Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 career record squares off against Gerald Henderson’s steal in Game 1 of the 1984 NBA Finals in the first round of Boston’s Greatest Sports Moment tournament.
4. Rocky Marciano retires with 49-0 recordPaper may beat rock in playground contests of rock-paper-scissors, but no one could beat “The Rock” in the boxing ring. Rocky Marciano came out from the locker room, ducked under the ropes and stepped onto the canvas 49 times. And 49 times the Brockton, Mass., native walked away the winner. Marciano beat all challengers, including Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore. Not only that, but in 43 fights, the Brockton Blockbuster left his opponent down and out for the count on the mat. On April 27, 1956, the reigning heavyweight champion of the world — he held the title for nearly four years — announced his retirement. Now that’s what you call going out on top.
13. Gerald Henderson’s steal in ’84 FinalsEvery seven-game series has one or two plays that turn out to be defining difference makers. For the Boston Celtics in the 1984 NBA Finals, that play happened near the end of Game 2. After the Los Angeles Lakers took Game 1 in overtime at the Boston Garden, they threatened to take a 2-0 stranglehold on the series in Game 2. Up 113-111 with the ball late in the fourth quarter, Lakers forward James Worthy threw a looping pass near his own baseline. Celtics guard Gerald Henderson promptly picked off the ball and laid it in from the left with his right hand. The Celtics and Lakers headed to overtime again, but this time, the C’s finished on top. Boston went on to take the series 4-3, and Larry Bird received his first of two NBA Finals MVPs. But if not for Henderson’s clutch Game 2 steal and lay-in, none of that may have been possible.
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