The 3rd most talked about moment of the 2008 NBA Finals, behind Tim Donaghy (2) and the 2002 Western Conference Finals (1), was Paul Pierce being taken off the floor in what, as it seemed at the time, was a season ending injury. Pierce, who at one time nearly died due to stab wounds, shook off everything and missed only about 94 seconds of actual game time to return and lead his team to the W. This isn't the first time we've seen something like this on a grand stage. This is not broken down just on the severity of the injury but also on the impact. For instance a regular season injury doesn't have the same effect as the post-season, Game 1 doesn't have the same impact of Game 6, and so one. So let's break down the Top Ten, but we've got a problem. Does Pierce fit on the all-time Top Ten list? We'll have to see.
1996 U.S. Open
In the 90s Sampras was firmly entrenched atop the Tennis world as the Number 1 player in the world. At the 1996 Open he was in the middle of his record 286 weeks as number one and was the favorite to win his 4th U.S. Open Title. Sampras continued to build his legacy in a match against Alex Corretja. Sampras was suffering from terrible dehydration and even vomited on the court. Nonetheless the epic match went almost 4 and a half hours in the late fall heat and Sampras won. He went on to win his 4th Open title and cement his legacy as one of if not the best Tennis player of all time.
1988 World Series
Gibson had exactly one at-bat in the 1988 World Series for the Dodgers. Suffering from both a strained hamstring and a sprained knee ligament. Down one, Gibson limped to the plate to face, future Hall of Famer, and lights out closer Dennis Eckersley. Gibson worked the count full, and in retrospect A's Manager La Russa should have called for Eck to walk the man who couldn't run. Instead Eck threw one down the middle and Gibson took it back to the seats for the 2-run go ahead homer that set the tone for the series.
1979 Divisional Playoffs
In 1979 the Rams faced off against the Cowboys. Hall of Fame Linebacker Youngblood was the victim of a vicious chop-block at the hands of a pair of Dallas Linemen. The fear of every NFL defensive player, a cheap chop-block injury, was realized as his Fibula was snapped above the ankle. Youngblood had the trainers tape him up, threw a leg brace on, and led the Rams to an upset victory over the Cowboys, including a sack of fellow future Hall of Famer Roger Staubach. He continued to play through the Division Championship, but the Rams lost in the Super Bowl to the Steelers.