It was the basketball shot seen around the world.
With just seconds on the clock in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Toronto Raptors small forward Kawhi Leonard ran to the corner of the court and threw up a prayer. The ball famously bounced off the rim four times before falling and giving the Raptors a 92-90 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The highlight has generated millions of views on YouTube and sparked giant murals around Toronto, and now fans can re-live the moment in Lego form.
Stop-motion animator Jared Jacobs recently released a 20-second clip of the iconic moment – recreated with remarkable accuracy -- using Lego versions of Leonard and the rest of the Raptors. The clip has been viewed more than 510,000 times on Twitter since Monday morning.
In a phone interview with CTVNews.ca, Jacobs said it took him 40 hours and 100 pictures to create the clip. He used upwards of 600 Lego figurines for the video, including those cheering in the stands.
“The crowd scene -- where there’s a whole bunch of people moving -- was almost 200 mini-figures that I was moving each frame,” he said. “Those crowd scenes just take so long.”
Jacobs, who grew up in Calgary as a Raptors fanand now lives in Boise, Idaho, created the clip as a way of hopefully convincing Leonard to return to Toronto.
“I wanted to get this video out before he made the decision just in case he decides to go back to L.A.,” he said. “Hopefully making a Lego video for him can sway him.”
Recent reports suggest Leonard has rejected his player-option for the upcoming season and will become a free agent, but is seriously considering re-signing with the Raptors.
'I JUST WHIPPED OUT MY PHONE'
Jacobs began using Lego for stop-motion videos while experimenting with his nephew’s set on Thanksgiving a few years ago. The first few videos he created centered around the popular television drama “Breaking Bad.”
“I just whipped my phone out and started trying to make a stop-motion video around that show,” he said. “I posted it on my Instagram and the next thing I knew, some of the actors from the show were sharing it.”
After the show ended, Jacobs switched to recreating famous moments in sports. He’s made clips of hockey, golf, football, NASCAR and basketball, to name a few.
The popularity of his videos has since skyrocketed and led Jacobs to quit his job to pursue stop-motion as a full-time gig. He is planning on opening his own studio in the next few weeks.
Jacobs has landed contracts with several sports teams to create the unique clips, including with the Golden State Warriors, the Raptors’ rivals during the NBA Finals.
“I was at Game 3 down in Oakland because of my work with the Warriors and… I was kind of low-key cheering for the Raptors,” he said.
“Being down there with all these Canadians taking over Oracle Arena was pretty cool.”