The Comeback Kings of 2013

Rick Diamond/Getty Images for MTV

Grudge Match came out yesterday in theaters, starring Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. The Warner Bros. film features two old, retired boxers facing each other one last time in the ring for a final rematch.

Essentially, it’s a movie about unexpected comebacks. And it's appropriate, because this year has seen a quite a few of them.


These are 2013’s top comebacks.

Ray Allen’s Miracle Shot

Security guards were surrounding the floor holding the yellow tape for the San Antonio Spurs’ imminent championship victory in game six of the 2013 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.

The score was 95-92, with the Heat trailing. The Spurs were five seconds away from holding the Larry O’Brien championship trophy. And then Miami’s Chris Bosh grabbed the rebound of a missed Lebron James three-pointer and let the ball go to the right corner, where Ray Allen was waiting.


Ray Allen drained the biggest three-pointer of his entire career to save the season and send game six into overtime. The Heat went on to win game six and seven, and thus, the NBA championship. But it’s Ray Allen’s miracle shot that will live in people’s memory forever.

Justin Timberlake's Music Career


Announcing his comeback to music in January, Justin Timberlake had a huge 2013 with his third solo studio album, The 20/20 Experience. It had been since 2007 when Timberlake last released a full-length, devoting his time to acting instead.

But with three singles—“Suit & Tie," “Mirrors," and “Tunnel Vision"—The 20/20 Experience hit number one on the US Billboard 200 in its first week. Timberlake also featured on Jay Z’s hit “Holy Grail.”


The Pompadour Haircut


The popular haircut of the 1950s made a comeback 60 years later. Popularized by the king of rock, Elvis Presley, and other rebel icons like James Dean, the haircut is characterized by its short length on the side and the pronounced, slicked-back top. (But here's a fun fact: The haircut can actually be traced back to the 1700s to Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV.)

But in 2013, celebs like Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake (again), and members of One Direction are sporting the retro 'do. Time to ask your grandpa for his styling secrets.




When Hostess announced it was shutting down its operations in November of 2012, people went up in arms (figuratively!) after they realized impending demise of one America’s greatest food icons.

Shortly after, the goo-filled, shelf-immortal sponge cakes began selling out in stores nationwide and were auctioned off on eBay at obscene prices. Then, seeing that the people had spoken, Hostess laid off over 18,000 employees in order to keep Twinkies themselves alive. They made their return to making store shelves in July.


The campaign behind the re-launch: “The Sweetest Comeback Ever.” After a dark 2012, Twinkies are here to stay.

Shorter Shorts


Shorts were all about showing some 1970s-style skin this year. For women, this meant going high-waisted. Usually paired with crop tops, you could catch these on everyone from celebs like Rihanna to high schoolers on spring break.

For guys, though, shorts got shorter, too, with Bermudas hitting two to three inches above the knee. The same could be said for men’s swimming trunks, which seem to get shorter and shorter every month. By next spring, we may have nothing left.


The Black Mamba


This past April 12, Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba, tore his Achilles tendon as he pushed off his left foot in a seemingly harmless move. Even with the torn tendon, Bryant went up to the free-throw line in a showcase of pure willpower.

And then, shattering rehab timetables for injuries of this nature, Bryant returned to the court on December 8 to play against the Toronto Raptors. But he only played six games this season until fracturing his lateral tibial plateau in his left knee. He will be sidelined for the next six weeks.


Even though his comeback was short-lived, the speed of his recovery and the willpower to play again this year makes Bryant’s six games part of this year’s most inspiring comebacks. And don’t be fooled, he will be back again early next year.

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