Sunk History: Rasheed Wallace nonchalantly drills 'a one-in-a-million' 62-foot buzzer-beater
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, where the future of the NBA is still so uncertain, we look back into the past and polish our Dunk History series - with a twist. When you need to be temporarily distracted from the state of an increasingly isolated world, remember some of the most electrifying baskets and unlikely buckets in the game's history, from buzzer beaters to circus shots. This is sunken history.
Today we're going to visit Rasheed Wallace's "One in a Million" buzzer again.
[Dunk History, collected: Our series about the most dazzling slams of yesteryear]
Let Rasheed Wallace give us the most casual reaction to "a shot of a million".
The man who gave us "Ball don't lie" and "Both teams played hard" also delivered, "It's not like he won a championship or something" after boring a 62 foot strike, when the time to regulate an overtime win was over.
Rasheed Wallace, American philosopher. (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)
Carmelo Anthony's Denver Nuggets led the Detroit Pistons 98-95 after two free throws from Allen Iverson. Chauncey Billups, the Piston's Point Guard, missed his chance to respond, and the nuggets caused the rebound in the final seconds. For some reason, Nuggets coach George Karl demanded a 1.5-second time off to set up an unnecessary inbound pass for the end of the game in midfield.
In Detroit's crush, coach Flip Saunders reportedly said to his charges: “Strange things are happening. We might as well try to get something crazy, ”and the Pistons performed this game perfectly.
Detroit striker Tayshaun Prince denied Marcus Cambys entry pass intended for Anthony, and Wallace got to work. The four-time All-Star corrected the loose ball and threw it towards the basket with two hands. He was one of the most unlikely summer beaters to ever send an NBA game into extra time.
When the rest of the pistons broke out, Wallace simply turned to the bench and held up his index finger.
"We shoot these all the time before the game," Wallace told reporters after the game when his teammates' locker room celebration dampened his joke about calling glass from across the square. "He went in, but it's not like he won a championship or something."
It's nice to know that Sheed responds to all-time shots the way I imagine he throws a trash can.
Detroit was in the middle of five consecutive Eastern Conference finals, almost three from its 2004 title, but Wallace's long triple was a feat in itself. Nobody saw it coming, especially Karl. The Denver coach was not alone. The piston fans at The Palace had started walking towards the exits at the last second, and the nuggets left the field before Wallace fired the shot.
"I am sure George is guessing himself because he called this break," Saunders later told the assembled media, according to the Associated Press. "But that's a one-in-a-million shot. It could never happen again."
Wallace scored eight of his 22 points in the last 2:19 of extra time, including another game-winning 3-pointer 59-second in a later 113-109 win, and the Nuggets weren't happy about it.
"You could give him a hundred and he wouldn't make one, but he did one," Karl said to reporters after the game, apparently he had never seen Wallace practice them before. "Personally, I would have liked the ball to be thrown more towards the edge or corner, but you cannot criticize a happy shot. That was a stroke of luck."
"Sheed took the shot," added Anthony via the Denver Post. "It was a stroke of luck. It was lucky. "
Wallace didn't seem to mind the obvious disregard for his proven ability.
As he told the press after his legendary shot: "I'll take it either way."
Rasheed Wallace, one of the great philosophers of our generation, let the ball tell the truth.
More sunken history:
• Michael Jordan jeopardizes everything and wins with “The Shot”.
• When Steph Curry redefined what it means to shoot from deep
• Before Paul Pierce was the final MVP, he was the trash-speaking truth
• Alonzo Mourning sank the Celtics, a.k.a., when the hornets played a role
• MJ stuns Lakers, Marv Albert with a 'spectacular move' in the NBA final
• Isaiah Riders 'Game of the Decade' is still crazy after all these years
• Derek Fischer's 'One Lucky Shot' with 0.4 seconds remaining is frozen in time
• Jeff Malone hits the buzzer behind the backboard
• The many sliding doors of clutch legend Robert Horry
• Trevor Booker reinvents the shot in the last second with a miracle of 0.2 seconds
• Larry Johnson's 4-point game when the garden was Eden again
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Ben Rohrbach is an employee at Yahoo Sports. Do you have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach
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