A lot has changed since the beginning of the new millennium. From an NBA standpoint as well as basketball in general. For example, versatility and position-less basketball has made it’s way to the front page of every coaches game-plan on both sides of the floor. Another example is the rapid ascension of the value of a three-point-shot. The three pointer is now the main focal point to nearly every team in the league, as well as college and even high school hoops. The 2010’s has also been a great decade for NBA basketball. Records being broken, super teams being formed, demi-god athletes, 7 foot centers shooting from the logo, I can go on and on. In memory of the end of this spectacular decade, let us look back on the most legendary moments of the 2010’s.
Ray Allen’s “The Shot to Save Miami”
circa June 18, 2013
Being quite young at the time, this shot is one of my earliest memories watching the NBA. This shot is so iconic that you wonder to yourself, “What if he missed? What if the Spurs ended the series right there?” People don’t think about how much weight that shot holds in NBA history. Sure it was a good shot, a game winner to keep the Heat’s finals dreams alive, it was fantastic, but think about all that could’ve been if he missed. Would Lebron still be considered a G.O.A.T? Would Ray Allen still be considered one of the greatest shooters to ever play? Would that Heat team still be considered one of the greatest teams to grace the hardwood? So many questions, so little answers. All we can do is appreciate the talent of the Ray Allen and that Miami Heat team. One of the most clutch shots in NBA history and one of my personal favorite moments as well.
The Warriors Blow a 3-1 Lead in the Finals
circa June 19, 2016
Possibly the greatest Finals series in the history of the league. One of the greatest story lines in NBA history as well. The Warriors break the regular season wins record set by Micheal Jordan, they come back from a 3-1 lead themselves vs. Kevin Durant and the OKC Thunder, Stephen Curry is the league’s first unanimous MVP, etc. The Warriors seem like the best team in basketball, by far. But by some miracle, Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers comeback from a 3-1 game deficit to win the 2016 NBA finals and King James himself is named Finals MVP. In game 7 alone we got NBA gems such as Kyrie Irving’s fade-away 3 point shot over Stephen Curry and Lebron James’s superhuman block on Andre Iguodala. This Finals series solidified Lebron James as one of the greatest to ever do it. Another reason this event is so iconic is because it is possibly the reason why the Warriors recruited the former MVP, Kevin Durant. We all know how that went. Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and the rest of the Dubs went on to win the next two championships in pure domination over the rest of the league. If the Warriors capitalized on their 3-1 lead in 2016, would they have had a need to recruit KD? When Lebron James hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2016, he changed history, and proved to all of his doubters that he’s one of the best to ever do it.
Kobe Bryant’s Final Game
circa April 13, 2016
What is there to say about the Mamba that hasn’t already been said. Kobe Bryant, a 15x All-NBA player, an MVP, 2x Finals MVP, and of course, 5 rings, Bryant was the definition of a winner. One of the game’s greatest scorers and fiercest competitors. Kobe had one of the greatest work ethics of all time in any sports. From the stories you’d hear about his workout regiment to his development on the court, this kid was the real deal. In Kobe’s last game in the NBA vs. the Utah Jazz in 2016, the Mamba went out in the most gangster, cold-blooded way possible. He scored 60 points on 50 shot attempts, in true, Kobe fashion. This game really didn’t have any weight to it like the other two events, but it was the end of a Hall of Fame legacy. Love him or hate him, you have to respect what he has done for the game.
Mamba OutKobe Bryant