(Hillary with Tenzing Norgay. Photo courtesy of the Associated Press)
5/29/1953 - Edmund Hillary climbs Everest
Sport or no sport, what Sir Edmund Hillary did on this day in 1953 is mighty impressive. He and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, becoming the first people in history to do so.
"The whole world around us lay spread out like a giant relief map," Edmund recalled. "I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men."
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5/29/1995 - Smits jumper wins crazy game
With barely a tenth of a second to spare, Pacers center Rik Smits hits a turnaround shot over Tree Rollins -- giving the Indiana Pacers a 94-93 win over the Orlando Magic in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The shot tied the series at two games apiece and spared the Pacers from an early exit in Game 5.
There may never have been a basketball game where more happened in the final 15 seconds. With 13.3 seconds left, Orlando guard Brian Shaw hit a three-pointer, giving Orlando a 90-89 lead. On the Pacers' next possession, Reggie Miller knocked down a trey of his own, making it 92-90 Indiana with six seconds left. But the Magic weren't done. With just 1.3 remaining on the clock, Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway drilled a pull-up three over Haywoode Workman, shifting the score to 93-92.
That set up the inbounds pass to Smits, who pump-faked, got Rollins up in the air, and knocked down the game-winner. Rarely has an NBA game produced four potential game-winning shots in a row, particularly in a game of such importance. "I've never seen a wilder 28 seconds than that," said Indiana coach Larry Brown. "I don't know what to say. We're playing a very special team. They don't get rattled. They keep coming back at you."
"I pictured everything before I went back out there, so, no, I wasn't surprised I made it," Smits said. "I thought I had enough time to fake. He went for it. I shot. It went in. In essence, it's a whole new series."
Orlando would squeak out a 108-106 victory in Game 5. Games 6 and 7 were blowouts by the home teams, leaving the Orlando Magic with a 105-81 beatdown of the Pacers in the finale. The Magic then advanced to the NBA Finals, where they were swept by the defending-champion Houston Rockets.
(John Stockton hits the winning jumper. Photo by Glenn James, Getty Images)
5/29/1997 - Jazz go to finals on Stockton trey
In Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, the Rockets were looking good to force a seventh game against the Utah Jazz. With 6:47 left, Houston led 90-77 and they still had an eight-point lead with three minutes to go. But John Stockton, at 35 years old, had waited long enough to get to the finals. Stockton scored 13 points in the final three-and-half minutes, including the last nine points of the game.
As time expired, Stockton launched a 25-foot three-pointer over the Rockets' Charles Barkley that sunk to the bottom of the net -- giving the Jazz a stunning, 103-100 victory. No team had ever gone to the finals on a more dramatic play.
"Karl Malone deserves MVP," said Barkley, who had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists. "But, believe me, he would never have been the MVP without John Stockton. The best player in this series was John Stockton. He's the best point guard ever, and he proved it tonight."
"It's all a fog to me,'' said Stockton, who had 25 points and 13 assists. "I was free for a second, and I just let it go. No one cares who the hero is when you win. Sometimes the hero is the guy who sets the screen or throws the inbounds pass. What word did Charles use the other night? Surreal? Well I don't know what it means, so I won't use it tonight."
"I'm not going to sit here and lie to you; a lot of people probably are wishing it was Rockets-Bulls," said Karl Malone, who scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. "Because that sounds a lot better. We're one of the only teams with a Z. It doesn't end with an S, so probably vendors are not too happy about it. But they have to deal with it. Sorry."