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Kawhi Leonard buzzer beater spurs conspiracy theories on YouTube, Reddit

The Toronto Raptors' winning shot appeared too good to be true for some people.

Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has twice been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Abrar Al-Heeti
2 min read
Toronto Raptors beat the Philadelphia 76ers 92-90 in game seven of their second round series in the NBA play-offs

Many conspiracy theorists aren't buying Sunday's winning shot by Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (left).

Steve Russell/Getty Images

When Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors shot an incredible buzzer beater during Sunday's NBA playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers, many spectators were stunned. 

Others weren't buying it.

The shot, which looked like it wouldn't make it in, scored the Raptors a win after the score had been tied at 90. The ball bounced against the rim several times before going through the hoop to wild cheers.

But since the game, some people on YouTube and Reddit have been calling the shot rigged. 

"There are people on YouTube truthering the Kawhi shot saying it was a magnetic rim," tweeted Tyler Conway, a writer for Bleacher Report, who shared screenshots of some of those comments.

"The ball looks and sounds heavier than it should be," one person wrote in a YouTube comment.

"Magnets came in clutch here," another added.

One Reddit thread posed the question: "Is it possible to theoretically rig a shot?" One user responded saying it wouldn't be hard to do, as all that's needed is to "make the ball slightly magnetic and then run a strong current through the rim."

Another thread poked fun at the situation, posing the topic: "Kawhi Leonard's buzzer beater bounced four times. Let's rank the bounces."

The NBA couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The internet has no doubt facilitated the spread of conspiracy theories on platforms like YouTube and Reddit, which have tried to push back against that kind of content. In January, YouTube said it would start cutting down on recommendations of conspiracy theories. Last March, the company said it would add snippets of information from Wikipedia to videos focused on conspiracy theories.  

Last year, Reddit banned several subreddits, including r/greatawakening, for "repeated violations of the terms of our content policy."