At most basketball games, one lucky fan is selected to shoot a halfcourt shot for a terrific prize. The franchise and its sponsors can afford such a giveaway because it is typically very rare that some average attendee will be able to make the basket, what with the fact that actual professionals have a hard enough time making these shots regularly in a practice environment. The fans, as a collective, would be lucky to make one per 41-game season.
What’s currently happening in Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, then, defies description. During the first half of Thursday night’s Oklahoma City Thunder home game against the Los Angeles Clippers, one lucky fan hit his halfcourt shot for a $20,000 prize, earning congratulations from courtside attendees Jay Z and Beyonce.
What made the moment truly amazing, though, is that he was the second Thunder fan to achieve the feat in as many games, following Cameron Rodriguez’s big-money basket on Monday night against the Denver Nuggets. It was also the fifth $20,000 halfcourt shot since the beginning of March 2013 (check out the other three here, here, and here), adding to a remarkable run of form. As noted by Ben Golliver of The Point Forward, Thunder fans are 5-of-22 (or 22.7 percent) on halfcourt shots since March 5. That mark rates higher than the three-point shooting percentages this season (entering Thursday’s game) of forward Serge Ibaka (2-of-9) and reserve guard Derek Fisher (2-of-14), with the 5-of-22 stat being an exact match for Reggie Jackson’s outside shooting.
It figures that this magical run will end at some point, but the Thunder might do well to consider a new prize or competition. As Steve Kerr joked on the TNT broadcast, the prize’s insurance premiums are probably going to get higher very soon.