Earlier this week, Nets guard Devin Harris made a half-court heave at the buzzer to give New Jersey a 98-96 win over the Sixers. On a scale of 1 to 10 on the Wow Factor, it was a 10.
While players have sank longer shots, Harris' 50-footer was more improbable because he drew contact and bobbled the ball before regaining control and throwing it up just before time expired.
In no particular order, here are five of the most memorable shots in NBA history. You may or may not have seen them all. So feel free to vote for the most impressive basket or add your own.
Isaiah Rider: It wasn't a shot as much as a circus basket that Rider made playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1994-95 season. The talented but troublesome guard had a pass deflect off his hand. Not content to merely keep the ball from going out of bounds, Rider blindly flung it toward the hoop and scored from about 30 feet.
Jerry West: In Game 3 of the 1970 NBA Finals between the Knicks and Lakers, Dave DeBusschere hits a jumper to give the New York a 2-point lead with 3 seconds left in regulation. West takes an inbounds pass, dribbles into an open area and launches a 60-footer that goes in and forces overtime.
Ralph Sampson: Game 5 of the 1986 Western Conference Finals between the Lakers and Rockets is tied with 1 second remaining when the 7-foot-4 Sampson catches an inbounds pass just outside the lane, turns and shoots – all in mid-air – to dethrone the defending champions in front of a stunned crowd at the Los Angeles Forum. When the ball bounces on the rim and drops through the hoop, Lakers swingman and defensive specialist Michael Cooper falls to the ground as if he faints.
Jeff Malone: As a rookie with the Washington Bullets in 1984, the guard Malone is sprinting up court when a pass goes over his head. He manages to grab the ball in the corner and throws up a three-point shot from a near-impossible angle that gives the Bullets a 103-102 victory over the Pistons in 1984.
Buck Johnson/Danny Manning: In a game between the Rockets and Clippers in 1988, Houston forward Buck Johnson throws one up from beyond half-court that goes in with 1 second remaining in the quarter. It's just enough time for Clippers center Danny Manning to answer, making a shot from midcourt as Johnson is being congratulated by a teammate.