Ray Allen’s miracle clutch-shot in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals completely changed the history of the league. People say that shot saved LeBron James’ legacy but it goes way beyond that. It created a domino effect that altered the course of basketball as we know it.
If Chris Bosh didn’t grab that rebound and find Allen for the open three, the San Antonio Spurs would’ve won their sixth championship. This time on the road, this time vs. one of the most overpowered teams the league had ever seen.
Not even Heat fans thought they would be able to pull that comeback off and force Game 7. As you may remember, several of them had already left the arena when Allen knocked down ‘The Shot’. But how much things would have changed if that never happened? Let’s take a look:
Tim Duncan Becomes A Top-5 Player Of All-Time, Being 6-0 In The Finals
Tim Duncan is one of the greatest players of all time. There’s absolutely no doubt about it and he has the numbers and personal accolades to back it up, even if we don’t often bring his name up in the GOAT conversation. If Allen missed the shot, things would have been different.
Duncan would have won his sixth NBA Championship and more importantly, he would have tied Michael Jordan’s record of 6-0 in the NBA Finals. Combine that with 2 MVPs, 3 Finals MVPs, 15 All-Star Games, 15 All-Defensive teams, 15 All-NBA, and the Rookie of the Year award and it would be tough not to put him in the top 5.
LeBron’s Legacy Severely Damaged As Finals Record Drops To 1-5 (2-7 Today)
LeBron James’ only stain on his remarkable resume will always be his losing record in the NBA Finals. He’s 3-6 right now and still gets a lot of criticism for that, despite the fact that making it to the Finals 9 times (8 straight) is almost as impressive as winning 3 Championships.
But if Allen’s shot didn’t go in, he would have won just 2 rings thus far. If he gets hate for being 3-6, just imagine how much the media and his haters would have destroyed him and his legacy if that number dropped to 1-5 that time and 2-7 all-time.
Dwyane Wade Finishes Career With Only 2 Rings
Dwayne Wade is not only one of the greatest shooting guards of all time but also one of the most dominant players during his time in the league. He won 3 Championships over his 16-year career, which is far more than most players can brag about.
However, if Ray Allen missed The Shot, he would have retired with just two rings under his belt. Perhaps he would have never joined his hometown Chicago Bulls as he would leave the Heat to join a Championship contender instead or maybe he would have never left South Beach.
The ‘Big 3’ Heat Only Go 1-3 In The Finals Together
Paul Pierce drew a lot of criticism for stating that the Miami Heat’s Big 3 underachieved. Even if that biased statement was a bit of a stretch, he would’ve been totally right if Ray Allen hadn’t knocked down that epic three-pointer.
The Big 3 would have beaten just an inexperienced Oklahoma City Thunder team in the Finals after a lock-out season. They would have gone down in history as the team that the Spurs beat twice and Dirk Nowitzki’s underdog Mavericks embarrassed.
Gregg Popovich Gets 6 Rings
There are few people that could argue that Gregg Popovich is the greatest basketball mastermind of all time. He’s one of the most respected coaches in all major sports and for good reason. He’s built a remarkable, winning culture throughout his career in the league.
And if Ray Allen hadn’t knocked down that three, Popovich would have been 6-0 in the NBA Finals and would have 6 rings. The Spurs have always been a prime destination for free agents wanting to contend for a ring, and this would only add up to that.
Kawhi Leonard Would Have Another Ring On His Resume
Kawhi Leonard rose to stardom in the 2014 NBA Finals. His outstanding defense and unexpected offensive contributions granted him the Finals MVP distinction despite being a somewhat unknown player for most of his young career.
Now, Kawhi is one of the best two-way players of all -time and has a couple of rings under his belt with a 2-1 record in the Finals. If Allen’s shot hadn’t gone in, he’d be 3-0 with 3 rings on his resume and would be pursuing his 4th Championship with a third team, which would arguably make him a top-10 player of all-time already.