Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers almost made one of the most unbelievable shots in NBA history. Almost. The 27-year-old big man nearly knocked down a one-handed heave from 80-feet on Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns to try and push their game to OT. Unfortunately, Embiid might need to form a separate list of incredible shots that almost counted which he and Jae Crowder (from his Boston Celtics days) of the Suns would be headlining.
For now, let’s focus on insane shots that did count. Here’s five of the longest shots made in NBA history.
5. Herb Williams (1986)
We had to scour the archive for this one but there weren’t a lot of Instagram accounts in the 80s, so we’ll have to use our imagination here. Before going around the league to play for different squads, Herb Williams had a colorful career with the Indiana Pacers.
On January 8, 1986, Williams shot himself to the league history books as he knocked down an insane shot from 81-feet against the Sacramento Kings. Embiid might want to take some notes from his fellow big man.
4. Vince Carter (2016)
Every NBA fan knows that Vince Carter has a million dunk highlights under his name, but only the real ones know that VC has a few long-range bombs that are worth mentioning. Aside from owning the world record for the longest shot while sitting down (yup, you read that right), “Half Man Half Amazing” is also in the record books for the fourth-longest made shot in NBA history.
In 2016, Carter knocked down an unbelievable Hail Mary from way out (82 feet to be exact) to beat the third-quarter buzzer. All net.
3. LeBron James (2007)
Of course, The King makes this list. LeBron James has been dominating highlight reels ever since he entered the NBA, so it’s going to be rather unusual to not have him in a crazy list like this.
In 2007, while he was still playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the four-time MVP made an unthinkable 3-point bomb from the other side of the TD Garden in downtown Boston. James had one second left and made the most out of that single second to bury a triple from 83 feet.
2. Norm Van Lier (1977)
The late Norm Van Lier also makes it to this list. The three-time All-Star set the record back in 1977 when he was still playing for the Chicago Bulls. Van Lier was one heck of a lockdown defender and was a staple in the NBA All-Defensive Team in multiple seasons, but the Ohio native made sure to put up some memorable offensive highlights to etch his name in history.
Against the San Antonio Spurs, the point guard threw a lob from 84 feet out and found the bottom of the net to make Windy City history.
1. Baron Davis (2001)
Last but certainly not least, we have the one and only Baron Davis. Ever since he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets as their third overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, we knew almost instantly that Davis will have an incredible career in the NBA. His flashy play coupled with his insane bucket-getting ability put him in the conversation of being one of the best court generals in the 2000s.
In 2001, Davis made NBA history and punched in an unimaginable one-handed shot from the parking lot of the Milwaukee Bucks stadium. With one second to go, Davis got the ball and launched a cannonball from 92-feet which didn’t even hit the rim. To this day, Davis’ breathtaking shot is still the longest made shot in NBA history.