Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals was the best basketball game I remember seeing.
Whether it was the greatest game ever is something that's as likely to be settled as whether Hall of Fame Player X is better than Hall of Fame Player Y, but I for one am leaning towards hyperbole.
Great games aren't just the ones that end in last-second buzzer beaters. Great games are made by situations. And pressure. And stakes. And stars. And stages. And storylines. Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals had all of that.
LeBron James won Cleveland its first title in 52 years, helping them become the first team in NBA history to come back in the finals after being down 3-1. He did so not against any ordinary opponent, but against literally the greatest team in NBA history. The series had scrums and smack-talk and suspensions. Injuries and hard fouls and subtle shots. The two best basketball players on planet earth dueled it out for seven games, and in the end, the youthful, crowd-favorite back-to-back MVP was beaten by the will of a man unrelentingly tested by the media and detested by millions of strangers.
A song entitled "F**k Bron Bron" has over 500K views on YouTube, but that didn't stop the man from getting 27/11/11/2/3 in this game or averaging 30/11//9/2/3 a game for the series. Nor did it stop him from leading the entire NBA Finals in points, rebounds, and assists. Against a team that won 73 out of 82 regular season games.
Kyrie Irving—the OTHER point guard in this series who didn't even make it through Game 1 of last year's finals—dropped the dagger Game 7 three over the best shooter in NBA history with under a minute left. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green—three of the NBA's best young players—experienced the most crushing defeat of their lives. The wife and children of the league's MVP were (and continue to be) mocked on social media. This wasn't basketball, this was theater.
Best game I can remember.—Maurice Peebles