VanVleet on Kawhi Leonard's Shot vs. 76ers: '4 Bounces Felt Like 20 Minutes'May 3, 2020
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet had a perfect view of teammate Kawhi Leonard hitting his legendary buzzer-beater against the Philadelphia 76ers last year, but his memory of the shot is similar to everyone else who was watching.
VanVleet discussed what he remembers from the moment Sunday on SportsCenter:
"Just how long that it bounced up there on the rim. I think that we all kind of knew what the play was. Obviously, we knew he liked that spot on the baseline. And then once he let it go, I think from where I was on the bench it didn't look like it was going in. And it bounced and those four bounces felt like 20 minutes. And then once it dropped, I think the whole arena just felt, our fans, felt a sigh of relief."
The shot came in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Toronto getting the ball with 4.2 seconds left in a tie game. Leonard took control and put up a shot that seemed to hang around forever before dropping:
It was the first Game 7 buzzer-beater in NBA history, and it helped continue the Raptors' path to an NBA championship in 2019.
VanVleet, who was just a few feet behind Leonard on the Raptors bench at the time, likely won't forget it any time soon.