Do you remember where you were May 7, 1995? I do. I was listening to the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks in the backseat of my family’s mini-van. We weren’t driving — we were parked in the lot of some forgotten soccer tournament, waiting for my next game to start. Indiana was coming off a devastating Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Knicks in 1994, and this was their chance to exact revenge. The game was being played in famed Madison Square Garden, a building that hadn’t been very friendly to the Pacers.
With 18.7 seconds left to play, New York held what appeared to be an insurmountable 105-99 lead. At that point, I gave up. I gathered my bag, exited the van and walked slowly towards the field to join my teammates. I was as depressed as a 12-year old can be, and I was already bracing myself for what would be the Pacers third straight playoff exit at the hands of New York. Then, out of nowhere, I heard a strangely exuberant yell come from the van where I had left my parents and sisters. I immediately sprinted back, and breathlessly asked what was going on. I didn’t care that my teammates were lined up in their positions for the start of the game, or that I was supposed to be out there, I only cared about the Pacers.