MIAMI — “I knew it was going to be close, obviously.”
Spurs G Tony Parker accepts that his game-winning circus shot to clinch Game 1 of the NBA Finals for the Spurs will probably go down as the biggest shot of his career. But he’s also certain of one thing that seemed to be in doubt when the shot went down: He definitely got it off in time.
“Oh, yeah. I looked at the clock when I fell down, and I turned around,” Parker said with a laugh a day after the shot, while walking through a deserted hall underneath Miami’s American Airlines Arena. “I looked at the clock so I knew I had a little time to pump fake and just get it up.”
So you’re sure, Tony? Even as the refs reviewed the play and you saw the replay, you weren’t a little nervous that maybe, just maybe, the ball had not left your hand before the shot clock buzzer sounded? Even after you saw just how close it was? As the replay seemed to rock from frame to frame and we all squinted and strained to make sure the ball had lost contact with your fingers? There wasn’t even a tiny bit of doubt that you had not gotten the shot off in time?
“Ah no, no. No, no, no, no. I thought it was good. That’s why I screamed so hard — I knew that it was good.”
While the referees agreed after viewing the replay that Parker was able to get the shot away before the shot clock buzzer, it was certainly incredibly close. Just how close? According to Steve Hellmuth, the Executive Vice President, Operations and Technology for NBA Entertainment, there are sixty frames of video per second. So each frame of video represents about one-sixtieth of a second, or roughly 16 milliseconds. (One millisecond is equal to 1/1000 of a second.)
“My estimate in looking at the video,” Hellmuth said, when asked to break down exactly how much time Parker’s release beat the buzzer by, “is that it is a little bit more than a frame, a hair more than a 60th of a second. It definitely wasn’t two frames of video, so it wasn’t more than 33 milliseconds.”
What else can occur in 16 milliseconds? According to Wikipedia, that’s just enough time for a honeybee to flap its wings three times. So not much time at all.
“To me, it was a great example of the NBA being completely transparent with the fans, the people in the arena, in search for truth with the best tools that we can,” Hellmuth said “All anybody ever wants — the teams, the fans, the players — is the right answer.”
“Longest 24 seconds I’ve ever been a part of,” LeBron James said of the play after the game. Unfortunately for Bron and the Heat, tape don’t lie: It actually was only 24 seconds. Even if the Spurs and Tony Parker used every millisecond of it.
By the way, Parker sat down today with NBA TV’s David Aldridge and broke the play down in detail. Check it out tonight on “Game Time” on NBA TV at 7:00 PM EST.