May 29, 1997.
We’re on the road in Houston.
Seven minutes ago, we had a 13-point deficit. Now, the game is tied at 100. There’s 2.8 seconds left on the clock.
Just enough time for legends to be made.
Russell inbounds at half court.
Malone attracts the double team and the pass is straight to Stockton, who’s open at the top of the arc.
He takes one dribble. He rises over the outstretched fingers of Barkley. And knocks down a three at the buzzer.
Ecstasy doesn’t quite cover what happens next.
The Utah Jazz are heading to the NBA Finals for the first time in history.
The Rockets’ arena was called The Summit back then. But it was us who wore the Purple Mountain. And knew how to climb one.
Where were you that day? Screaming your lungs out inside the arena? Watching through your fingers at home?
Maybe you weren’t even born.
And that’s fine.
Because the better question is:
Where are you today?
The day we brought the Purple Mountain back for an encore.
The map we used to chart our way to the top is the same one we’ll use on this climb.
With purple forever on our chests, with moments like that night in Houston strong in our memories, and with a new generation of Jazz greats on the court today, ain’t no mountain high enough to keep us from anything.
Purple is back. Here to stay.