);
NBA

Through the lens: What was the most memorable photo of 2020?

matisse-thybulle-camera
Matisse Thybulle (NBAE/Getty Images)

They often say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in a year like 2020, a few thousand words aren't enough to sum up all that's happened.

As the calendar year comes to a close, a few members of our NBA.com Staff took a look back at the year that was, to choose what they felt was the most memorable photo from the last 12 months.

Here's what was chosen…

Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_):

This was an easy choice for me. My favourite player of all-time wins his second NBA title, becoming the second player in NBA history to win a championship with two historic franchises in the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, soaking it all in with his son on the court following the Finals-clinching Game 6 win.

This title might just solidify Rondo's well-deserved spot in the Hall of Fame and when I think about his impressive career some time down the line, this photo will always be one of the first that comes to mind.

Benyam Kidané (@BenyamKidane):

An image that kind of sums up 2020.

An exhausted Jimmy Butler slumped over the courtside signage after leaving everything on the floor in Game 5 of the 2020 NBA Finals.

Butler dragged the Heat to a 111-108 victory, playing 47 minutes, 12 seconds and knocking down the game-sealing free throws to extend the Heat's season, albeit for one more game.

In an epic duel with LeBron James, Butler led the Heat with a monster triple-double of 35 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, outduelling LeBron's 40-point, 13-rebound, 7-assist effort.

"I left it all out on the floor along with my guys," Butler said. "And that's how we're gonna have to play from here on out. Like I always say: It's win or win for us."

This image was the talk of social media after the game, and perfectly captured the Heat's intensity and effort all season to not only get to the NBA Finals but push the Lakers the whole way.

Gilbert McGregor (@GMcGregor21):

When I reflect back on this year, I think back to the moment in which everything changed.

March 11, 2020 will go down in history as a day that the majority of individuals in basketball circles will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when a game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz was set to tip-off.

Coming into the day, I had this game circled on the schedule simply because I expected a playoff-like atmosphere in a potential playoff matchup.

I remember getting a Twitter notification not long before the scheduled 8 p.m. start time. Apparently, there was some sort of hold up? I immediately switched from a different game to this one on NBA League Pass to figure out what was going on.

In the above picture, there's a sense of confusion but no true panic, which, in many ways embodies how most of us were feeling at the time, partly about this game but mostly about the novel coronavirus. Within the next two hours, it would be announced the NBA would suspend the season, which, in retrospect was a brilliant proactive move that, in many ways, has changed the world as we know it.

Months later, the season would be saved in the NBA Restart, which made the way for so many memorable moments like Rondo with his son, Butler's exhaustion and so many other photos that I consider to be very very memorable.

But over time, I'll always think of that night in OKC when I look back on the year 2020 in the NBA.

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

#LeBron
LeBron and the Lakers in cruise control
Kane Pitman
LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard
Running diary from Saturday's actions
NBA.com Staff
#Middleton
Is Middleton Milwaukee's Paul Pierce?
Kane Pitman
cloth-talk-ftr-nba-com-illustration
Cloth Talk: A tribute fit for a King
Kyle Irving and Gilbert McGregor
getimage.ashx-58.jpeg
An early check-in on the MVP race
Scott Rafferty
nba-plain--18bd3c83-34c4-4632-bfff-e157fbffea76.jpeg
NBA postones Cavaliers-Wizards back-to-back
Official Release
More News