In June of 1999, the New York Knicks were playing the San Antonio Spurs in game 5 of the NBA finals. Mid-way through the third quarter, then Knicks point guard Charlie Ward stole the ball from San Antonio's point guard Avery Johnson. Ward made a pass to Latrell Sprewell who charged down the floor for a two-handed jam over Jaren Jackson that almost blew the lid off of Madison Square Garden. Despite losing the game, it was a defining moment of that team's improbable run to the NBA finals as the 8th seed in the Eastern conference.
On January 2nd of 2014, facing the same San Antonio team that had dashed New York's title hopes fifteen years ago, it was Iman Shumpert making a spectacular play late in the game that suddenly gave life to what had been a listless team in the first couple months of the season. With 23 seconds left, Iman Shumpert was able to somehow guide Carmelo Anthony's errant three-point attempt off the backboard and into the basket with one hand. The incredible tip-in put the Knicks up for good, in what was a 105-101 victory. It was a drastically different effort by Shumpert and the Knicks from the 120-89 trouncing that San Antonio gave them on November 10th in New York. That afternoon, Shumpert only scored 3 points. Tonight he scored a career-high 27. Carmelo Anthony also scored 27 points in his return from a sprained ankle, but it was Shumpert's career night that should serve as a catalyst for this team. After being on the trade block earlier this season, Shump started the new year off with a bang, in what could be the game that resurrects the Knicks season.