Watching your team win the playoffs is fantastic. Watching your team win a tight game in the playoffs is even better. Watching your team win on a game-winner in a tight game in the playoffs is crazy.
Watching a 24-year-old fishing pole with a 1992 fade and one of the funkiest windups in his first playoff series beat the defending champions down the floor and lay it in over two-time regular season and three-time Finals MVP Tim Duncan to get the game-winner in a tight game in the playoffs in amazing.
Truth be told, as San Antonio got a stranglehold on the momentum and seemed ready to make Rick Adelman the first coach fired in the middle of a playoff series, I wasn't even close to hopeful the Kings would win. I tend to think many of you felt the same. Personally, I was contemplating Ronziball - feeding the left post incessantly, hoping for the drive or the double team while playing tough (TOUGH!) defense on the other end.
I was cursing the ridiculous montage that included Horry's and Barry's shots, along with some painful memories from Van Exel and Finley. (Why do that to fans, News10, in the throes of a tight game? Bastards.)
Watching the last play - knowing that Adelman wouldn't foul, even though the Kings essentially had a sub-10 percent chance to force a turnover and something like a 40 percent of getting a Spurs miss and a defensive rebound with, like, two seconds. It's safe to say it was that you'd rather put Manu on the line, and get the ball back with 20 seconds to run a play for a two or three to tie (possibly a three to win if Manu misses one). It seems like a better chance.
The Basketball Gods intervened, though. Mike F*cking Bibby with the steal? You're kidding, right? Martin lifting over Tim F*cking Duncan? Good lord. The finish was truly a gift.
(And I think I've finally had my TiVo epiphany. Don't get me wrong - I've been infatuated with TiVo since I got it early in the season. It has changed the way I watch TV completely, and has made my life much more flexible. But damn, I've watched The Steal and The Bounce like 200 times already this morning, and I'm probably not exaggerating. Let's just say that "Bibby comes up with it! Bibby...three...Martin...Kevin Martin...Martin aaannnnnnd IT'S GOOD AT THE BUZZER! OHH...WOW! I DON'T BELIEVE IT! THE KINGS WIN IT AT THE BUZZER! IF YOU DON'T LIKE THAT, YOU DON'T LIKE KINGS BASKETBALL! MARTIN WINS IT AT THE HORN!!!" is pretty well ingrained in my head. Also, Jerry's Ric Flair impersonation. And Pete Carril's reaction, which was the best by far - both arms raised as it looks like the old guy is falling backwards in his chair. Special mention to Marty McNeal as well, who actually looks truly amazed with a hand on his face in a "Oh sh*t!" look as Reef, Bonzi and Corliss first mob Speed. Seeing Speed run hooting and hollering past Tim Duncan into the tunnel was great. Bibby's primal screams (you can see these as Martin gets into the tunnel) are awesome. Also, the big dude with all the tattoos touches Speed's fade. It's wild.
There doesn't seem to be a quality clip of the play on YouTube yet - just a grainy, worthless rip apparently from NBA.com. I can't get NBA.com's video player working for some reason, but this is the link to try.
This one is definitely on "save until I delete" status, though.