New York Knicks fans, cover your eyes. Because this still hurts to watch.
Eighteen years to the day, the sharp-shooting Reggie Miller scored eight points in nine seconds to lift the Indiana Pacers to victory in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Eighteen years later, Miller and Spike Lee were on the court together again, this time Miller as a commentator with TNT, and Lee in his usual garb, wandering the floors of Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks were up, 105-99, with a mere 18.7 seconds left. Indiana had the ball, but a comeback was simply out of the question.
But then, Miller drilled a weak-side three off the inbounds pass, and suddenly, New York's lead was cut to three. Still, there were just 16.4 seconds remaining. The Knicks would hit their free throws and then move on to Game 2.
Byron Scott and Miller doubled up Greg Anthony, who then fell to the floor after either tangling his feet with one of his two defenders or attempting to engage in some old-school flopping.
Miller picked off Anthony Mason's inbounds pass—which you could just tell was going to happen as soon as it left his hands—dribbled behind the three-point line and buried another trey.
By now, Miller had scored six points in just 5.7 seconds, tied the game and sent Madison Square Garden into a fit of astonishment and tears. And that would have been enough for anyone. But not Miller.
New York inbounded the ball successfully (for a change) on the next possession and Indiana sent John Starks to the foul line for two shots. Starks missed both of his free throws because of course he had to. That's just how things had been going for the Knicks over the last few seconds.
Fortunately, Patrick Ewing grabbed the offensive rebound off the second miss. Unfortunately, he missed a shot of his own. The rebound was snagged by none other than the Knicks killer himself, Mr. Miller. Keeping in theme with New York's collapse, the Knicks fouled him.
After taunting Spike Lee and the rest of the crowd, Miller went to the line and sank a pair of free throws. The Pacers had won Game 1 and would go on to win the series in seven games.
Had the Knicks not incurred the wrath of Reggie in the waning seconds of Game 1, they may have moved on to the Eastern Conference Finals. And who knows what could have happened from there?
Maybe they beat the Magic and make it to the NBA Finals. Maybe they then beat the Houston Rockets for the franchise's third championship. And maybe Pat Riley doesn't resign and go on to coach/build a championship powerhouse with the Miami Heat.
We just don't know.
In just nine seconds, Miller stunned the Knicks, arguably altered the course of the entire franchise and became one of the most hated athletes in New York, ever. He also solidified his status as one of the most clutch playoff performers in NBA history.
Asked years later why he went for that second three instead of opting for an easy two, Miller smiled.
"I wanted to drive a stake through their heart," he said (via Rick Weinberg of ESPN.com).
Which he did, inflicting a wound that has yet to heal nearly two decades later.