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Conspiracy theorists think Kawhi's shot went in because of magnets

theScore logo theScore 5/15/2019 Caitlyn Holroyd
Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green in front of a crowd © Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Kawhi Leonard's Game 7 buzzer-beater against the Philadelphia 76ers left many in disbelief, but there are some conspiracy theorists who are convinced the now-iconic shot was rigged. 

Since the Toronto Raptors advanced to the Eastern Conference finals, several YouTube videos and Reddit comments have popped up suggesting magnets were the reason the shot went in.

This prompted Deadspin's Dan McQuade to reach out to two Philadelphia physicists to get their thoughts on the shot.

"It went in because Leonard put an unusually high trajectory on the ball to get over (Joel) Embiid's outstretched arm," said Dr. Michael Vogeley, the associate department head for graduate studies at Drexel University's physics department. "Usually, a front-rim shot clanks off or skips over. Here it bounces almost straight up.

"The horizontal momentum toward the rim is almost exactly canceled by the effect of angular momentum of backspin when it hits the rim. There's just enough momentum toward the rim center that, after three more bounces, it settles in."

Bernd Surrow, the vice chair of Temple University's physics department, told McQuade it's "very likely" that the ball went in due to "an increased level of friction during a reflection of the ball since the ball was spinning."

So there you have it. Magnets had nothing to do with Leonard's shot going in.

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