7 NBA Stars Who Went Long For The Touchdown Pass

 Every once in a while, NBA players remind us that the rules of basketball actually allow them a fair bit of creativity when it comes to scoring. The alley-oop, the timeout fake, the Hail Mary shot—all offer a high degree of crowd-pleasing theatricality, but none eclipse the touchdown pass in terms of flash. A touchdown pass commonly occurs right after an opponent’s made basket or a defensive rebound, and involves a defender passing the ball across an entire court to a teammate in the end zone—er, near the basket—for a slam automatically worthy of a highlight reel. Don’t believe us? Check out these seven passes heard ‘round the world, and bow down before the might of the all-powerful assist.

Kevin Love to LeBron James
Within seconds of the Detroit Pistons sinking a shot from the charity strip, Cleveland’s Kevin Love took possession of the ball and pitched it across the Palace of Auburn Hills. LeBron James was on the receiving end to catch the pass, soaring past Kyle Singler for a dunk. Watch the video


Rajon Rondo to Avery Bradley
In a January 2013 game against the Detroit Pistons, Rajon Rondo threw a textbook one-hander across Detroit’s home turf to a waiting Avery Bradley. Thanks to Rondo’s lack of hesitation, this particular pass goes down as one of the smoothest touchdowns in NBA history. Watch the video


Metta World Peace to Pau Gasol
The touchdown pass takes its name from the game of football, but for second here it looks like the Lakers’ Metta World Peace forgot what sport he’s playing. After throwing a flawless pass to Pau Gasol lying in wait under the Houston Rockets’ basket, he threw his arms up in the classic gridiron shorthand for “goal”. Watch the video


Dwyane Wade to LeBron James
Back in the heady days of the Big Three era, Dwyane Wade completed one of the greatest passes to LeBron James in a Miami game against the then-Charlotte Bobcats. After the ‘Cats’ Danny Granger rimmed out a shot, Wade took possession and flung it to LeBron. The result was a perfectly smooth alley-oop 92 feet down the court, by the announcer’s estimate. Watch the video


Tim Duncan to Kawhi Leonard
Before the veteran-youngster duo of Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard turned into an unstoppable force during San Antonio’s NBA Playoffs, you’d catch hints of their chemistry in plays like this one against the Brooklyn Nets. Duncan rebounded the ball from the top of the key, allowing for an immediate layup on Leonard’s end. Watch the video


Andre Miller to Bradley Beal
After a missed three at the hands of the Miami Heat, the Washington Wizards’ Andre Miller threw the ball from a tricky position—under the defensive goal post—to a bolting Bradley Beal. The guard received the pass a step away from the Heat’s net, bringing it in for the speedy layup. Watch the video


Mo Williams to Wally Szczerbiak

A true classic circa 2009. Mo Williams of the Cleveland Cavaliers brings the ball in from the sidelines in a full-court pass to Wally Szczerbiak. Szczerbiak catches it, spins to find a look past a Memphis Grizzlies defender and takes the shot. Watch the video
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