Plenty of teams in the NBA offer an opportunity each home game for a fan to hit a shot from half-court to win a ridiculous prize.
Some teams, like the Lakers, offer a progressive jackpot of sorts, with the prize increasing throughout the season with each game that goes by without someone draining the improbable shot.
Others offer cars or other prizes to fans in case they get lucky and end up hitting a shot from approximately 47 feet from the basket with an arena full of fans watching.
The teams are insured in case of a miracle, so there’s no financial harm done when one of these shots ultimately goes down. The players, though, stay out of it for the most part — which makes this one all the more special.
LeBron James couldn’t contain his excitement when a fan (Michael Drysch, according to LeBronJames.com) used a hook shot to win the $75,000 prize in Miami on Friday, and ran out onto the court to tackle the winner to join him in the celebration.
Kevin Durant shoots extra while echoing his critics: ‘They called me a coward!’ (video)
When asked after his session about shouting criticisms, Durant explained, “That’s what I say to myself when I’m working. I hear it all the time. You hear the noise. You hear what they say about you. Everybody hears it. So it’s a little extra motivation when you hear it.”
Of the scene, Durant said, “Nobody in this arena right now, and that’s when you get better. Nobody sees you when you’re doing this stuff right here, but luckily y’all was in here watching.”
Depending on your perspective, Durant is:
Maniacally driven to succeed
Feeling the pressure in Golden State
Showboating in front of a camera
I’ll take a little of all three.
Not one 2016 top-10 draft pick started his team’s first game. How does that compare historically?
The top 10 of 2016 NBA draft class isn’t off to a fast start.
In fact, no top-10 pick started his team’s first game after being drafted for just the second time on record. The only other time it happened since 1983, as far back as Basketball-Reference.com records go, was 2013.
No. 11 pick Michael Carter-Williams was the only 2013 draft pick to start his team’s first game in 2013. So, at least the class of 2016 has a leg up on that class, which was led by No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett.
Here’s each first-round pick since 1983 to start his team’s first game since being drafted. Top-10 picks are in blue, and all other first-rounders are in orange.
To some degree, this year’s state of affairs is understandable. Simmons was a lock to start before he got injured. Two playoffs teams – Celtics (who took Jaylen Brown No. 3) and Raptors (who took Jacob Poeltl No. 9) – drafted in the top 10 due to trades.
But the effect is clear. This draft class seems underwhelming.