Written By: Trevor Lightfoot @TrevorLightfoot
There are few things more epic than a game winning shot. Even in high school or pickup games the game winning shot is the one thing that can instantly result in pure ecstasy or utter devastation. For the best late game heroes, there is no stage too big, and no set of circumstances too difficult. We’ve put together a list of our top 5 Phoenix Suns game winning buckets. Here are the guidelines:
- The shot must result in a victory
- There must be video evidence
- Playoff game winning shots carry more weight
Number 5. Stephon Marbury
Marbury may get lost in the shadows of great Suns point guards, but in game 1 of the 2003 Western Conference First Round he was the hero. The Suns were in a strange transition between mediocrity and title contention. The roster was filled with both up and coming super stars like Amer’e Stoudemire and Shawn Marion and also aging veterans such as Tom Gugliotta and Penny Hardaway. Steve Nash eventually replaced Marbury, but for one brief moment he brought us an epic win over the Spurs.
Number 4. Steve Nash
Steve Nash time was the 4th quarter. He handled the ball on almost every possession and was never afraid to take the final shot. Regardless of the result, you had to respect him for his willingness to put the game on his shoulders. On this play he not only displays amazing coordination, but also his prowess for ultimate clutch play making ability.
Number 3. Charles Barkley
1993 was a magical year for the Phoenix Suns; they made it to the Finals, thanks in large part to the stellar performance of league MVP Charles Barkley. With only 0.5 seconds remaining in the game and the Suns down by just one point, there was one final desperate chance at victory. Taking the ball out from half court, an unguarded Oliver Miller launched the ball toward the basket, hoping for someone to finish at the rim. What happens next is devastation for Blazers fans and pure luck for the Suns.
Number 2. Rex Chapman
November 14, 1997. This was the date the Suns and Blazers embarked on an early season marathon of a basketball game. In triple overtime, it looked like the Blazers were finally going to win, until Rex Chapman put on his superhero cape and hit an amazing, fading-to-the-side style three-pointer to tie the game back up. The Suns eventually won the game by a single point after the 4th overtime.
Number 1. Charles Barkley
How self-confident do you have to be to stare down one of the greatest players in NBA history and pull up from about 30 feet away for a game winning jump shot? This shot is like a better version of the famous Linsanity pull-up three-pointer game winner.
Michael Finley: The Rookie
Rookie Michael Finley was the steal of the draft. I feel like this play is one of those rare times where a player does something so unscripted and athletic that no video game could replicate. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a game winner.
Rex Chapman: The Shot
The classic fade away, falling out of bounds jump shot. Who hasn’t practiced this shot in their own backyard?
Gar Heard: The Greatest Game Even Played
This shot would unquestionably take over the number one spot, if the Suns had won the game.