It's 'Turn back the clock' night!
On Saturday night, the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat will replay the final 51.9 seconds of their Dec. 19 overtime game.
The Hawks believed they won that game 117-111, but commissioner David Stern overturned the result because Atlanta's stat crew incorrectly disqualified Miami's Shaquille O'Neal after his fifth foul.
Never mind that Shaq has since been traded to the Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Never mind that the Hawks have since acquired Mike Bibby. Confused? It all gets explained here.
Rich Clarkson/Getty Images
The Americans thought they'd won in '72, until the refs told them the game wasn't over.
Upon further review
• 1972 Olympic men's basketball gold-medal game, 1972: The U.S., 62-0 in Olympic competition, led the U.S.S.R. 50-49 with three seconds left. Twice the Americans appeared to have won the game, but thanks to two controversial referee calls -- one regarding a timeout, the other a clock malfunction -- the Soviets got three cracks at winning the game and scored on the third. If the Americans hadn't lost, perhaps they would still be undefeated in international competition today.
• 2002 NBA Western Conference finals, Game 6: In a fiercely fought series that went seven games, referees awarded the Lakers an astounding 27 fourth-quarter free throws in a tight Game 6 victory. If the Kings had won that game, they would've gone on to the NBA Finals and likely beaten the Nets to win the NBA title -- meaning Kings players such as Scot Pollard and Doug Christie would've become legends, and "The Christies: Committed" would've become a huge hit.
WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?Midway through the third quarter of the Nets-76ers game on Nov. 8, 1978, New Jersey's Bernard King was given two technicals by referee Richie Powers, giving King three technicals in the game and an ejection. Then Nets head coach Kevin Loughery was also given his second and third technicals of the game and an ejection. Assistant Phil Jackson took the reins for the Nets, who went on to lose 137-133 in double overtime. The Nets protested, claiming that players and coaches can only get two technicals before ejection and that the the 76ers were awarded four extra free throws. Commissioner Larry O'Brien upheld the protest and ordered the game to completed, starting when King was ejected -- 5:50 left in the third quarter with the 76ers up 84-81. O'Brien also suspended Powers for five games for the error. King remained ejected when the game restarted, but Loughery was allowed to coach because his ejection came after King's. Before the game was completed on March 23, 1979, the Nets traded Eric Money and Al Skinner to the 76ers for Harvey Catchings, Ralph Simpson and cash. So when the game was completed, those players has switched sides. The 76ers ultimately won 123-117. Money scored 23 points for the Nets and four for the 76ers. Catchings didn't score for the 76ers but had eight points and four rebounds for the Nets. Simpson scored eight points for the 76ers but didn't score for the Nets. Skinner didn't play for either team.
--ESPN research dept.
• The 1985-86 season of "Saturday Night Live": Right after Billy Crystal and Martin Short left, and before Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman arrived, there was one season anchored by the likes of Randy Quaid and Anthony Michael Hall. When the best part of your season is a guy's impression of Nancy Reagan, a public apology is in order at the very least.
• 1993 NBA Western Conference finals, Game 7: The Suns defeated the SuperSonics 123-110 to advance to the NBA Finals against the Bulls. Charles Barkley led the way with an incredible 44-point, 24-rebound performance, but Seattle fans were irate that the Suns were awarded 64 free throws -- making 57, tying an NBA record. If the Suns had lost that game, Barkley never would have reached an NBA Finals, and he almost certainly wouldn't make Dwyane Wade's Fave 5.
• Colorado at Missouri football, 1990: In what's now known as the "Fifth Down Game," the referees gave Colorado an extra down late in the fourth quarter, enabling the Buffaloes to score the winning touchdown to defeat Missouri 33-31. Colorado subsequently split the national championship with Georgia Tech. If Colorado had lost to Mizzou, Georgia Tech would have been the clear-cut national champion -- or as clear-cut a champion as you can have in a sport that still relies on polls and a computer system to determine its champion.
• Ohio State vs. Miami, Fiesta Bowl, 2003: The Buckeyes defeated the Hurricanes 31-24 in double overtime to win the national title -- but the game is remembered for a questionable fourth-down pass interference call against the Hurricanes late in the first OT. The Buckeyes eventually won on a Maurice Clarett touchdown run. If Clarett can wrangle a work-release furlough, we might be able to make this one happen.
AP Photo/Fred Jewell
If only MJ had gone out for good on this shot.
• The Grammys, 1981: "Christopher Cross" beat out Pink Floyd's "The Wall" for best album. Nuff said. Have you ever heard the song "Sailing" and not laughed? OK, you're not supposed to.
• 1996 American League Championship Series, Game 1: Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier interferes with a ball in play above Baltimore outfielder Tony Tarasco, and umpire Rich Garcia incorrectly rules it a home run for Derek Jeter. This play could be considered the birth of the late '90s Yankees dynasty which has made our job creating Red Sox Nation much more difficult here at ESPN.
• 1998 World Series, Game 1: The scene: Two out in the bottom of the seventh at Yankee Stadium, bases loaded, score tied 5-5. Padres reliever Mark Langston throws a 2-2 pitch down the pipe to Tino Martinez, but the plate umpire calls it low. On 3-2, Martinez essentially knows what's coming and hits a grand slam. Who was the plate umpire? Garcia. Seriously, how did this guy ever get another postseason assignment?
• Stanford at Cal football, 1982: We hate to rain on the parade of perhaps the greatest play ever a play so great it's in fact known simply as "The Play" -- but Dwight Garner's knee was down and the Bears made a forward lateral. As a public service, we'll refrain from commenting on the existence of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
Hail to the chief.
• Oklahoma at Oregon football, 2006: Perhaps the worst video review call in history. Not only did Oregon touch the ball before it went 10 yards on a pivotal onside kick attempt, but Oklahoma actually recovered the ball. We're all for replaying this one as long as ABC/ESPN doesn't have to return ad revenue from the original.
• 1999 Stanley Cup finals, Game 6: Dallas' Brett Hull scores the series clincher in triple overtime with his skate in the crease. For goodness' sake, hasn't Buffalo suffered enough?
• Bud Bowl I: In the inaugural Super Bowl ad/experience, Bud beat Bud Light 27-24. But recently a bottle of Bud Dry (and a former assistant to the Bud team) admitted the Buds were more than beechwood aged.
• "The Godfather, Part III": Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola apparently didn't have enough money in the bank, so they made this movie. But it would benefit from a remake, because we need to see this with the 1970s Al Pacino -- not the version with the guy who was in "Scent of a Woman." Hoo-ah!
• "Rocky V": Rocky returns from Russia to find himself broke, unemployed and back in South Philly. Even in the world of make-believe, can't Philly fans have one sports hero who doesn't suck in the end?