A truly remarkable sports play can meet no crueler fate than to have its significance snuffed out by an even bigger play moments later. Marcus Paige’s game-tying three with four seconds left joins Tim Duncan’s prayer and Jermaine Kearse’s circus catch in the sad fraternity of indelible but ultimately meaningless acts of sports brilliance.
I don’t think the shot will ever be forgotten, exactly, but it will always be a footnote appended to retellings of Kris Jenkins’s heroics—“Remember the crazy shot Marcus Paige hit right before that one??”—and that’s fine, but take a second right now to watch and appreciate the shot on its own merits. You may never see another one like it.
What will always stick with me is the sheer athleticism of the shot. Paige was completely adrift when he went up into the air, but somehow managed to maintain enough body control to get an accurate shot off after the double-clutch. And he didn’t even release it until he was on his way back down, just a split second before his foot returned to the floor. What a goddamn shot, man.