In the past few months, there have been some new sports pictures that have really grown legs in a viral manner, thanks to the power of Twitter, Facebook, et al. Both the LeBron/Dwyane Wade picture and the Tiger Woods/Cigar Guy images resonated around the sports world, thanks to power of social media. In fact, some consider the D-Wade/James picture to be one of the best basketball images ever captured. While I’m partial to the Michael Jordan free throw dunk, the appeal of both is easy to understand: they’re incredible images.
Maybe I watched too many Wesley Snipes/Woody Harrelson movies when I was younger, but for some reason, I just love it when white guys get a good dunk in. It’s almost becomes a red-letter day, because it’s just such a rarity. Sure, there are exceptions, but day-to-day, it’s not a regular occurrence; and no, I’m not talking about a two-handed, fast break finish from Dirk Nowitzki, either.
I’m talking a highlight reel-quality dunk, and thanks to Kris Humphries, that little hole in my life was again filled.
This little ditty got lost in the football shuffle over the weekend, but that shouldn’t reduce your enjoyment. What we have is Illinois sophomore guard Brandon Paul dunking all over Carlton Fay (6-4 over 6-8) during the Fighting Illini’s 85-63 win. While the result was an expected outcome, Paul’s nasty dunk provided a nice cherry on top of the in-state beatdown.
For his efforts, Paul finished with 9 points; none more memorable than the emphatic two he flushed over the late-rotating Fay. Although, considering how much higher Paul was, I’m not sure any rotation from Fay would’ve made much of a difference.
While he’s still turning the ball over more than you’d like a point guard to — you know, being a rookie and all that — it certainly looks a great deal of John Wall’s NBA success will be tied to his ability to become a one-man fast break pretty much at will. If, on the switch from defense to offense, Wall has a step on the opposing team, he’s going to rim and he’s probably going to beat everybody there in the process.
And if he’s not ahead of the pack, his ability to set his teammates up should mean a lot of opportunities for them to finish. All they have to do is fill the lanes and run with Wall. Just ask Nick Young.
While the NBA clearly belongs to the Kobe Bryants and LeBron James of the world, there’s an influx of young talent — not including Kevin Durant either — and they’re not going to simply defer to the established stars. From the looks of this particular preseason, they are going to go right at the “old guard,” as their names become more and more synonymous with NBA stardom.
The question is, who’s going to lead that charge? If the early returns are any indication, John Wall be at the front, setting the pace, while big men like Blake Griffin and DeMarcus Cousins will be there to slam it home, especially if they are being slept on and overlooked.
While Brown may not have evolved into the NBA player some thought, and while he hasn’t contributed much to the Lakers against the Celtics (6 points, 2 points, 4 points, 5 points, 0 points and 4 points in six Finals games so far), the man can jump. High. Really, really high. And while he may not have contributed anything more than two baskets (two rebounds and assists as well), it’s doubtful you’ll see a prettier four points scored, maybe ever.
Oh, and Game 7, ya’ll. It’s hard to get much better than that, at least, sports-wise.
Nasty dunks illicit a number of different reactions. A collective “daaaaaaaaaamn” from the crowd, the hung heads of an opposing team, and the hyper-excited reactions from teammates are just a few of them. Take Chris Allen of Michigan State for instance. Allen had a vicious, play-of-the-day worthy dunk Saturday against Northwestern. The result? His teammates, as you can see in the lead image, went absolutely ape-pooh. Granted, I don’t really blame them, considering the dunk Allen threw down, but still, it’s a funny reaction.
Of course, if you are reacting to this (11 second mark):
You might lose whatever cool points you have stored in your reserve. Here’s another video, this time focusing on the reactions of Allen’s teammates:
As for Allen’s Spartans, while Kansas and Kentucky battle for meaningless mid-season number one rankings, Tom Izzo’s team continues to run over Big 10 competition, positioning themselves for yet another deep run in the tournament. While other teams are getting the hype, the Spartans continue to simply be a really good basketball team that no one will want to play in March.
That, friends, is the one of the only highlights you’ll have of Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin doing work in his Clippers gear. What started out as a left broken knee cap that has sidelined Griffin since early in the preseason has turned into a problem that will require surgery and leave Griffin and his never-ending reservoir of potential sidelined for the rest of the season.
The team said, in a statement: “It has been determined that the healing in his left patella area has not improved to the expected required level.”
Recovery is expected to take between four and six months, but considering Griffin’s workout ability, don’t be surprised if he’s completely ready for action the next time the NBA’s summer league fun rolls around.
And with that, all I can say is, “Welcome to SEC Basketball, DeMarcus Cousins. It won’t be as easy as you think.” Travis Leslie’s dunk was so vicious, it left a crowd of about 24,000 in stunned silence. Well, except for all the “oohing and ahhing” going on on. I mean, what else can you say if you’re a Kentucky fan? We’ll get you next time? Perhaps “sign my poster, please, Mr Leslie” is more appropriate. Granted, the Wildcats scraped by the Bulldogs, but it wasn’t easy. In fact, Team John Wall trailed at halftime and only had a two-point lead with less than a minute left in the game.
To say the Bulldogs, who already have wins against Georgia Tech and Illinois, are better than expected — they were picked last in the SEC East — is a little bit of understatement. Just ask DeMarcus Cousins what he thinks of the Dawgs, especially the one who goes by “Travis Leslie.” While they didn’t pull the upset off, it wasn’t for a lack of effort, especially for Leslie.
Besides his eye-popping dunk, Leslie led the Bulldogs with 20 points as they fell just short of shocking Kentucky and the rest of the college basketball world.