Winston Garland just walked onto the court as the sixth player during a Game 7
In 1993, a mystery man appeared on the court during Game 7 of the Rockets-Sonics second round series. That man was a player and he was never identified or shamed publicly…until today. ESPN’s Ethan Strauss revealed Winston Garland as that man in a wonderful article entitled, “The spirit of Game 7.”
Here is a brief excerpt:
In the biggest moment of the year, with Houston’s season and possibly Hakeem Olajuwon’s legacy on the line, this backup shooting guard just walked right onto the court. He did not wait for a dead ball. He did not wait for a coach’s instruction. He did not check in at the scorers table. He did not even wait for a teammate to sub out.
He just waltzed onto the floor, an errant sixth man, joining the battle in defiance of every rule and structure that governs the game.
He simply joined the action and started playing. And though it was right there in front of everybody, nobody did anything to stop him.
A screencap of the inbounds play with five Rockets on the court
Winston Garland doing the unthinkable
And here’s the all-important WTF GIF!
Video of the final play