The 10 most iconic NBA moments of all-time

Magic Johnson with his junior Skyhook
Magic Johnson with his junior Skyhook

There have been many iconic moments throughout NBA history, and there'll be many more. We've collected some of the league's most iconic moments since its inception.

We won't be ranking them in order based on how iconic they are. They'll be listed, but that doesn't mean one moment is more iconic than the other. This piece transcends decades and will involve certain instances from different years that have passed.

Here are the 10 most iconic NBA moments of all time.

Michael Jordan's "The Shot"

Michael Jordan had his awesome moments while playing for the Chicago Bulls. The one that stands out the most is his clutch midrange shot over Craig Ehlo of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Their first-round matchup in the 1989 playoffs has remained iconic, including his celebration after making the shot.


Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game

In March 1962, Wilt Chamberlain proved to everyone that he was one of the greatest basketball players of all time by scoring 100 points in a single game. This accomplishment has remained the most memorable among his plethora of achievements. To this day, no player has broken his record.

LeBron James' block

Defense wins games. This saying came true after LeBron James chased down Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals. The game has been embedded in the brains of all Cleveland Cavaliers fans because of how it gave them their first NBA title.


Magic Johnson's skyhook

During the 1987 NBA Finals, the LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics battled it out. Game 4 had fans on the edge of their seats. To seal the win for the Lakers, Magic Johnson scored on a clutch skyhook over the Celtics.


Kobe Bryant's 81-point game

Kobe Bryant was notorious for being a cold-blooded scorer. Bryant proved to be one of the best scorers in January 2006, when he had 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.


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Michael Jordan's return

After winning his first three titles, Jordan took a break from basketball and became a minor league baseball player. From 1993-1995, MJ swung the bat, and NBA fans have missed him dearly. But that changed when he announced his return to the league through a two-word press release: "I'm back."


Ray Allen saves the Heat

The Miami Heat were fresh off a title win and had just made their way back to the NBA Finals. Facing the San Antonio Spurs, the Heat's season was on the line.


Thanks to the heroics of Ray Allen, Miami prevailed and won their second title in a row.

Michael Jordan's flu game

Jordan has had many iconic games. One of the most memorable moments of his career was his "Flu Game." In the 1997 Finals, the Bulls matched up against the Utah Jazz with an ill MJ. He was lucky to still be able to perform at a high level and seal the win with 38 points.


Malice at the Palace

Malice at the Palace changed the entire league and how it was viewed. In November 2004, 10 players from the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons got suspended. This was after an all-out brawl between the players that ultimately got fans involved.


Steph Curry's clutch 3-pointer

In the 2015-16 season, Steph Curry was starting to change the league. Against the OKC Thunder, Curry made an epic game-winning 3-pointer that sealed their fate.


Also read: NBA 2023 Playoffs odds for each team explored

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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