“The Shot” By Michael Jordan
A moment so sublime they coined a phrase for it. “The Shot” refers to arguably the greatest basketball player in history, Michael Jordan, shooting arguably one of the most dramatic buzzer beaters in the history of the sport. His Chicago Bulls had been trailing the Cleveland Cavaliers for the entire duration of the fifth game of the first round of the NBA Playoffs; but with six seconds to go, a Jordan jumper put the Bulls in a 99-98 lead. Cleveland came back and it was 99-100 with 3.2 seconds to go. Let’s go to commentator Jim Durham:
The inbounds pass comes in to Jordan. Here’s Michael at the foul line, the shot on Ehlo … good! The Bulls win! They win! Superman was Superman and no one is going to talk about that missed free throw in Game 4 now!
Wayne Gretzky Becomes NHL’s All-Time Leading Scorer
“The Great One” Wayne Gretzky surpassed Gordie Howe’s total of 1,850 points — and it only took him a third of the time to do it. By the time of his retirement ten years later, Gretzky’s roll call of achievements was simply immense: he held forty regular-season records (fifteen in the playoffs) and six All-Star records. He’s the only NHL player to total over 200 points in one season — and he did this four times. Unsurprisingly, Gretzky’s #99 has been retired by all teams in the National Hockey League. Gretzky’s one of only two athletes to have earned this honor in a major professional sport — the other being baseball’s pioneering Jackie Robinson, who famously wore #42.
In the Last Minute of the Season Arsenal Wins League
The end to a sporting season does not get more dramatic than this: Arsenal (best known back then for grinding out dull 1-0 wins) needed to win at Liverpool (best known back then for putting all teams to the sword via their scintillating style of play) by a two goal margin if they wanted to win the soccer league championship in England. A tight first half ended goalless. Pushing forward after the restart, striker Alan Smith nodded Arsenal into an improbable lead. But entering the final minute, they still needed that elusive second goal: launching a last ditch attack, the ball fell to midfielder Michael Thomas who calmly slotted it into the net as if he were playing in a practice match. “It’s up for grabs now!” screamed the commentator as Thomas burst through. It certainly was.