If you are a basketball player, or perhaps an avid basketball fan, what moments in basketball do you find to be the all-time greatest?
Aside from those that I have personally experienced, I have a bucketful of greatest moments I can pull from the hat.
I guess I’m a sucker for the “olden days”. Of course I wasn’t there to witness this firsthand, but I love to hear and read about Howie Dallmar way back in the 1940’s. He was a great assist, with over 100 under his belt but the play of the day was when he was injured and talked his way back onto the court despite his feet ailments.
Dallmar went in and scored the two points that won the game but only after the ball had bounced around from the outside about four times, leaving everyone on the edge of their seats. He and his teammates were awarded $2,000 and a diamond chip ring. The fans left with a memory never to be forgotten.
You can’t talk about great basketball historical moments without talking about the inventor of basketball, Naismith. He had grown up in Canada where they nailed a peach basket up for the make-shift basket. I can just see it clear as a bell in my mind. He then went on to play for the University of Kansas and then coached Kansas for a whopping 771 wins. Now, that’s peachy!
Another great moment in basketball history was when Wilt Chamberlain was at his peak. In 1962, on March 2, he racked up a round 100 points in a single game for a win of 169-147 over the Philadelphia Warriors. That was the NBA record for single-game scoring and the fans were thrilled.
I also like the one, back in the 70’s when Jerry West of the Lakers threw a 60-foot sinker. The fans stood to their feet and you can only imagine how excited the team was as well. It was a nail-biting game and the long throw made it all the more suspenseful.
It was those great plays and many others as well that infatuated me as a youngster. I had the pictures embedded in my imagination of Wilt, standing at 7’1”, playing for the Globetrotters or Bill Russell with his 11 championship rings. They were the best of the best and the games were the best too, in my book at least.
What about Buddy Jeannette, one of the National Basketball League’s first players back between 1938 and 1948. You could count on excitement wherever Jeannette played and so it was with so many of that generation of players. I just can’t get enough!
There have been tons of present day great plays and I have personally been there to witness a number of them. But there is something about the days of old in basketball that just entrances me. It’s an undying romance I have with those who played the courts before me whose shoes I could never fill.