Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sporting Chokes Over The Last Few Years


In the light of yesterdays monster MELTDOWN by the Chicago Bulls I have added two of my favourite sporting choke moments. If you think of any that you would like to include feel free to comment!

Firstly I must let you know what happened yesterday in the Bulls/Sacramento match. The Chicago Bulls hosted the Kings yesterday. The Kings were down by an unbelievable 35 points and rallied back to pull off an amazing win. I could not believe it, I was watching it on the internet at work and was gobsmacked by how a talented team could only conjure up 10 points in the final quarter. Especially at your home court with some lethal scoring options on the floor. It just doesn't make any sense. It is the biggest rally since the Utah Jazz rallied from a 36 point deficit to beat Denver on November 27, 1996. With 8:50 left in the third quarter the Bulls were up 79-44. They had held the Kings to 44 points through more than a half of a basketball match, how does a team just collapse like that.

Ask Tyreke Evans, rookie from Memphis tore up the Bulls defense in the third and fourth quarter. He finished the game with 23 points and 8 rebounds. The 102-98 final scoreline left Bulls fan shocked and horrified while Kings fans were also in disbelief but absolutely loved the rally. I can't stand the people who are bagging Vinnie Del Negro, Bulls coach, it wasn't his fault. You have to look at the players on the court, Vinnie called timeouts when necessary, his team just couldn't score. There were a few shot clock violations, double dribbles and travels during the comeback. These are things the players need to fix not the coach. Now you know what happened yesterday here are some other choking moments in sport. Hard to top that one though. 

One of my favourite chokes was by Tony Romo and the Cowboys against the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL playoffs. On January 6th 2006 the Dallas Cowboys were down 21-20 with 1:19 left on the clock.

The cowboys only inches from the line are denied by the Seahawks. This allows Dallas to set up for the field goal. One simple kick over those big yellow posts. Romo has to catch it though and set it for the kicker(Martin Gramatica).

The ball is snapped, Seahawks fans, players, owners all have their hearts in their mouths, Romo FUMBLES.

Everything becomes a blur from there as Romo picks the ball up and tries to get over the goal line. It looks as if he is going to get over but the Seahawks special team bring him down inches from the goal line. The Seattle fans and players go mad and the Dallas players are left to wonder what if Romo caught the snap. He will always be remembered as the man who dropped the snap.

We’re taking it back to the 2000 Western Conference Finals between the LA Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers, the greatest meltdown in game 7 history.

After losing the two previous games , unable to clinch the series against the Blazers the Lake Show were living up their reputation previously earned in seasons prior. CHOKERS!

10 minutes to go and one of the greatest casts ever assembled were about to win their third straight against a young Laker team that just couldn’t seem to get over the hump. Up 15? Game 7? They aren’t losing this. We’re talking about veteran ballers like Scottie Pippen, Detlef Schrempf, Steve Smith, Arvydas Sabonis, Damon Stoudamire, a young but hungry Rasheed Wallace( I’m talking about RASHEED “I’m gonna get this ball and shove it down your throat after I pull a post move and break your ankles” WALLACE, not RASHEED “I can play in the post if I want to but I’d rather jack up threes” WALLACE), Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, Brian Grant and a young Bonzi Wells. They’ve been through wars. This was just another battle.

Someone forgot to tell the Lakers.

The comeback began after two free throws by Bonzi Wells made it 75-60 with 10:28 remaining. O'Neal started it with his first basket of the second half and later added a free throw.

Brian Shaw makes a 3-pointer (yes Brian Shaw, more on this cat later).

Bryant and O'Neal made foul shots to get the deficit down to single digits.


Robert Horry buries a 3-pointer.

Kobe Bryant jumper: It’s good! Down 3.

Brian Shaw ties it at 75-75 with another 3-pointer!!( Yes I swear I’m talking bout the same Brian Shaw you’re thinking about. I can’t believe it either. I’m thinking Dr Buss better buy Brian a new Benz after the game, just a small token of his appreciation for putting some life back into the Lakers. Just a Benz, ohhh and maybe sign him up for a few more years after the 2000 season even though he can’t play and can barely run anymore. Just give the guy a couple of million so he can tell stories in the locker room. Keep him there for motivational/entertainment purposes. Great investment. SERIOUSLY I was thinking this. Just keep him. He’s your lucky charm for the next few years.

Interesting stat ? Blazers only turned the ball over twice during the 15-0 run. Talk about shooting yourself into a hole! Not one shot? Really? Not one between Sheed, Pippen Schrempf, Smith or Stoudamire?

Bryant gives the Lakers the lead for good at 81-79 with two free throws with 1:34 remaining and Wallace missed two at the other end. Bryant took advantage by pulling up for a foul-line jumper over Pippen and an 83-79 lead with 1:08 left.

After Pippen misses a 3-pointer, Bryant threw an alley-oop pass to O'Neal, who hammered it home to send the Staples Center crowd into delirium with 41 seconds remaining. I will never forget the atmosphere of the Staples Centre when Shaq threw down that lob. Absolutely nuts!
LA: Over the hump, 89-84.

Portland: Greatest meltdown in Game 7 history.

That Portland team slowly dismantled, they were never the same. The Lakers? They just went on to win 3 straight championships putting them in an elite category with Chicago and Boston as the only teams to ever 3 peat.

Ahhh yeh, they were over that hump.

Here’s a little mix of our trip down memory lane. Enjoy

1 comment:

  1. I will never EVER forget that lakers game 7 win for all I live!! brian shaw a living legend of the lakers dynasty!!! (stop hating)
    fantastic defense from sheed on that horry rebound to allow him to dribble out to the 3 point line and bury the 3...yes sheed thats all big shot rob does SHOOT THE 3!!!
    suprising not to see the lakers v kings game 5 at staples in here also the following yr in the qestern conference finals..."that shot" by none other than big shot rob!
    and yes i still laugh at that romo fumbled snap!