5. Derek Fisher
A professional by all definitions of the term, Derek Fisher has seen, heard and experienced everything that defines the NBA. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Fisher was selected 24th in the 1996 draft — just behind legend and partner in crime Kobe Bryant. Five Championships and nearly 200 playoff appearances later, he continues to dominate the court alongside Kobe on the Lakers and is loved by anyone who calls themselves a Laker fan.
Popular on SportsCenter highlight reels, statistical records and maintaining an all-around work ethic for over 14 years of professional play, it’s no surprise that this season would be any different — and this buzzer beater against the Clipper earlier in the season proves why.
4. Manu Ginobli
Manu Ginobli was taken late in the second round of the 1999 NBA draft to the San Antonio Spurs and is a veteran to the sport. Alongside teammates Tony Parker and Tim Duncan, Manu has shown the sports world his ability to not just make 3-pointers but drain them when the seconds on the clock matter the most.
After his years in the Argentinian League in the mid 1990’s, he has come to be loved by Spurs fans and a staple to Gregg Popovich’s game plan. At his peak, the Spurs have had significant runs at the title, establishing their own dynasty of winning in the mid 2000’s. Manu has always hit necessary 3-pointers — and this night was no different.
3. Derrick Rose
Chicago native Derrick Rose emerged as the No. 1 draft pick from Memphis in 2008 and an-all star college player, Rose has done nothing short of the same in the NBA, putting up staggering statistics and composing himself at a championship level. His skills hardly go unrecognized by basketball enthusiasts, and his December 4th tying buzzer-beater showcases this very talent.
Within his rookie year, he took the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals (scoring an astounding 36 points against the Boston Celtics), earning the Rookie of the Year award. With skill, Derrick Rose is giving the Windy City its first glimmer of hope since Jordan.
2. Kevin Durant
A freak of NBA nature, Kevin Durant is no joke. The shooting guard out of Texas was selected second overall in the 2007 draft by the Seattle Supersonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder), and he exploded onto the scene as a rookie, quickly earning the leagues points leader.
Earning Rookie of the Year in 2008, All-NBA First Team in 2010 and selected to be on the All-Star team in 2010, Durant has earned the reputation of being a legend. This season alone he’s shown not just his ability to play at an amazingly high level of competition but lead his team to victory.
1. Tyreke Evans
Selected 4th overall in the 2009 NBA draft from Memphis, Tyreke Evans leads the Sacramento Kings this season in points per game and brought entertainment to a dismal record. A season that started off bad and has gotten worse for Sacramento, Evans gives the fans a work ethic and entertainment that makes ticket prices less of a sacrifice. Responding to a shot by O.J. Mayo, Evans launches a half-court shot with just under two seconds left in the game to tie it — and his is what happened.