Where Were You In 2004 During Fisher’s 0.4 Shot?

The Lakers-Spurs game was over pretty quick on Sunday.  Once you see Lisa Salters interviewing Bob in the front row about his encounter with Ron Artest, you knew that game was over.  It also allowed Jeff Van Gundy to grace us with a few bonus sessions of his pointless rants.

As the commentators jumped from topic to topic, I began thinking about the 2004 conference semi-final series between LA and San Antonio.  You know?  The series that Derek Fisher hit his famous Game 5 winner with .4 seconds left in San Antonio.

As a Lakers fan, it was one of those historic moments that you will remember exactly where you were watching the game, exactly who you were with, and exactly how you celebrated.  Feel free to leave your experience in the comment section below.

Me?  Well, I was watching the series as I was on vacation in Guatemala.  I lived there for a few years in college and when I had returned I told my parents that I would take them back down at some point.  It turned out we also had some good family friends living in Guatemala at the time, so we figured it was a good time to go.

I saw the first three games before I left the country.  The Spurs led the series 2-1, winning the first two games at home before heading back to Staples Center.  Finding yourself in a two-game deficit leaves little room for hope.  I actually remember flying out to LAX and seeing Staples Center from my window seat and thinking “This all might be over by the time I get back here.”

I really didn’t think I would see much of the remainder of the series, if any, because I was traveling to a third-world country for the next week and I had no idea how much access I would have to see score updates or even a television with American cable.  Low and behold I was able to watch Game 4 in my hotel room at Hotel Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua Guatemala.  Granted, it was in Spanish, but I got to see the game nonetheless.

For those that may not remember, some termed this game as Kobe Bryant’s “Colorado Game”.  He had touched back down in LA about 2.5 hours before tip-off after a full day of court proceedings. He started the game 1-2 at the free-throw line.  The entire Lakers’ fanbase, and the NBA as a whole, was curious as to how Bryant would play after flying out that morning, spending such an emotionally and mentally taxing day in a courtroom, then traveling back a time zone only to switch mental gears and be fully engaged in an NBA playoff game.

He had performed phenomenally in a similar situation in the first round against Houston – 31 points and 10 assists in a 21 point victory.

Bryant got going early with an early three-ball to put LA up by 4.  Lakers lost the lead, but in the 2nd quarter Bryant had a drive and two-handed slam down the middle that let everyone know he was completely involved in the task at hand.  And for all the skeptics, late in the 2nd quarter Bryant made one of his patent circus shots followed by the and-one on the foul.  In the third, He drained a long fadeaway 2-ball as the shot clock expired to keep LA on San Antonio’s heels.  He followed that up with another impossible finish on the foul.  After a long day and 42 points by Bryant, the series was now tied 2-2.

Next: Game 5

I was in the US Navy at the time, stationed on a ship in Mayport (Jacksonville), FL. I was ON base that night at the Mayport, FL Base CLUB/Bar watching the game with NOT too big or small of a crowd. I called it and will FOREVER remember it as the ‘Fisher Sprain’.

About 5-6 years earlier, I’d sprained my Right Pinky after a Fight I got InTo with a friend when I had fallen Back OnTo concreteusing my right hand to backwards to try and stop the fall. I ended up bending my RIGHT pinky finger back so far it sprained and nearly broke. To make this boring story short, it NEVER quite healed correctly Even though I’d signed up for the Navy just months later. I never went to the hospital to get it treated.

Anyway, on THAT night in that Base Club in 2004, about 10 people around me were Laker Haters and were saying the Spurs were going to the finals AFTER that awkward shot that Duncan buried with .4 left. Then came Al Michaels “Derek Fisher SCORES at the buzzer!” I screamed so loud “yeeahh!” and Pounded my right fist OnTo the circular bar table I was sitting at SO HARD I RE-sprained and Fractured my right pinky again. This time it was REALLY fucked up….

To this Day, it hurts when I shake a Strong Mans hand Lol.

-Jonathan Shyjayb from Facebook.

  • I was a senior in high school, watching the game at home with my family…my grandma was unwell at the time, so we also had a lot of visiting relatives that didn’t care about basketball but knew how much I did and had to suffer accordingly!! haha. But yes, I remember sitting on my couch with my heart pounding in my chest… I always get so nervous watching close games. I was so ecstatic to be up by 1 with 5 secs to go, seemed like it would all work out. When Duncan hit that shot, I thought I was going to collapse in a puddle of tears. I was so distraught because .4 seemed like an impossibly short amount of time to do anything… My dad kept saying it would be alright, we have one more shot. And when D Fish made it, my dad made a noise I’ve never heard him make before and jumped around like a lunatic while I sat on the couch frozen in shock, but so soooo happy! I will never forget it as long as I live =)

  • I was at my friends house watching the entire game. After kobe hit the first shot I was sure the game was over and then duncan hit that circus shot. I was in the prayer position and immediately cursed the heavens. The whole room went silent. I thought the clock would expire before we could get the shot off but fish did it. Amazing shot, amazing game!

  • I was a sophomore in high school, at home, watching the game alone. My parents were sleeping. I remember thinking Kobe’s done it again when he made his shot with 11 seconds to go. Then when Duncan threw the ball and made it, my heart sunk. But then I saw .4 seconds on the clock, and I had a feeling the Lakers would make it off a catch and shot on the inbounds. And sure enough Fisher did. I had to contain myself so I wouldn’t make up my parents.

  • I was at my parents house watching the game with my dad, we went nuts when Kobe hit the shot with 11 to go. Then it was dead silent when Duncan made his shot, we were about to turn off the TV when I said lets just make sure its over. The shot went up and in and my dad in eye jumped in to eachothers arms screaming. He started running around the island in our kitchen and my mom came in and told us to shut up because she was on a phone call.

    This is a moment that I will never forget! Thank you Derek Fisher!

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