Writer-Palooza: Duncan’s improbable shot

Crossover Chronicles is a relatively new blog, so we decided it was a good idea to introduce you to the crew. We’re doing that in a new feature called “Writer-Palooza.”  For the next few days, we will feature one writer, introducing him to you via an original piece, his favorite basketball video, and a wildcard post on any topic that he wants.

Today we feature Trevor Zickgraf. You can find him on Twitter here.

It was April, 19th, 2008.  I was at the KSAT-12 studios in San Antonio, TX, a little under four miles from the AT&T Center. The San Antonio Spurs were hosting the Phoenix Suns in Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Playoffs. The Suns weren’t quite as good as they had been in year’s past, but it was still the Suns and given what had happened in the playoffs the year before, San Antonio was much more hyped for this first round series than they had been in year’s past.

I remember watching, thinking the Spurs just didn’t have it this game, the Suns wanted pay back for last year’s series. Everyone else remembers it as Horrygate, Spurs fans remember it as Steve Nash flopping in to the scorer’s table. We’re San Antonio, we know a good flop when we see it.  Either way, it was the fourth quarter and Spurs managed to pull within three when Michael Finley hit this clutch three to help send the game in to overtime.  Still, it looked like the Suns were going to pull out the win in OT, up three with eleven seconds to go. Then it happened.

Manu Ginobili uses a Tim Duncan screen to to suck in Shaq, who along with the rest of us, had no idea what was about to happen. Manu drives to the hoop and kicks the ball back at to Duncan who is all alone at the three-point line. He sets his feet and buries the three to send the game in to a second OT, where the Spurs won the game and eventually the series.  I’ve never seen Duncan show that much emotion on the court unless he was winning a ring. Here’s another video of him walking us through the play.

Here’s the kicker: I was supposed to be at that game. I bought tickets thinking they’d make the game one of ABC’s Sunday marquee games. At that point I was off Sundays but not Saturdays. So instead of watching it live, I sold the tickets to my friend Mario and watched it on a dusty TV in the newsroom. You’re welcome, Mario Rodriguez, for hooking you up with seats to one of the greatest games you’ll ever see live.