It’s hard to forget someone who is 7-4 and a revolutionary talent but to a certain extent Ralph Sampson has indeed been forgotten.
One of the tallest NBA players of all time - only eight players have been taller and none expect 7-4 Rick Smits and 7-3 Arvydas Sabonis come close to his level of agility and athleticism - Sampson could do things that we’ve never seen before and arguably haven’t seen since.
A combination of injuries and immaturity robbed the game of what should have been a transcendent talent. Sampson was so athletic that he lobbied to play point guard.
He’s largely forgotten today but he had one stunning moment that should always be remembered and that was this game winner against the mighty LA Lakers in the 1986 NBA playoffs.
With one second left, Sampson caught the ball in mid-air on the in-bounds and got the ball to go in.
Still one of the greatest plays in NBA history.
And since Duke plays in Charlottesville Saturday, here is Gene Bank’s greatest dunk of all time as the 6-7 forward slams a windmill home over the outstretched arm of Sampson.
Still one of the greatest dunks in Duke history.