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As every sports fan knows, those precious seconds that Time magazine has called “The Greatest Moment of the New Millennium” provided the singular highlight of the 2001-2002 NBA season. The Washington Wizards called a timeout with 7.5 seconds left, trailing the Lakers by one point in the deciding championship game. The sellout crowd stood in solemn silence while the seconds of the timeout ticked away on the Wizards’ garish new “timeout clock” at center court. And then, with less than a minute to go before play resumed, the crowd erupted in a shout that shook the building. As he had done on several occasions during key games during the regular season, the Wizards’ owner, His Airness Himself, Michael Jordan, sprang from his box, stripping away his business suit as he ran to the floor below under the guidance of a large spotlight which broadcast the Nike “swoosh” on his chest. As was Jordan’s custom for big games, he had worn his team uniform, bearing the familiar number 23, underneath his outer clothing. When Jordan’s unerring jumper from the left wing sailed through the hoop as time expired, not only had the Wizards won their first championship in decades, not only had the NBA, as a beaming David Stern was quick to point out, enjoyed its biggest year at the box office in memory, but more significantly we all knew that we had just witnessed a moment that would be remembered as long as humankind walk the face of this good earth.

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