Best Fan Moments of the 2019-20 NBA Season
With the NBA regular season in its final stretch, it seems like as good a time as any to reflect on the unique pleasures of the National Basketball Association.
Baskets have been made, alleys have been ooped and many predictable scenarios have played out. The teams from Los Angeles have dominated, Giannis Antetenkounmpo is on the way to his second straight MVP Award and Ja Morant and Zion Williamson have dazzled.
However, other narratives haven’t gone as predicted. The Rockets don’t have anyone over 6’7, the Thunder look like they might have won the Paul George trade, the Philadelphia 76ers can’t seem to figure it out and Mike Conley has been a terrible fit in Utah.
Through it all, though, there have been some truly fun moments. Here are seven of the best fan moments that have happened in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Aaron Gordon Jumping Over Tacko Fall
The dunk contest isn’t always a success, but Aaron Gordon and Derrick Jones Jr. put on an absolute show during this year’s All-Star Weekend. There was the judges miscommunication at the end of the night, Pat Connaughton paying tribute to “White Men Can’t Jump” and Dwight Howard making his return.
One moment was still able to shine through though. Gordon taking the 7’5 Tacko Fall out of the stands and jumping straight over the man. It wasn’t even the best dunk of the night, it was just the most hype.
James Harden Wins Opening Tip
It would be hard to argue that there is a more entertaining team in the NBA than the Houston Rockets. Watching Harden and Russell Westbrook operate in the five-out offense and then shift into a defense where Robert Covington and Jeff Green meet opposing bigs at the rim is simply one of the best things I’ve seen on a basketball court in a long time.
The whole style is just downright smile-inducing and James Harden winning an opening tip is the perfect Rockets moment this year.
Harden really let out a scream and flex.
Zion Williamson Debut, Made 3s
Zion Williamson is different. The way he plays basketball, the way he jumps, the anticipation and hype he carries around on his shoulders like a sweater he can’t take off.
The Duke product made us wait until Jan. 22 for his debut, but he most definitely didn’t disappoint. The game was one of the most-watched of the season and it was almost a disaster.
Williamson started slow, before scoring 17 straight points in the fourth quarter, including four made threes, in an effort that almost brought the Pelicans back against the Spurs. With each made three the arena got louder and NBA twitter was absolutely buzzing.
LeBron James Reverse Slam Kobe Tribute
A countless number of Kobe tributes could have been included in this list. To recount them all would take its own article. However, there was one more subtle tribute that flew somewhat under the radar.
It also can’t be said for sure that this was a purposeful move by LeBron, but the king is a man who moves with intention.
LeBron received a pass from Avery Bradley with no defenders in front of him and James broke out a slam that made everyone in the building stand up. Going into a smooth reverse cradle that you don’t generally see in LeBron’s dunk package.
But then the NBA twitter world immediately put it up on split screen to an old Kobe dunk attempt. Something about it just gets you in your feels. I recommend watching the full video below.
Tim Duncan Wins A Game As Head Coach
This one might not get every NBA fan in their feels, but Tim Duncan winning a game as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs should make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. The soft spoken big man led the Spurs to five championships during his tenure under Greg Popovich, and how he’s back passing on knowledge to a roster that needs it.
It’s a full circle type moment that must have meant a lot to any Spurs or Duncan fan.
Last Quarter Of The All-Star Game
I’m not sure if I was more engaged in any moment of the NBA season thus far than the final untimed quarter of the All-Star Game. To see the league’s most talented players go head-to-head made for some incredibly entertaining basketball.
LeBron vs. Giannis, Joel Embiid vs. everybody, and just all the players doing it in memory of Kobe Bryant. The competition felt real. It’s too bad that the game ended on a free-throw, but my God was it fun.
Ja Morant Over Kevin Love
Ja Morant is a straight up problem. The rookie does freakish things during basketball games on a daily basis, but his craziest highlight might have come in a shot that didn’t go in.
He tried to jump over Kevin Love.
Morant almost did it too, which would have been the hands down best highlight of the season and one of the greatest in game dunks in NBA history. Clearing a grown man on the basketball court just isn’t something that’s supposed to happen.