Former Dallas Maverick recalls how he saved his team during 2001 NBA Playoffs


It didn’t have the same worldwide impact as the shots Dirk Nowitzki made in the 2011 NBA Finals for the Dallas Mavericks, but Calvin Booth sure has this particular moment as his own career highlight.

Booth’s series-clinching bucket against Utah in the first round of the 2001 playoffs was the basket that got the Mark Cuban Era off to an auspicious start and helped the Mavs start feeling good about themselves.

Booth got free for a layup and scored the series’ final points with 9.8 seconds left to give the Mavs an 84-83 victory in Game 5 of the series. The Mavs were down 83-82 before Booth’s series-winner on May 3, 2001.

It was Cuban’s first full season owning the Mavs and it propelled Dallas to a second-round series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Calvin Booth now now lives in the Cleveland area and works as a scout for the New Orleans Hornets.

“I just remember Michael Finley being double-teamed and he kind of jumped in the air and I thought he was going to shoot it,” said Booth, recalling his shot in 2001.

“”But he dumped it down to me and I had a nice little bunny shot, so most of the credit goes to Michael Finley. He created that shot for me. Thanks, Mike,” Booth said.

Booth, 36, said he doesn’t think about the impact the shot had.

“If somebody brings it up I’ll think about it,” he said. “It was a good moment, though.

“You’re talking about playing with Michael Finley and Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, and even Juwan Howard,” Booth said. “I’m nowhere near those guys, so for me to be sprinkled into that conversation is definitely a nice thing to talk about.”

The 6’11 Booth played 10 years in the NBA for Washington Wizards, Dallas Mavericks, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philatelphia 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Sacramento Kings.

He appeared in 366 NBA games (83 started), averaging 3.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 1.0 bpg.

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