Issue 2: Behind a Heave and a Prayer

Today’s email is part of our “Remember That Game?” series. If you remember it, I hope it brings a bout of nostalgia for you. And if you don’t remember it, well…buckle up and let’s ride!

Detroit Pistons vs. Denver Nuggets — March 26, 2007

Former #1 draft pick Allen Iverson had left Philadelphia and was now on the Denver Nuggets. He was having an off-game, yet his team was still ahead of the Detroit Pistons, who were just a few years removed from winning a championship.

I’ll be honest—the first 47 minutes and 58.5 seconds of this game are fine, but we don’t need to get into them here. The final ticks sure are memorable, though.

Denver was up three with 1.5 seconds left AND had the ball. That’s generally considered a “can’t lose” proposition.

But you learn something new every day, because Denver did, in fact, lose this game. Here’s how:

Rasheed Wallace Halfcourt Shot

The ball gets knocked away by Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince. His teammate Rasheed Wallace scoops it up and launches it from about 60 feet away. It goes in, the game goes to overtime, and the Pistons win 113-109.

Astute observers will also notice this inbounds pass is neither crisp nor a bounce pass. And look at what happens!

Of course, a gif doesn’t really do this play its full justice, so let’s check out a quick SportsCenter highlight, too.

There are three notable things worth calling out here:

  • Around the 30-second mark of the video, the disappointed reactions of Nuggets coach George Karl and everyone in press row behind him are comparable to how I’d look if you jokingly said you got me the complete set of The Big Bang Theory on DVD for my birthday, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that you were actually telling the truth, and then I opened my gift and saw Sheldon Cooper and company staring up at me while a laugh track played off in the distance.
  • Rasheed Wallace claimed in a post-game interview that he called glass. The shot banks off the backboard before going in, which is just…*chef’s kiss* on top of everything else.
  • “OHHH! YES! YES! YES! OHHHH! YES! YES!” —Stellar commentary from the Pistons broadcast team of George Blaha and Greg Kelser.

Thanks to Reddit user JustPhenomenal for recommending this edition of “Remember That Game?” Hope you enjoyed it as much as they do.

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