Jerry West hits a long bomb against the Knicks in the NBA Finals
During his 14-year playing career, Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West was known as “Mr. Clutch” for his tendency to hit timely or game-winning shots.
In Game 3 of the 1962 NBA Finals, he got a steal seconds from the end, then ran to the other end and made a layup at the buzzer to defeat the Boston Celtics .
Eight years later, against the New York Knicks in Game 3 of the Championship Series, West was back.
At the Forum in Inglewood, Knicks forward Dave DeBusschere hit a jumper near the free throw line with three seconds left in the fourth quarter, giving New York a two-point lead, and it looked like the Lakers were on. the point of falling behind 2- 1 in the series.
Wilt Chamberlain threw an inbound pass to West, who took a few dribbles, then mustered all the strength he could from his wiry 6ft 3in frame and fired a shot from around 60ft.
The Forum crowd erupted in pandemonium, but there was a problem: Since the NBA was years away from adopting the 3-point shot (its rival league, the American Basketball Association, had such a shot), the basket de West only forced overtime.
In that extra period, the Lakers fell short, 111-108.
They would go on to lose in seven games, losing the final game at Madison Square Garden when Knicks center and captain Willis Reed worked up the nerve to play on an injured leg.
It was the Lakers’ seventh Finals loss since arriving in Los Angeles in 1960, and it looked like the organization was cursed.
Thankfully though, the Purple and Gold finally beat the Knicks two years later to bring the City of Angels their first NBA championship, and the first of many, many more to come.
The Lakers asked permission to interview Darvin Ham
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