As part of VIBE's 20th Anniversary issue we asked Stuart Scott to name his top three sports moments of the past 20 years. It was a short interview as the piece ran as 1/8 of a page (tiny blurb in layman's terms). Only his top two were published. The third was left on the cutting-room floor due to space.
We dug up the transcript of that interview and decided to run it as is. No edits. No polish. Just the conversation as it took place.
STUART SCOTT TRANSCRIPT:
VIBE: So this is very simple. We're looking to highlight the three biggest sports moments of the last 20 years. Not necessarily the moments that everyone talks about, though. We want these to be your most memorable moments. Basically, the moments you would tell your grandkids about from the last 20 years.
STUART SCOTT: MJ’s shot during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, 1998. This was Michael Jordan's final game with the Chicago Bulls. Losing that title wouldn't have taken much away from Jordan's legacy. He still would have been the best guy who ever laced up high tops. But the game, the moment, was iconic. Six times he went to the NBA Finals, six times he won the title, and six times he won the Finals MVP award. It was always his team, his throne, and his world. On the last shot when he scrambled the legs of Bryon Russell. I asked MJ once, "Did you push off on that play?" His answer was quick and succinct. "Did they call it?" Point made.
Okay, good choice. That was a great moment. What else?
Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open. Tiger Woods' 14th major wasn't like his first Masters when he won by, like, a hundred shots. No, in 2008, Tiger had to grind, even going to a playoff with little-known Bob May. But what made that U.S. Open jaw dropping was the fact that Tiger won it while playing with a broken leg. Marinate on that.
Most people would say the '97 Masters so I'm glad you went in a different direction. How about your last moment?
The World Series in 2001. Our country had been savaged like never before during the 9/11 attacks. A gutless coward of an enemy killed thousands, most of them in New York City. I went to a World Series game at Yankee Stadium. It was about a strong-willed nation, a tough-as-nails city. Bald eagles flew in the stadium. "God Bless America" played. Pride burst out from every soul in the stadium. We cheered for the NYPD and roared for the FDNY. We all chimed in chanting. I don't really remember who won that particular game. It didn't matter. We—the USA—won.
That one is overlooked because it wasn't just one specific moment. In the grand scheme that was a big moment for sports and the nation. Thanks for your time. Glad to get you into this issue.