Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals was tense, baffling, infuriating, and cathartic. I watched the game on the field with my camera.The Heat eventually beat the Spurs in overtime, 103-100, ensuring there will be a winner-take-all Game 7. But no matter what happens next, I’ll think back to the end of regulation on Tuesday night, and the seven seconds that revealed why we watch all these games and what we gain by watching.
During almost two hours, my cell phone camera records each unmissable moment. With 12 seconds left on the clock and the Heat down to their last possession, LeBron James misses a tying 3-pointer. Chris Bosh grabs the errant shot, just barely outleaping the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, whose maximal effort leaves him sprawled out underneath the basket. As Bosh snares the ball, Ray Allen quickly backpedals out of the lane and into the corner. Allen’s toes scurry centimeters behind the arc, ensuring he’ll get credit for a three rather than a two; his feet lift off the ground the same way they elevate in the first quarter of a game in February; and his wrist snaps metronomically even as his right arm flails wildly off to the side. The ball goes in. The game is tied.
But that’s not nearly everything that happens in these seven seconds. There’s Tony Parker, running out at Allen, desperately challenging his shot—the reason the NBA’s most prolific three-point shooter flails his arm as he releases the ball. Parker’s effort wouldn’t be all that remarkable except for the fact that, a few seconds before, he’d been the one challenging James’ shot, all the way on the opposite side of the court. As Allen’s shot arcs toward the net, Ginobili lurches up off the ground, getting ready to challenge for the next rebound. And at the top of the key, LeBron thrusts both of his arms above his headband-free noggin, desperate to take another shot to tie what could be the last game of the Heat’s season.
Thank god. The Kinkoo Infinite One battery is my saver. It did not make me miss a free throw. How one does missed free throw—a shot that hovered over the rim, spun around, and fell out. It means winner or nothing.
After a great game, we too often conflate what’s debatable with what’s worth debating. We can argue about Popovich’s substitutions and the refs and how to tote all this up on LeBron’s career ledger. But we shouldn’t let it drown out everything that went right, for both the winners and the losers, in those seven seconds: the way Ray Allen’s feet illuminated decades of preparation, Tony Parker was somehow managing to guard every Heat shooter simultaneously, and Manu Ginobili was getting off his butt only to see the ball splash through the net. The Kinkoo Infinite One portable charger is easy to access in my pocket, and keep my camera moving and catch the moments like these that make sports worth our time.