking steal that upset the game for the pistons. At the time, the series had already been locked in a two-all, and if Detroit secured a win in that game, it would mean that they would barely be clinching on to game six on home turf.
However, the final five seconds were ticking down the clock when Isiah Thomas intercepted a ball inbound on the sidelines.
Larry caught a quick glimpse of this situation and decided to capitalize on it when he gazed over Bill Laimbeer, who was situated around the low post and was awaiting the pass right when Thomas released the ball from his hands.
The Celtics were trailing by just a single point, and an interception at such a crucial period could net them the win, which is why Larry’s instincts took over. He launched himself in the direction of the trajectory for the pass in the hopes of stealing the ball for the game-winning basket.
Judging by how Larry engaged for the interception, it felt like the steal would result in him going out of bounds, ruining the perfect game-winning chance, and for a minute, he was on course to go out.
However, Larry quickly regained his balanced right on the baseline. Dennis Johnson caught on as he took advantage of the situation and swiftly cut around, receiving the pass Bird made right away, and sinking the layup with one second left on the clock, giving them the victory.
- Big Shaq Destroys the Backboard
One of the most iconic moments in NBA history was when the hulking man of a center was just known to be a rookie in the scene and made an everlasting impact by ultimately bringing down the backboard when the Orlando Magic were playing against the Nets.
It was a regular season game in 1993. Although Shaquille O Neal always had a particularly fantastic career, this dunk was a different beast because of its impact.
His dunk during that game was so strong and overpowering that it destroyed the hydraulics system responsible for supporting the backboard.
Although there were other career-defining moments, such as Nick Anderson scoring 50 points in that game, it all paled compared to that monster of a dunk, which shocked everyone that day.
- Michael Jordan – ‘The Shot’
Michael Jordan is known to be one of the most iconic players to have been a part of the NBA, and although there are a significant number of highlights he has produced throughout his career, none of them live up to ‘the shot.’
It was game 5 of the 1989 eastern conference, and the Chicago Bulls were playing against the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs.
It was a best-of-five series, and both had 2 wins under their belt, which meant that whoever secured this win would advance, and everyone watching the match was on the edge of their seats during the last two minutes.
The game had become incredibly fast-paced, as the ball exchanged hands more than six times, especially during the last minute.
With three seconds on the clock, Craig Ehlo scored the shot, which gave them a 100-99 lead. With the Cavaliers already beginning to celebrate their victory as the Bulls called for a timeout, it seemed like only a miracle could help them secure victory, and what a miracle it was.
After the time out had concluded and the match had resumed, in the hopes to shut down MJ, both Ehlo and Nance, and when all hope seemed lost, Michael Jordan managed to shock everyone.
He freed himself from the immense pressure of being double-teamed and sank a career-defining jump shot right as the clock expired, helping the Bulls secure a game-breaking victory.
A Final Word
A research study done by Statista concerning the average viewership of the NBA finals concluded that there was a time from the span of 2002 till 2022 that around 12.4 million viewers were gathered around their screens or were on the edge of their seats in the stadium during the NBA finals game.
Keeping this in mind, it can be understood that most of the US population is very passionate about the game, with a thriving sports betting scene centered on historical and noteworthy NBA games.