When the points matter most, he who denies them rules the world.
On June 19, 2016, a king crowned long ago finally reached immortality. Where were you when it happened?
With 4 minutes and 39 seconds remaining in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors scored the last bucket of a record-setting 73-win campaign, the deafening drumbeat of a historic season suddenly silent.
The reigning champ’s grasp on the underdog Cleveland Cavaliers tightened as the clock wound down, but for every Cavs possession thwarted, their own fell short.
Heavyweights parried. Heavyweights blocked. Playoff basketball in its purest form.
As the clock ticked below 2 minutes, the stalemate looked to break when Andre Iguodala pulled down a clutch rebound and set out in transition for a seemingly inevitable, undeniably pivotal, two-on-one layup.
The King Long Crowned had other plans.
With the grace of a T-1000 zeroed in on the rock as the fastbreak unfolded, the greatest chasedown artist the world has ever known calculated and recalculated the geometry required to cover 90 feet of hardwood and get to the ball for a stop.
Where were you when it happened?
LeBron James’ immortal feat — a perfectly timed, perfectly executed block that galvanized his place in the GOAT conversation and relegated Golden State’s 2015-16 season to the back pages of history — lives on as the defining visual of an unforgettable story.
James’ block preserved the 89-89 score, setting the stage for Kyrie Irving to smash the tie with an unforgettable triple and Kevin Love to astrally project his consciousness into the body of a world-class perimeter defender to protect the lead.
It set the stage for the city of Cleveland’s first major sports title since 1964. It set the stage for a lot…
When the points matter most, he who creates them rules the world.
On June 7, 2017, a secret weapon hummed to life. Rewind 11 months. It’s summertime in the Hamptons and the greatest team in regular season history is courting the services of an unquestioned superstar.
The exercise might as well be academic, an experiment of the absurd. What happens if you put Superman on the Avengers?
Do it and find out.
The fortuitous pairing goes as expected and as the calendar returns to June, the reloaded superteam finds itself back in the spotlight eager to salvage their story.
If the world had seen a player like Kevin Durant before, it probably wouldn’t have mattered. It hadn’t.
Having taken care of business in Games 1 and 2 at home, the unprecedented Warriors led the Finals but trailed in Game 3 to the kid from Akron and his ragtag team of destiny.
Down six with just over 3 minutes to play, the juggernaut roared to life.
The world watched as Steph Curry shrunk the gap to four, 2:19 on the clock.
The world watched as Durant corralled an inbound, exploited a switch and pulled up for a slippery, unstoppable pull-up jumper to draw within two, 1:15 on the clock.
Tension mounted as the Cavs set out to return serve.
To watch Kevin Durant play basketball is to temporarily suspend reality, and as the seven-footer with the overpowered mobility and poise of a guard hauled in a rebound and surveyed the floor with 52 seconds left to play, reality was suspended for good.
What happens if you unleash an apex predator into an already revolutionary offensive system? Do it and find out.
Durant’s unflinchingly bold pull-up triple as his defender backpedaled with 20 seconds on the shot clock pried the lead out of Cleveland’s hands for good, a critical hit among an 11-point run that only the greatest among us would even think to deliver.
The Warriors would go on to secure the insurmountable 3-0 lead and win the title in five, the first of two championships during Durant’s three-year stint with the franchise.
What would have happened if they hadn’t? There’s some things we’ll never find out.
The NBA's history is chock full of unforgettable memories from the Finals — many of which already reside in the NBA Top Shot library.
We grew up hearing the legend of Magic Johnson’s “junior, junior skyhook” from the 1987 NBA finals.
We remember where we were when Manu Ginobili sealed San Antonio’s 2014 NBA Finals win with a poster dunk felt around the world.
We watched together as Giannis Antetokounmpo cemented his legacy as a big game performer with an iconic block in the 2021 NBA Finals and reveled in Steph Curry’s greatness as he spun a legacy-game masterclass of his own in the 2022 NBA Finals.
This month, LeBron James’ iconic block (/23) from Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals and Kevin Durant’s gutsy go-ahead triple (/99) from Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals will join them.
To learn how you can add these new Legendary Anthology Moments to your collection, and which collectors have already secured one for theirs, head to NBA Finals HQ.