Now that Kansas State and Xavier are done providing us the best game of the tournament so far, let’s take some time to reflect. How many huge plays were there? I lost count after Jacob Pullen hit that top-of-the-key triple in the second overtime. I’m sure I was somewhere around 10. Probably more. However, the shot that I, and probably a lot of people, remember is Jordan Crawford’s “He’s got range from the awareness ribbon” three, which sent the game in the second stanza of overtime. If the college line is at 20-9 (20 feet, 9 inches), Crawford’s bomb had to have been from at least 25, if not 30.
LeBron’s answer to avoid getting dunked on in pick-up games? Play lazy basketball. Thanks to this find by Ethan over at NSEWSports, we see James has apparently learned his lesson when he’s going against college players who are now armed with the knowledge that dunking on LeBron can get you 15 strong minutes of fame, and so he stays out of their way and hangs around the perimeter. Now, I’ll grant you the video is less than a minute long and LeBron could’ve exploded for two-or-three possessions worth of MVP basketball and we’d be none-the-wiser.
However, living in a world of “perception is reality,” there’s not much James can do to escape posts like these when videos of his taking-it-easy play — in light of Jordan Crawford — are available.
According to NBA.com, Nike is giving back the Jordan Crawford dunk tapes they confiscated from Ryan Miller. Hopefully, Miller has a better angle of Crawford’s two-handed flush, because while it wasn’t the most eye-popping dunk in the world, Jordan did, in fact, yack LeBron. Whether he was late or just lazy, LeBron did try and block Crawford’s attempt and paid for it. Granted, said payment had more to do with the reaction of Nike and LeBron, but now that alternate videos have been released, there’s not much either can do.
I guess it is indeed hard to put the toothpaste back in the container after it’s been squeezed.
Here’s another angle of the “Jordan Crawford over LeBron” dunk that, all of a sudden, we can’t keep from discovering. Where was this two weeks ago, guys?
Oh, and for those defending LeBron, saying he was merely late on the rotation; you might want to watch again. He got caught being lackadaisical on defense and Crawford made him pay for his mistake. Simple as that. Still, I don’t see why LeBron was so damn worried about this tape getting out. It’s not like his reputation as the NBA’s best player took a hit because he got dunked on. The relatively benign nature of this dunk — something I’m sure happens time and time again in NBA practices — only makes James look worse.
Really, was there something these vids that was worth hiding? The answer, after such a long and unnecessary wait is a resounding “no.”
Something occurred to me while sitting through, like, Day 3000 of LeBron’s Dunkgate “scandal” concerning Jordan Crawford’s now-mythical dunk: Is this another viral marketing move on Nike’s part, and Ryan Miller is simply playing along? Granted, there’s not much you can do, commercial-wise, with an NCAA athlete, lest you want to threaten his eligibility. Regardless, there’s just too much buzz surrounding a simple, but probably very impressive dunk over the NBA’s reigning King for Nike NOT to capitalize on it.