This Post Has Been Updated. Check Out the New Version with More Shots Suggested by Readers.
Our Valentines day gift for hoops fans, the visualization below is an Interactive video collection of the most important and amazing shots in NBA history, mapped by location and year. We asked the authors of some of our favorite basketball blogs to submit their favorites and then rounded out the list to get to 65 total shots.
The court is divided by camera view. Shots that are scored on the left side of the video frame are on the left side of the court diagram (blue circles). Shots scored on the right side of the video frame are on the right side of the court diagram (white circles). So if you see a white circle on the left side of the court, that shot was taken beyond half court. Just click the circle to call up the video of the shot.
We actually got the inspiration for this visualization from a poster on the wall in a local bar. The poster maps the most important plays in Celtics history on a single illustration of the court. We were excited about mapping the greatest shots for the entire history of the NBA, but adding the video really made the project compelling for us.
We were pretty happy with the variety of shots both in terms of location distribution, and in terms of what makes them great. The shots range from game winning buzzer beaters, to devastating dunks, and half court shots. A couple of our favorites: Jeff Malone’s 1984 running out of bounds 3 point shot, Shaq tearing down the back board and hitting himself in the head with the shot clock, and Kevin Johnson’s 1994 dunk on Olajuwon.
We were psyched that some of the bloggers we read were willing to submit shot suggestions. They came up with a lot of shots we would not have thought of. You can find their suggestions in the “contributor” section.
Basketball’s BlogFather and creator of ESPN’s TrueHoop.com.
Star of The Basketball Jones and triple threat (TV, Podcast and Blog…snappy dresser).
NBA statistics virtuoso over at Arturo’s Silly Stats.
Professor at the University of Michigan and teaching a groundbreaking course called “Cultures of Basketball”. Read more on his amazing blog.
The infographic guru and our inspiration over at InfoJocks.com. Amazing sports themed infographics and art.
There were a few shots we wanted to add but could not find the footage for, most notably the shot Bill Walton blocked by throwing his sneaker. If you find footage of that shot on YouTube, or make a compelling case for a shot that should be added, we will try to add it to the interface.
Thanks to YouTube for sharing their API and to all those who posted the videos. Huge thanks also to Hoopism contributors Matt and Jon Gordon for compiling the majority of the list and their input along the way. Make sure to follow them both on twitter @matogo18 and @JGordo92