I pondered whether or not this should be an article or an LR post but I'll go for article.
I know many are disappointed with sports TV nowadays. Too much talk, broadcasts are overdone, and the rest of the crap ESPN does. Well that's why I'm giving you classic finishes and broadcasts from the 1970s and 1980s (and NBC stuff from any era), with the original announcers, network, music, you name it.
This week's theme is of course the NBA Playoffs.
Ralph Sampson's Shot That Shocks The Forum (1986)
Ralph Sampson was noted for not leading his team to the big stage in his college days at Virginia. In the NBA, he won rookie of the year and was a 4 time all star when it meant something, and hit a miraculous shot to send the Houston Rockets to the NBA Finals to face the Boston Celtics. Sure his career lasted 9 years and he has no shot at the hall of fame, but this play ended the repeat hopes of the Lakers at The Forum in game 5.
Just :01, inbounds pass at halfcourt, and the top pick of the 1983 NBA Draft (who was with the top pick of the 1984 draft in Hakeem Olajuwon, the Twin Towers if you will) had his moment to shine.
Announcers: Dick Stockton and Tom Heinsohn
Robert Horry For The WIN!! (2002)
Okay this is from 6 years ago but it is still a game, shot, and series to remember between the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
The #3 seeded Lake Show was going for the threepeat, while the top seeded Kings were looking for their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1951. The two teams split in Sacramento for games 1 and 2, and the Kings dominated game 3 for a 103-90 win at the Staples Center.
Game 4 was make or break time. It looked like the dynasty would be over when the Lakers found themselves down by 24 at one point in the first half, but cut it to 12 at halftime.*
With the final seconds remaining, LA was looking for one of the largest comebacks in NBA Playoff history. They were down 99-97, Kobe and Shaq led them to this point. Yet neither would be the hero. Yep, it was Big Shot Bob.
What I like about this broadcast is that NBC, as they always did with the NBA, let the crowd override the announcers. And this was a perfect moment.
Announcers: Marv Albert, Steve Jones, Bill Walton
Oh Yeah, the Bulls (1992)
Before you accuse me of Laker bias. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were fresh off their first NBA title over the Lakers (HA!), and were poised for a 2nd against the Portland Trailblazers. The Blazers fell short against the Pistons in 1990 and this was their shot at redemption.
Too bad Michael Jordan was in the way. It started with his 39 point performance in game 1. Nothing special, except for his 35 point first half that even had Jordan himself shocked.
He nailed 6 three pointers, and this was coming from someone who was not a three point shooter. Just an amazing performance, Bulls take game 1.Game 6 back in Chicago was the clincher. Portland was up by 15 at one point in the 3rd quarter and was looking to force game 7. It was not to be though. Even though they held Jordan scoreless for the first 11 minutes of the game, the 4th quarter was his time. The other starters did their part, Scottie Pippen, John Paxson, Horace Grant, they all contributed to the repeat and the beginning of a dynasty. It was Jordan's two steals late as well as two free throws that iced it that sent Chicago to glory again. TV: NBC Announcers: Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, and Magic Johnson Hope you enjoyed the ride, there will be more to come.