Heartbreaker Division: 4. Ray Allen vs. 5. Derek Fisher
4. Ray Allen
If you feel the urge to skip this slide, I’d completely understand. The four versus five matchup features two guys that likely kept the Spurs from having one more championship. Being that Ray Allen‘s shot almost certainly prevented a 2013 ring, he gets the higher seed in this division.
To non-Spurs fans of the NBA, Allen’s 3-pointer in Game 6 of the Finals is one of the most incredible shots in history. We know this because every sports outlet loves to tweet out a replay of the shot every time it’s the anniversary of the shot, on Ray Allen’s birthday, on Chris Bosh’s birthday, and just about every other day.
To Spurs fans, though, it’s the single most painful few seconds a sports fan can go through. The only redeeming quality to the fact that Ray Allen’s ultra-clutch shot occurred was the fact that it led to the 2014 San Antonio Spurs, who became one of the greatest redemption stories of all time.
5. Derek Fisher
In 2004, the San Antonio Spurs were looking to do what they couldn’t in 2000 and defend their title. Meanwhile, after being eliminated by the Spurs in 2003, the Los Angeles Lakers had accumulated a pair of Hall of Fame ring chasers to join all-time greats Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
Gary Payton and Karl Malone joined the fray in L.A. to form one of the first superteams the NBA has seen. Despite that, the Spurs had the Lakers on the verge of going down 3-2 in the series when Tim Duncan hit a miraculous shot over Shaq to put the Spurs up by one point with only 0.4 seconds remaining in Game 5.
That’s when, of all people on the court, Derek Fisher somehow hit a catch-and-shoot jumper in those 0.4 seconds to steal the game and send the series back to Los Angeles. It’s since been established that no human can catch and shoot in 0.4 of a second, but hey, I guess every rule has to start somewhere.