With only 0.2 seconds left on the shot clock Friday night in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker executed a tap shot involving an over-the-head slap from a distance of about 12 feet with his back to the basket to beat the clock. The shot is being described as the “craziest circus shot of the year.”
With about a minute left to go before half-time and the Jazz up four points, 48-44, the game climaxes in the second quarter with Gordon Hayward in-bounding the ball on the right. With only 0.2 seconds on the shot clock and NBA rules requiring 0.3 seconds to complete a full catch-and-shoot motion, Booker’s only choice for a legal shot was a tip shot.
Watch how the Utah Jazz forward clinches it brilliantly.
Booker moves rightward in to a low post position with his back to the basket with Russell Westbrook breathing down his neck. Thunder defenders position and prepare to block a direct shot from Hayward, but instead of going for a shot, he passes the ball with a bounce to Booker, now positioned facing him on the right sideline with his back to the basket.
Without catching the ball or pausing to look back over his shoulder to gauge the distance to the basket, Booker bends his knees and taps and slaps the ball between both hands, backwards over his head.
The gamble works perfectly: The ball loops over Westbrook and sinks into the basket, neatly, as Hayward, amazed and delighted, raises his hands.
Understandably, the commentator could not believe his eyes and neither could Booker when he looks over his shoulder. The commentator says the following in amazement.
“He doesn’t even touch it… it’s almost as if he’s done it before… I know he’s laughing because he can’t believe it.”
The commentator goes on to describe the shot as defining what he termed a “grandma shot.” The co-host added, “I’ve never seen anything like that in a game, ever.”
“Are you kidding me? I mean, if you want to define the phrase ‘grandma shot,’ that defines the phrase ‘grandma shot.'”
In its post to YouTube, the NBA described Booker’s shot as the “craziest circus shot of the year,” and as the Huffington Post comments, it looks like a trick shot you’d expect to see “in a Harlem Globetrotters skit,” but it happens in a real NBA game.
The videos show Booker’s tap shot from two different angles.
Unfortunately, Booker’s inspired shot was not enough to win the day for the Jazz. Although Utah took a 50-44 lead into halftime, they finally lost 99-94 to the Thunder.
Digital Journal notes that this is not the first time that Booker has secured last minute shots from incredible angles. The video below shows a Booker “buzzer-beater” as a Washington Wizard player against the Denver Nuggets.
Hayward led the Jazz team with 27 points, four rebounds and four assists, while Booker scored eight points and nine rebounds.