Few plays in a basketball game are more mundane than a trip to the free throw line. Sure, it could be exciting if the game is on the line, but for the most part it's a pretty standard procedure. However, Giannis Antetokounmpo's unusual routine has been quite the conversation starter in the 2021 NBA playoffs.
Antetokounmpo turns plenty of heads when he makes that trip to the charity stripe. The Milwaukee Bucks two-time MVP has become infamous for taking too long to shoot free throws. His lengthy habit is so noticeable that he's been called for the violation multiple times.
Players and fans alike have taken notice of Antetokounmpo's somewhat frequent run-in with this rule. As a result, opposing crowds have adopted a battle cry in the form of a 10-second countdown when he approaches the line. The chant can be effective, as it has shown to result in an airball or two. Despite the extended period of time that Antetokounmpo spends at the line, he owns a below-par free throw average of 54%.
In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Phoenix Suns fans continued this newly-minted tradition of helping him keep track of his time at the line.
On Nov. 23, 1984, Doug Flutie heaves one up and his Hail Mary is caught by Gerard Phelan to lift Boston College over Miami.
After the game, Antetokounmpo was questioned about if he's noticed the new trend.
"Of course, 20,000 people yelling, 'one, two, three, four,'" he said. "You know, there's times that the first free throw I hear it, but the fifth one, sixth one, I'm not hearing no more and I'm just focusing on what I've got to do and my routine."
During the Eastern Conference semifinals, James Harden wasn't shy about expressing displeasure with his opponent's rather time-consuming procedure.
On May 7, 1995, Reggie Miller shocks Madison Square Garden with an unbelievably clutch closing stretch to steal a 107-105 victory for the Pacers.
According to the NBA's Rule No. 9, Section 1-a: "When a free throw is awarded, an official shall put the ball in play by delivering it to the free throw shooter. The shooter shall be above the free throw line and within the upper half of the free throw circle. He shall attempt the free throw within 10 seconds of controlling the ball in such a way that the ball enters the basket or touches the ring."
In other words, the time Antetokounmpo spends at the line rivals Usain Bolt's 100-meter sprint. (Bolt holds the world record at 9.58 seconds, by the way.)
"It takes a shorter time for Usain Bolt to run a 100-yard dash than it does Giannis to shoot a free-throw."— ESPN (@espn) June 11, 2021
However, Bolt isn't the only one that can keep up with Antetokounmpo. Get your stopwatches ready -- here are a few other legendary sports plays that have happened within the same amount of time.
LeBron's chase down block
On Jan. 1, 2007, Boise State head coach Chris Petersen pulled out all the stops to lead the Broncos past the Sooners in OT at the Fiesta Bowl.
With less than two minutes remaining in Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, then-Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James chased down then-Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala and blocked his layup attempt. This sequence kept the score knotted at 89 until Cleveland won the game with a four point margin that ended the city's 52-year championship drought.
On Nov. 9, 2002, Kentucky celebrates prematurely, and Marcus Randall's heave gets deflected and caught by Devery Henderson as time expires.
The Hail Flutie, aka Miracle in Miami, is one of the most memorable moments in sports history. Flutie's legendary status was firmly established with a last second 64-yard heave to the end zone that his roommate Gerard Phelan hauled in for the game-winning touchdown as the Boston College Eagles upset the Miami Hurricanes, 47-45. A week later, Flutie won the Heisman Trophy.
Reggie Miller's miraculous comeback
Eight points. Nine seconds. Yeah, you read that right. Reggie Miller is responsible for one of the most impressive comeback victories in NBA history. The Indiana Pacers trailed the New York Knicks 105-99 with 18.7 seconds remaining in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinal. That's when the Hall of Famer put on an absolute scoring clinic to end the game. Along with a 107-105 victory, the Pacers went on to win the series in seven games.
Boise State's Statue of Liberty
The Boise State Broncos dipped into their bag of tricks to come out on top in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. With the game on the line, the Broncos lined up for a two point and the win with a particularly gutsy play in mind. Quarterback Jared Zabransky faked a pass and slipped the ball behind his back with poise that'd make Lady Liberty jealous. Then running back Ian Johnson grabbed the ball and sped around the left into the end zone. Oh, and Johnson proposed to his cheerleader girlfriend on the sideline after securing the 47-45 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners.
On the final play of the game, LSU Tigers quarterback Marcus Randall launched the ball from his own 18-yard line. Shortly after the ball was released, Kentucky Wildcats fans rushed onto the field. Although the pass was well short of the end zone, the ball was deflected off the hand of a Kentucky player and landed into the hands of Devery Henderson. The LSU receiver broke through Kentucky's last line of defense, an attempt at a shoestring tackle, and scored the game-winning touchdown.