#5: The Shot Heard Round the World
With most of the avid Internet engagers being of a certain generation, it is understandable there is a strong recency bias when coming up with the most memorable moments Suns history. If you’re under the age of 44, you weren’t even alive when the #5 moment happened. If you’re under 50, you probably couldn’t even remember it, even though you were waddling around in cloth diapers, or whatever toddlers wore back then.
Still, just because it feels ancient, doesn’t mean it wasn’t awesome.
In the second overtime in game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, the Phoenix Suns were down two with one second left on the clock. At least, it was roughly one second. Back then, clocks didn’t break down to the tenth of a second so who knows if it was 1.9 or maybe even 0.5 that just rounded up.
To Boston Celtics fans, it had to feel like five seconds.
Garfield “Gar” Heard caught the inbounds pass from Phil Lumpkin with his back to the basket, turned, fired, and it went in, sending the game to a third overtime, and shocking a home arena full of guys with shaggy hair and wearing bell-bottoms ready to celebrate.
The shot adopted the very punny nickname, “The shot Heard round the world” because of Gar’s last name and the fact that it felt like a Revolutionary War bullet to the hearts of Celtics fans.
While Heard may have won that battle, Boston would still win the war. The Suns lost in triple overtime, but for that game-tying moment, the Suns had the entire world’s respect and attention.
When I watch the video of this, all I can think about it how insane the surroundings are. The benches are just folded metal chairs, the scorers’ tables look like they were picked up at Goodwill, and fans are just inches away from the court, ready to storm it.
It also now looks weird that so many people were standing that close to each other.