Column

Skyler’s Swishes: GOATs and buzzer-beaters

One of the all-time great buzzer-beaters and one of the all-time great Hall of Fame announcements took place this past week.

“Skyler’s Swishes” is a column by Skyler Trepel recapping the top three events from the past week of NBA play.

This week’s swishes feature two buzzer-beaters and a GOAT inducting a GOAT into the Hall of Fame.

Luka Dončić hits the most difficult buzzer-beater in a decade

They call him Luka Magic for a reason. Against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, Luka hit a game-winning buzzer-beater that defied physics and logic. The shot was so strange that it barely felt like a game-winner.

Luka ran up the court falling forward and lifted his arm in the air like he was making a one-hand shovel pass. What’s even more wild? He did this from behind the three-point line to win the game.

Hitting a shot at the buzzer with all of the pressure on you is difficult enough on its own. But to do it in this absurd fashion is a special kind of greatness.

The last time we saw a shot this difficult? California legend Kobe Bryant hit a running bank shot over Dwyane Wade at the buzzer just over 11 years ago.

ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy said that Kobe’s big-time shot was “greatness personified.” Even at a young age, Luka is making his own case for greatness as he continues to show up in the clutch.

However, this wasn’t the week’s only buzzer-beater.

Bam Adebayo hits first career buzzer-beater for the Miami Heat

BAM! With a first name like that you’ve got to have big moments. This weekend, Bam Adebayo certainly had the biggest moment of his career.

Big men generally don’t hit mid-range jumpers to seal the win, but Adebayo broke that stereotype as he dribbled the ball to the left block before drilling the pull-up jumper. For extra dramatic effect, the ball nearly bounced out of the basket too.

The aforementioned three-time champion with the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade, told Adebayo to have a better career than him. It seems as though Adebayo is taking those words to heart.

Wade is a surefire Hall of Famer once eligible, but this week featured one of the biggest Hall of Fame announcements of all time.

The GOAT Hall of Fame announcement

This past week it was announced that the GOAT Michael Jordan will induct another one of the GOATs in the late, great Laker legend Kobe Bryant. Jordan and Bryant were compared throughout their entire careers.

It’s no wonder this happened considering the similar playstyles, mannerisms and even number of championships that they won.

With their playstyles being so similar, the relationship between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant was something that intrigued pundits for years. Toward the latter portion of Kobe’s career, he began to open up a bit, but by Kobe’s memorial in 2020, Jordan shed the full light on their brotherhood.

It’s only right that Kobe Bryant gets inducted by his “big brother” and it’s only right that Michael Jordan inducts his “little brother.” When Jordan retired, multiple NBA players tried to emulate him along with thousands around the world, but Kobe Bryant was the only one who came close.

Some even say Kobe was the most skilled NBA player of all time. While many media analysts put Kobe on the lower end of their top five, most players, including NBA champions Kevin Durant, Allen Iverson and Matt Barnes rank Jordan one and Kobe two, with some even ranking them 1A and 1B.

If Jordan and Kobe truly are 1A and 1B in the annals of NBA history, it is only fitting for Michael Jordan to enshrine Kobe Bryant on May 15, 2021.

“Skyler’s Swishes” runs every Monday.