Issue 11: The Most GIF-able NBA Moments

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Issue 11: The Most GIF-able NBA Moments

One of the joys of the Internet age is the rise of GIFs, or Graphic Interchange Formats. These soundless mini-videos are able to deliver the perfect response or emote the perfect feeling during an online or text conversation.

The NBA has proven to be a bountiful land of GIFs. Whether it’s a player doing something silly or a mascot stunt gone rogue, the GIFs continue to deliver.

We don’t always know when the next GIF-able moment will pop up, but until it does, we’ve got these favorites to tide us over.

The Toronto Raptor On Roller Skates

Toronto Raptor Roller Skates Fall GIF

Since joining the league in 1995, the Toronto Raptor has had its share of memorable moments. It once devoured a cheerleader during a timeout. It’s thrown down savage dunks most of us could only dream of pulling off.

But by far the best Raptor moment is a roller-skating adventure gone horribly wrong.

As SB Nation reports, this stunt was even more complex than it looks.

The Raptor costume needs to be completely closed in order to be inflated, so the roller skates were taped onto the costume. However, as the Raptor begins descending the staircase, one of the skates ripped loose, tearing a hole through the costume.

That means what you see above is actually the Raptor deflating before our very eyes. The head is wildly flailing around, eyes looking for some kind of solace.

Instead, it faceplants onto the court. The tail deflating is just the cherry on top.

Michael Beasley Forgets Which Knee Is His

Michael Beasley Rubs Teammate Anthony Tolliver's Knee

After one incredibly impressive year at Kansas State, Michael Beasley was one of the top players coming into the 2008 NBA Draft. The Miami Heat ended up taking him with the second overall pick.

However, Beasley has never been able to consistently find a home in the league. He’s bounced around multiple teams, playing in Miami twice, Minnesota, Phoenix, Houston, Milwaukee, New York, L.A., and Brooklyn, though he tested positive for COVID-19 before ever playing a game with the Nets.

None of that really matters for the point of this gif, but it’s fun to think about how many teams the 31-year-old Beasley has played for. He’s nearing NBA-record territory of playing for 12 teams, which is held by four separate players.

During a two-year stint with the Timberwolves, Beasley did some nice things on the court. His most memorable moment in Minnesota, though, was the time he lost track of his knee, and instead massaged the knee of his teammate, Anthony Tolliver.

There’s so much to enjoy here. Beasley, upon recognizing his error, immediately says “my bad” several times. Tolliver’s face silently says “ooookay then.” And we even get a bonus here with Luke Ridnour on the left picking out something from his teeth. What do you think it was?

Nick Young Gets His Hopes Up Too Early

Nick Young Celebrates Shot Early

Nick Young, or Swaggy P as he should be referred to always, is one of the most confident shooters in the league.

It’s not entirely without merit — over 720 regular-season games in his career, Nicholas Swagworth P the Young has hit 37.6 percent of his three-pointers. That’s a very respectable number, and sometimes Young even leads spectacular comebacks.

This GIF features one of his three-pointers that did not go in. As the clock ticked down in a game against the New York Knicks in 2014, Young shot a three from the top of the arc. He confidently turned away, throwing his arms up in the air to signal a made shot.

The moment is made all the better by Young’s reaction after he realizes what happened. It’s like “aw, man! What a bummer!”

Luckily for Young, the Lakers ended up winning this game 127-96. With such a lopsided score, we might never have even remembered this night if not for the overconfident shooter. So thanks for cementing your place in history, Swaggy P.

Chris Duhon’s Travel Boogie

Chris Duhon Travel Dance

Sometimes the real action in a GIF is happening behind what the camera is focused on.

The Orlando Magic squared off against the Indiana Pacers during the 2012 NBA Playoffs. During the first game, the Pacers had a chance to tie things up in the final seconds. Indiana’s Danny Granger caught the ball and almost immediately traveled.

That meant the Magic were getting the ball back with a chance to seal the game, which they did, winning 81-77.

The Magic bench reacted with excitement after Granger’s travel. But nobody was having more fun than Chris Duhon.

Watch him sneak out onto the court to perform a delightful travel dance.

I watched this game live and I had to look up everything else about it. I didn’t remember the final score. I didn’t remember how much time was left. I didn’t remember the high scorer on either team. I didn’t remember that Chris Duhon played nearly 10 minutes in this game, recording two turnovers and one assist (that’s not very good).

All I remember is the travel dance. That means it’s a fantastic GIF-able moment.

A Terrific Trampoline Fail

Hawks Fan Trampoline Dunk Fail

NBA games take a long time. During breaks in the action (at least in non-pandemic times), the home team works to entertain the fans in the crowd.

One way to get that crowd excited? A little fan participation.

In the case of the Atlanta Hawks, they’ll encourage fans to come on the court to jump on a trampoline and then dunk a basketball. It’s likely these are fan plants, since there’s a nonzero chance selecting a random person from the crowd will result in them overshooting the rim and concussing themselves on the backboard.

Sometimes, one of these fans comes out on the court and blows us all away with an amazing dunk and an even better celebration.

Other times, the fan arrives with big dreams and leaves with a thud. Literally.

very much empathize with this GIF because I’d have the exact same result if I tried to jump off a trampoline and then dunk a basketball. Stay safe out there, everyone.

Did I miss your favorite GIF? Reply to this email and let me know.

That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!