With the Dallas Mavericks finishing up their championship celebrating and the NBA Draft and the beginning of free agency both around the corner, it’s safe to say that the 2010-11 NBA season is officially in the books. And what a wild one it was — one with countless fascinating storylines, burgeoning rivalries, amazing breakout seasons from future league-defining players, and an awesome post-season that ranks with just about any in recent memory. It’s been so crazy that it’s easy to forget many of the wonderful things that made the season so special.
Well, we here at TBJ are not in the forgetting-shit business. So I’ve done some perusing of the site archives for a little memory-jogging, and I’ve come up with the list of what are, in my opinion, the 100 greatest occurrences of the NBA year that was — the best games, plays, quotes, commercials, trends, performances and overall moments from when the season tipped off at American Airlines Arena to when the Mavericks’ championship parade wrapped up at the American Airlines Center. Unsurprisingly, there’s a whole lot of Miami and Dallas throughout the list, as well as a good deal of Blake Griffin being awesome, the Memphis Grizzlies being crazy, and Chris Bosh … well, being Chris Bosh. Though some teams appear more than others, I tried to include at least one entry for every team, as all 30 were instrumental in making this season as incredible as it was.
So here we are, rolling out all 100 moments over the course of the week, with explanatory links and/or embedded videos in case you need a refresher on the whos, whats, wheres and by-how-muches. Of course, be sure let me know what I missed, as I’m sure the list of exclusions are many. And in fact, before I get going, my apologies to Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans, Earl Boykins, Stephen Jackson, Ty Lawson, Brian Cardinal, and any number of individual performers who had games, moments or seasons that were certainly worth saluting, but which I just couldn’t find room for on this list. It was that kind of season.
99. Steve Nash’s near-perfect game against the Wizards
98. Jeff Teague steps up against the Bulls
97. Evan Turner crosses over Dwyane Wade in his NBA debut … and Wade returns the favor in the playoffs
96. “You’re kidding me. I gotta explain ‘J Train’ to you?”
95. Beasley’s 42-point game against the Kings
94. Shaun Livingston’s no-look alley-oop to Derrick Brown
93. Travis Outlaw on his contract being the worst of the summer: “Everybody’s got an opinion.”
92. Joel Anthony’s 16-rebound, 0-shot attempt, 1-posterization stat line against the Hawks
91. Monta Ellis’ “M! V! P!” Christmas game against the Blazers
90. Udonis Haslem’s comeback game against the Bulls
89. Lakers 139, Suns 137, 3OT
88. Vince Carter’s “No Playoffs” Beard
LATER TODAY: No. 85-71