Larry Johnson’s legendary 4-point play to be frozen at Madison Square Garden

larry-johnson_four-point-playFormer NY Knicks’ player Larry Johnson, who serves as basketball and business operations representative for the Knicks, is probably best known for the famous four-point play (3-pointer and subsequent free throw) he completed with 5 seconds to play in Game 3 of the 1999 Eastern Conference finals against Indiana.

That moment is forever frozen in the memories of those who watched the game. Now, it will be frozen in time at Madison Square Garden, ESPN reported.

As part of the Garden’s three-year renovation (which will be finished this month), the arena’s 20 “Defining Moments” will be featured via pictures, artifacts and memorabilia in the eighth-floor concourse.

Johnson’s moment will be among them. This season marks 15 years since Johnson made one of the most improbable shots in franchise history.

“It means the world, man,” Johnson said of his shot being commemorated at the Garden. “To have that displayed in the Garden? It’s not like you have it in Milwaukee. It’s not like you have it in Charlotte. I have it at MSG. This is the mecca.”

Johnson spoke while at the Garden donating memorabilia along with the surviving Beastie Boys and boxer Larry Holmes for another section of the newly renovated arena.

He said he remembers being the third or fourth option on the play drawn up by then-coach Jeff Van Gundy with 12 seconds to play and the Knicks down by four.

“I just knew I was going to get that ball,” Johnson said. He hit the shot, then the free throw and the Knicks completed a remarkable victory.

Johnson credited then-Knicks assistant Tom Thibodeau with helping him prepare for the shot.

Johnson dealt with a back injury late in the regular season but said he worked in the days before the series with Thibodeau on his shot. Thibodeau is now the Bulls’ head coach.

“We worked so hard leading up to that series, I was just ready for that shot,” Johnson said, adding that he remembers “everything” about that sequence.

Johnson was a two-time NBA All-Star (1993, 1995) played 10 years in the NBA, 5 of them with the Knicks. He averaged double figures in scoring in 9 of his 10 NBA seasons.

Johnson was named to the NBA All-Star team twice, in 1993 and 1995. He averaged his best 15.5 ppg and 5.7 rpg with NYK in 1997-98. He retired after the 2000-2001 season.


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