How? How is this possible?
That is Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers shooting a 37-foot 3-pointer over one of the NBA’s best defenders (the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George) and directly into the absolute bottom of the bucket to win an NBA playoff series as time expired.
Lillard followed it up with the most devastating possible gesture toward disputatious Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, with whom he has a long-running beef.
Truly, photographer Jamie Valdez was the only person in America who took as much advantage of an opportunity as Damian Lillard did on Tuesday night.
Now for the bad news. As ESPN stats man Kirk Goldsberry points out, hyper-elite modern sharpshooters like Lillard, Steph Curry, and Trae Young are actually good enough at shooting from 30-plus feet that such shots, for them, are not outlandishly inefficient. However, other basketball players are not Damian Lillard and Steph Curry, and all of those players are going to want to make a shot as cool as the one Lillard made on Tuesday, and that means there are going to be a lot of attempted buzzer-beaters that look like this legendary shot by erstwhile Knicks swingman Alexey Shved.
I’m sorry I ended this post about great basketball by making you watch the Knicks. Congratulations again to Damian Lillard!
Support our journalism
Help us continue covering the news and issues important to you—and get ad-free podcasts and bonus segments, members-only content, and other great benefits.Join Slate Plus