This archived article was written by: Nate Davis
It’s game seven of the NBA finals, your team is down by two points, you get the ball, at the top of the key you shake your defender, pull up and drain the game-winning shot.
It’s every kid’s dream but only a few get to experience it.
1988 World Series- Game one
The Los Angeles Dodgers were facing the heavily favored Oakland A’s in the ’88 Series. It wasn’t looking good for LA in game one, in the bottom of the ninth, they were down to their last out, and losing by a run. To make matters worse Dennis Eckersley, one of the best closers of all time, was on the mound for the A’s. With no runners on base, Mike Davis came up to bat, Davis was able to draw a walk. Kirk Gibson, the Dodgers first baseman, was unexpected to play in this game due to injuries to both knees. Gibson however hobbled into the batter’s box to face Eckersley.
NBC announcer Bob Costas said that he had heard Gibson warming up in the clubhouse, and said he could hear grunts of pain as Gibson prepared to go to bat. Gibson fouled off pitch after pitch, and the count got to 3-2. Davis had stolen second on the last pitch, and Gibson stepped out of the batter’s box to collect his thoughts. Scouting reports showed that in a 3-2 count to a left-handed hitter, Eckersley would likely throw a back-door slider, he did, and Gibson connected with the pitch. Driving the ball to deep right field. One of the most iconic images in sports is Gibson limping around the bases pumping his fist as the Dodgers won the game, and won the Series. Legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully said of Gibson’s homerun that “the impossible had happened.”
It was game five of the first round in the 1989 NBA playoffs. The Chicago Bulls were playing against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls and Cavs had fought back and forth the entire game, with Chicago taking their first lead of the game with only six seconds remaining. Cleveland’s Jason Ehlo drove down the court and made a basket to give the Cavs a 100-99 lead. With only seconds left, it looked like Cleveland had won the game. Jordan caught the in-bound pass, dribbled to the foul line and took a shot over a leaping Ehlo. As time expired, Jordan leapt into the air pumping his fist as all of Cleveland watched in stunned silence. The shot is considered one of Jordan’s defining moments. As a sports fan, I have a deep hatred of Jordan, but I do respect his talent.
2009 1st round NBA playoffs-Game two
The entire playoff series was breathtaking. It was something that will go down in history books, for five games the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics traded blows. It was a hard fought series that went back and forth. On this night, the Celtics Ray Allen, and the Bull’s Ben Gordon went shot for shot, for much of the game. With time winding down Allen hit a three-point shot, to give the Celtics a two-point lead, only to have Gordon answer, sinking a jumper to tie the game. With four seconds left the Celtics inbounded the ball to Rajon Rondo, Rondo kicked the ball out to Allen who was coming towards the top of the key. In one fluid movement Allen caught the ball, pivoted, and released a beautiful shot over Chicago’s Joaquim Noah to win the game for Boston.
These are some of my favorite game-winning moments.