PLOT TWISTS

June 16, 2014

During Game 1 of the NBA Finals the air-conditioning at San Antonio's AT&T Center went out, causing Heat star LeBron James to cramp up and miss almost all of the final 7:31, during which the Spurs came back to win. Afterward social media was alive with unsavory suggestions, but AC-gate hardly ranks on the list of alltime sports conspiracy theories. They're listed below, along with their level of believability on a scale of 1 (meh) to 4 (very likely) LBJs.

1951

SHOT HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD

WHAT

Bobby Thomson hit a walk-off home run to win the NL pennant for the Giants.

THEORY

New York stole pitches at the Polo Grounds.

LBJ SCALE: 3

The Giants admitted doing it during the season, but Thomson swore he wasn't tipped off that day.

1965

THE PHANTOM PUNCH

WHAT

Muhammad Ali knocked out Sonny Liston with a blow that barely seemed to make contact.

THEORY

The Mafia ordered Liston to take a dive.

LBJ SCALE: 2

Liston was an ex-con with mob ties, but Ali was better and had TKO'd him in '64.

1973

THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES

WHAT

Billie Jean King routed Bobby Riggs in a made-for-TV tennis match.

THEORY

Riggs threw the match to cover his gambling losses.

LBJ SCALE: 1

Riggs was 55, while King was 29 and had just won her fifth Wimbledon singles title.

1985

NBA DRAFT LOTTERY

WHAT

The Knicks won the No. 1 pick, which became Patrick Ewing.

THEORY

The team's envelope was doctored so David Stern could find it.

LBJ SCALE: 3

There was upside for the NBA in having the country's most famous collegian go to New York.

1993

MICHAEL JORDAN RETIRES

WHAT

His Airness walked away at 30 after a three-peat.

THEORY

Jordan was facing a suspension for alleged gambling debts.

LBJ SCALE: 1

Jordan didn't have anything more to prove, though he returned in 1995 and led the Bulls on another three-peat.

2004

THE BLOODY SOCK

WHAT

Effects from Curt Schilling's ankle surgery were evident as he beat the Yankees in 2004 ALCS.

THEORY

Orioles broadcaster Gary Thorne said on air that he'd been told it was paint, not blood.

LBJ SCALE: 1

Thorne quickly backed off his comments.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

An unidentified fan wore a full bear costume to the Padres' 4--3, 11-inning win over the Nats.

PHOTOUPI/BETTMAN/CORBIS (THOMSON) PHOTONEIL LEIFER/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (ALI) PHOTOJERRY COOKE/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (RIGGS) PHOTONOREN TROTMAN/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (EWING) PHOTOJOHN IACONO/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (JORDAN) PHOTOCHARLES KRUPA/AP (SCHILLING) TWENTY FOUR PHOTOSJOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (JAMES HEAD SHOT) PHOTOMLB.COM (BEAR)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)