NBA 2017 had everything! Record-breaking moments, historic performances, new superteams and a lot of emotion, trash talk, and drama. All in all, Let’s count down the 7 best moments of an unforgettable 2017:
7. Manu Ginobili’s game-winning block on James Harden
Last season’s playoff encounter between the Spurs and the Rockets which went to 6 games, wasn’t exactly an all-time classic. After Houston won a jump ball with 8 seconds left, Harden had a chance to tie it up, but Ginobili made a huge play as he always does and blocked the shot from behind, as the Spurs won 110-107. It produced one of the greatest moments in playoff history.
6. Kyrie Irving shocks the world with a trade request
Irving shocked pretty much everyone by demanding to be traded away from the Cavs, as he supposedly had had enough of playing with LeBron James. It was quite puzzling considering all the praise Kyrie had showered on James after the Finals loss. After weeks of speculation, they traded him to the Boston Celtics.
5. Devin Booker drops 70 on the Celtics
Booker shot to fame by dropping 70 Points against the East-leading Celtics. He scored a staggering 51 points in the 2nd as the Suns tried to launch a comeback, but came up short losing 130-120. He became the 6th player in NBA history to score 70 in a game and it is the highest scoring mark for any active player in the league today.
4. Russell Westbrook breaks the Triple-Double record
2017 was just absurd for Russell Westbrook. The reigning MVP averaged a triple-double for a whole the season. Neither Michael Jordan nor LeBron, Kobe Bryant, and many other all-time greats managed to do that. A historic season culminated with a performance for the ages against the Denver Nuggets to break the record.
3. Isaiah Thomas scores 53 on late sister’s birthday
Isaiah’s little sister, Chyna Thomas died in a car crash on April 15th, 2017, a day before the playoffs started. An emotional Isaiah kept playing and on what would have been her 23rd Birthday, he put in the best performance of his career. Thomas scored 53 in a win over the rival Wizards, including 9 in Overtime. “Today is my sister’s birthday, She would’ve been 23 today, so the least I can do is go out there and play for her.” IT said after the game.
2. Kobe Bryant’s Jersey retirement
It’s the greatest honor for a player to have his jersey hanging forever. That was the honor bestowed upon the Black Mamba this past month. One of the greatest players of all time, Bryant had both his No.8 and No.24 retired by the Lakers. He played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers and is the franchise leader in Games played, Points and Steals.
1. Kevin Durant hits the shot of shots over LeBron James
Unquestionably the moment of the year. KD hit the shot of his life over LeBron James in what ended up being the defining moment of the 2017 NBA Finals. Down 4 with a minute left, Durant cut the lead to 2 and then after a Cavs miss, drilled a 3 pointer to put Golden State ahead for good. Durant hit the shot of his life, silenced the crowd, gave the Warriors a 3-0 lead and eventually walked away with a ring and was the Finals MVP to boot.