I guess I’m frustrated. I think someone has to be fired to change this **** we’re in, but since that doesn’t seem to be the case this year I’m forced to rely on miracles. So I conjured from my memory this true tale of how miracles happen in basketball.
2004 – Euroleague. Maccabi Tel Aviv (and no, I’m definitely not a fan, but the way it happened is unbelievable).
Maccabi was for the large portion of the season a very talented yet underachieving team in all aspects. They were losing games and barely made it into the top 16. Fans were booing, players were frustrated and the media was calling for everyone’s head from the coach to the last player.
Last game of the top 16. Maccabi faces Zalgiris Kovna. Zalgiris leads 94-91. Two seconds on the clock. Gur Shelef, the 2nd unit PF, sends a hail-mary pass to their 6th man Derrick Sharp. Sharp turns around and takes a heavily contested 3 pointer – and ties the game!
The crowd goes wild, the players go wild. The media would come to call this “The Zalgiris miracle”. Because from that moment on, this team that nobody thought would do anything became a super-team. Something in that moment changed everything for them. They went on to win the game , and then to win the title 2 years in a row and become one of Euroleage’s best teams ever. All of a sudden they were winning major games by 40 points and nobody could defeat them. They played like a perfect machine.
I guess sometimes all it takes is one moment of divine intervention for things to sync and remind players and coaches what this game is all about.