Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Classic games

A couple of hours ago, while preparing a paper for grad school, I got sucked in to the classic game playing on BTV. It was the first game of the 1997 NBA Finals, between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz. I couldn't remember the game's finish (or why it's on as a classic), so I ended up watching the whole thing. The game was tied with about 30 seconds remaining after Michael Jordan missed a free throw. The Jazz went to a pick-and-roll, but the Bulls defended it well forcing a contested 25-footer from John Stockton with the shot clock running down. The ball hit the back rim for a long rebound, but in the scramble for the loose ball, a foul was called on Dennis Rodman. Karl Malone went to the line for free throws and missed both. The Bulls rebounded the ball, called timeout, and got the ball to Jordan, who sank a twenty-footer at the buzzer for the win.

By now, you've probably guessed that this was the infamous The mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays game. The story goes that prior to Malone's important free throws, Scottie Pippen went to him and whispered those words, which caused the Jazz forward to miss.

I was just about to turn in when the titles rolled and BTV was showing another classic game. I wanted to check out what game it was when Marv Albert narrated a montage of the events of the same Finals series. The clip featured the Jordan game-winner and the Bulls going up 2-0, and two home wins by the Jazz highlighted by Stockton's heroics including a steal off Jordan to tie the series. At this point, I still couldn't remember which game this was, until the camera cut to a shot of Jordan entering the arena, followed by Albert reporting that there was a lot of concern in the Chicago camp, not just because Utah had the momentum, but because Jordan had been under the weather for the past 24 hours.

This was the flu game.

So here I am, typing away while the game is on. The Bulls are getting killed in the first quarter with Jordan struggling and taking an early trip to the bench, but I suspect that they'll be alright. I think I'll stay up to finish this one. It's not like I have to go to work tomorrow.

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