While Reggie Miller’s back to back three pointers in the waning seconds of a game at Madison Square Garden will be forever remembered, there was another triad of triples that often goes forgotten. Not in my mind, though. I feel like I was watching the game when it happened, but I can’t imagine a Nuggets-Jazz game on national television around that time, so there’s a good chance I just saw the highlights and later came to believe I was watching it live. Regardless of the circumstance, Rogers’ 9 seconds of amazing is one of my greatest memories from the NBA glory days. I was a huge Nuggets fan back then, largely on the heels of their huge first round playoff upset of the Seattle SuperSonics the previous year. I loved guys like Dikembe Mutombo, Chris Jackson aka Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, LaPhonso Ellis, and of course Robert Pack. I also liked Rodney Rogers coming out of Wake Forest, but I could never really make up my mind. I liked his game, but he became more and more of a spot up shooter outside the arc, despite having one of the most impressive frames of anyone on the court. Perhaps this game is what convinced him that he should be a strictly three point shooter, I don’t know. What I love best about this clip is the third basket. He gets the ball and then seeks out the three point line. I also love his teammate, presumably Reggie Williams, grabbing him out of excitement, even though Rogers had to get back on D.
Consider this an RFP of sorts. Rogers hasn’t been away for very long, but some might not know that a little over a year ago, he was severely injured in a dirt bike crash. I don’t know what a 6’7″, 260 lb man was doing on a dirt bike, but that’s not for me to judge. He is now paralyzed from the shoulders down. Add to that, I also learned that his father left him when he was little, his mother suffered a near-fatal car crash when he was 17, that put her in a coma for two weeks and hospitalized her for three months, and his step father passed away two years later. So, despite my mixed feelings about Rodney Rogers the basketball player, the man has paid his dues, and the fact that he can’t, and probably never will be able to walk, just makes this 9 seconds all that much more sweet.