No list of basketball’s greatest buzzer-beaters is complete without Maya Moore’s game-winner against the Indiana Fever.
We’ve all dissected “The Shot” that lifted the Lynx to a 2-1 lead over the Fever in the 2015 Finals and further ascended Moore as one of the greatest basketball players of all time.
We’ve broken down our bewilderment of just how much Moore does in 1.7 seconds: catch the ball, give a pump fake, take one dribble to distance herself from Marissa Coleman, then release a picture-perfect shot.
We’ve commended the improvisation that preceded the shot.
Tied 77-77, the Lynx had to inbound the ball in front of Indiana’s bench. A 2-pointer would have, of course, sufficed, and when watching a replay it appears as though inbounder Lindsay Whalen first looks to find Sylvia Fowles who rolled to the right block after setting a pick for Moore. Indiana sufficiently took away the lob pass to Fowles but could not account for a cutting Moore who popped out to mid-court then back cut to the top of the 3-point arc where Whalen was able to direct her pass.
Maybe it wasn’t exactly what head coach Cheryl Reeve and her assistants drew up in the huddle, but Moore found a way to win, nonetheless.
But we often fail to fully appreciate just how assured Moore was in her and her teammate’s abilities in that high-pressure moment.
I wish I could full-heartedly say I had no doubt the Lynx would find a way to win when watching this game in real-time on October 9, 2015. However, it’s safe to say my faith wavered more so than Moore’s.
With 1.7 seconds remaining, Moore didn’t have time to show hesitancy. Some less-equipped players may have stumbled and passed the ball off to a teammate at the last millisecond — again, they only needed a 2-pointer, not a 3.
When Maya Moore wants something, the dwindling ticks of a game clock can’t stop her. Seemingly, nothing can.
We’ve been reminded of her resiliency in a new setting the last few years as she’s removed herself from the WNBA to help overturn a ruling against Jonathan Irons, a man wrongfully sentenced to 50 years in prison for burglary and assault.
Moore saw a problem when she was introduced to Irons’ case and put her life on hold to fight for something much larger than a Game 3 win of a Finals series. The overturning of Irons’ original sentence is, of course, a life-changing feat in itself. But her commitment to seeking justice at whatever cost has served as a call to action for all of us to find ways in which we too can be bold.
For that, no list of greatest athletic heroes of all time is complete without Maya Moore’s name.
Fox Sports North will re-air the 2015 Finals game decided by Moore’s game-winning shot at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday, June 21.