In the final seconds, who do you want to have the ball in their hands for the final shot?
Steph Curry, arguably the NBA’s greatest shooter of all time and three-time NBA champion, or Oakland’s very own Damian Lillard, owner of not one, but two series-ending 3-pointers in the postseason with the Portland Trail Blazers?
NBC Sports posed this question Sunday on social media, also including two of the Warriors’ greatest rivals in Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Houston Rockets guard James Harden.
One shot to WIN the game. Who do you want with the ball? pic.twitter.com/gE7g8gHAxu
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 3, 2020
While both Harden and James have some clutch buzzer-beaters against the Warriors in their past, we’re going to focus on Lillard and Curry as the two finalists for who’d take the final shot.
No player has changed the 3-pointer in basketball more than Steph, who now has kids around the world pulling up for 3s in transition and attempting his infamous logo shots in-game.
[RELATED: Steve Kerr didn’t want Warriors ‘Last Dance’ like Michael Jordan’s Bulls]
Curry also is no stranger to clutch moments, producing some legendary game-winners in his storied career.
Four years ago today, Steph ascended to peak MVP mode
💧 46 PTS💧 14-24 FG💧 12-16 3PT💧 Broke his own 3s record (season)
💧 Splashed 40-foot buzzer-beater in OT pic.twitter.com/EtnGhH1xN0
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 27, 2020
Stephen Curry FOR THE WIN! 🔥🔥🔥 #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/3VWDVGGosr
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 4, 2018
But when it comes to just one shot for the win, regardless of the moment, give me Lillard each and every time.
#8 | TOP 20 CLUTCH PLAYS – 2010s@Dame_Lillard sinks the SERIES game-winner in May 2014! #TissotBuzzerBeater #ThisIsYourTime pic.twitter.com/TFdnCXxEay
— NBA (@NBA) December 28, 2019
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 12, 2019
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) November 11, 2019
There are few scenes as iconic as Lillard waving at Russell Westbrook and his Oklahoma City teammates after he vanquished the Thunder with that shot.
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You can argue that Curry’s playoff success makes him more clutch, but Lillard has never had a teammate better than C.J. McCollum and has carried Portland for years. Steph always has been the leader of the Warriors, but a supporting cast featuring multiple perennial All-Stars as well as several years of the NBA’s most dangerous offensive player in Kevin Durant made advancing in the postseason a little less arduous.
NBA players seem to concur, denoting Lillard as the league’s most clutch player back in 2018 during the NBA Players’ Association awards.
— NBPA (@TheNBPA) June 4, 2018
The final few minutes of an NBA game should just be known as “Dame Time,” because Lillard always seems to find a way when it counts.
[RUNNIN’ PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
Four episodes into the documentary, “The Last Dance” has lived up to the hype.
Last weekend, we got a glimpse into the bitter rivalry between Michael Jordan’s Bulls and the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons.
Dennis Rodman, the fiery, flashy, combustible member of the Bulls, was profiled, and his infamous Las Vegas vacation was arguably the highlight of episodes 3 and 4.
This weekend, in episodes 5 and 6, the 1998 Eastern Conference finals between the Bulls and Indiana Pacers will be featured.
The 1997-98 season was Chris Mullin’s first away from the Warriors after being traded to Indiana for Erick Dampier and Duane Ferrell.
In a story written by ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Mullin recalled how the Bulls put Scottie Pippen on Pacers point guard Mark Jackson to neutralize him in Game 7.
“Scottie was beating the s–t out of Mark the whole way up the court,” Mullin said. “That was legal then. Game 7 was like a UFC match.”
We can’t wait for this Sunday’s episodes.
[RELATED: Kerr didn’t want ‘Last Dance’ for Warriors]
Here’s the schedule for “The Last Dance,” and how you can watch:
Sunday, May 36 p.m. PT | Premiere of Episode 5
7 p.m. PT | Premiere of Episode 6
Sunday, May 106 p.m. PT | Premiere of Episode 7
7 p.m. PT | Premiere of Episode 8
Sunday, May 176 p.m. PT | Premiere of Episode 9
7 p.m. PT | Premiere of Episode 10
Live Stream: ESPN App
[RUNNIN’ PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
Everybody knows Michael Jordan has the most popular basketball shoes in the world.
Jordan’s kicks are a status symbol, and are always among the best selling shoes.
But based value of shoe deals from May 2018 to May 2019 published by Forbes last year, we have an idea of just how popular Jordan’s shoes are.
According to Forbes, Michael Jordan made an estimated $145M in endorsements from May 2018 to May 2019, $130M of which came from Air Jordan. That is nearly four times the next-closest shoe deal.
The Last Dance continues tonight at 9 ET on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/klLyAymopC
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 3, 2020
That’s right. Jordan, who hasn’t played in the NBA since 2003, is lapping his modern-day competition with a deal valued at $130 million per year.
Warriors superstar Steph Curry, who is the face of Under Armour, made $20 million during that calendar year.
LeBron James, who has a lifetime contract with Nike, isn’t even close to Jordan. Yes, $32 million is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s a fraction of Jordan’s deal.
[RELATED: Steph’s latest Curry 7 tribute to Dub Nation]
It’s not surprising that Jordan’s shoes still sell so well. After all, he is the GOAT. But the fact that the value of his shoe deal is so high is kind of stunning.
If LeBron can’t even come close, no one ever will.