Epic NBA Games iTunes Should Sell
In other words, awesome!
Unless you've got the desire to go out and buy countless DVD box sets, DVR everything on NBA TV and have kept the old VHS tapes that I know you all meticulously used to record nationally televised games from the 90s, it's incredibly difficult to get ahold of classic basketball games.
So far iTunes offers games from nearly every era of basketball, including; Game 4 of the 2000 Finals, Pistol Pete's NBA debut, Game 1 of the 1997 Finals, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA debut, Game 6 of the 1984 Finals, Game 7 of the 1987 Finals, Michael Jordan's "Shot on Ehlo", Moses Malone and the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers, and an old Bullets-Knicks game.
In other words, I just spent $20.
Obviously this is a tiny selection from nearly 60 years of professional basketball, and the league's got a long way to go before it makes everybody happy, but I figured I'd help them pick out their next wave of games to sell via iTunes.
Game 5, Eastern Conference Finals 2007
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The 2007 NBA Finals was easily one of the worst Finals in the history of the game thanks to the San Antonio Spurs dominance over the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Cavs series against the Detroit Pistons in the previous round was truly a classic.
Of the six games in the series, the turning point was game five, without a doubt. In fact, that game was the turning point of the rivalry between the Pistons and the Cavs, one dominated by Detroit in the previous years.
Game five was, of course, the famous LeBron James takeover game in which he scored 48 points en route to Cleveland's 109-107 double-overtime win.
Not only that, but LeBron scored Cleveland's final 25 points and 29 of their final 30 in a display that showed he was no longer on his way to becoming one of the league's best players--he was already there.
Pistons-Nuggets, December 13, 1983
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
It's one of the few regular season games on the list, but the Detroit Pistons-Denver Nuggets game back in December of 1983 happens to be one of the most memorable regular season games in the history of the league.
A triple-overtime finish was what the fans got in Denver between a pair of mediocre teams, but it was so much more than that.
12 players scored in double-figures, five scored at least 30 points, Kiki Vandeweghe put up 51, and Alex English and Isiah Thomas each scored 47.
It was, of course, the highest scoring game in NBA history with a combined 370 points en route to a 186-184 finish.
Kobe's 81-Point Game
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Sure, it gets aired on NBA TV every other week, and we all know what goes down in the game. Kobe scores a ton.
However, with his game against the Toronto Raptors from back in 2006 the highest-scoring individual performance in the history of the NBA (that was actually video taped), so we've got to throw it on the list now don't we.
Kobe detractors will always call it the finest example of ball-hoggery, but it is, and always will be the single greatest scoring performance over the course of a full game of this century.
At least until Kevin Durant scores 94 in a game a few years from now.
Game 7 of the 1962 NBA Finals
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
It's Lakers-Celtics in an overtime game seven that still sticks out in the rivalry all these years later thanks to a huge performance by Morgan Freeman--er, Bill Russell.
Boston had just won on the road over the Lakers to stay alive in a game where six members of the Celtics scored in double-figures.
Game seven would be all Russell. He pulled out a dominant 30-point, 40-rebound performance that sealed the game for the Celtics in overtime.
Not only did Russel have a huge game, but there was a 27-point performance from Sam Jones, Fank Ramsey score 23, Elgin Baylor see-sawed his way to 41 points and Jerry West showed off his jumper with 35 points.
Game 6 of the 2003 NBA Finals
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Some individual performances are just too much to see once, Tim Duncan's game in the clincher of the 2003 Finals is one that needs to be seen over and over again to really appreciate it.
The game that he put together was easily one of the best performances in a clincher of the Finals in the history of the game, but it also goes up as one of the best overall performances in NBA history.
Duncan had a modest 21 points on 9-19 shooting, which isn't terribly impressive. However, throw that in with 20 rebounds, 10 assists and a dominant eight blocks and you've got yourselves a near-triple-double to watch on your iPad.
It was one for the ages, and I would easily shell out a two dollar bill to put it on whenever I've got a bit of down time.
Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images
If ever there was a performance that I would be dying to watch in any situation, it's any player throwing down a quadruple-double.
With such a dominant all-around performance, the guy putting up the quad-dub would have to be involved in every single play on the floor.
Most recently was David Robinson's 34 points paired with 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks.
Of course, there's also Hakeem Olajuwan's 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 11 blocks.
Through the annals of time, the NBA has also watched as Alvin Robertson and Nate Thurmond quad-dubbed their way into the history books.
Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
In one of the most memorable performances of the 1980s, Magic Johnson's start at the center spot for the Lakers in game six of the 1980 Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers showed that he was already a star in the NBA.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in five games at the center spot, but he was ruled out of game six and Magic had to step in.
Sure he stood just 6'9", but he towered above the rest of the guys on the floor with his determination, and he ended up scoring 42 points as he led the Lakers to a 123-107 victory and their first NBA Championship of the Magic Johnson Era.
Games 3 & 7 from the 1970 NBA Finals
Regardless of the quality of the games, the 1970 NBA Finals would always be remembered because of the New York Knicks winning their first Championship.
However, the games were magnificent, and something that we should be able to take a gander at any time we like.
The most famous of the seven game series was the "Willis Reed" game in the seventh and final game of the season. Willis Reed played with a torn muscle in his right thigh, scored the first two buckets and then turned the game over to Walt Frazier. Frazier clinched the series with 36 points and a dominant 19 assists.
The lesser appreciated of the two amazing games in the series was game three with one of the most amazing back-and-forth sequences in the history of the game.
Jerry West hit a bucket to tie the game with 15 seconds to go, only to watch as Dave DeBusschere hit a jumper to put the Knicks back up by two. What does West do? Just hit a 63-footer to send the game into overtime.
New York ended up winning, but if the game would have happened less than a decade into the future, it would be remembered as the greatest game-winner the NBA's ever seen.
Anything Involving Michael Jordan or Wilt Chamberlain
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
Straight up, there's no question that anything involving either Wilt Chamberlain or Michael Jordan would go into my hard drive instantly. It could be a game in which Chamberlain was 36 and scored a dozen points, I would buy it just to see him play.
I've got the same exact attitude toward Michael Jordan, even though I was actually alive during the Jordan Era.
If any Jordan Bulls game goes on sale, I'm gobbling it up.
There's just nothing like watching Jordan play, and I'm assuming that there's the same sentiment toward Chamberlain.
Game 5, 1976 NBA Finals
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
It's been called the greatest game ever played. Even during the game Rick Barry called it "The most exciting basketball game I've ever seen."
Boston dominated in the first half, up 61-47. It looked as if they were going to coast to the end of the game and go up three games to two over the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix rallied, however, and went on to tie the game up at 95 apiece by the end of regulation.
This game had everything; unacknowledged timeouts, intentional timeouts when there were none to be called leading to purposeful technical fouls, buzzer-beaters, unexpected heroes, and just bedlam from start to finish.
Boston went on to win 128-126 under Jo Jo White's 33 points, 26 from Dave Cowens, and a clutch six points from seldom-used Glenn McDonald in the third overtime, leading to Boston's win.