Some dunks are so magnificent that not even the censorship might of Nike can suppress their greatness.
Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James has spent most of the summer beating up on little kids in games of knockout at basketball camps across the United States. Recently, James and Nike kicked off a tour of Asia with the goal of spreading the King's greatness internationally. Instead, he took a dunk to the face from a Taiwanese basketball player.
A NikeMedia.com account provides the backdrop -- an All-Star game in Taipei -- even if it leaves out the part in which James gets his pocket picked and dunked on in transition.
James was announced as coach of the White Team, while Taiwanese women’s hoops legend, Qian Weijuan, coached the Red Team.That back-rubbing, ego-stroking press release couldn't erase the fact that James lost his handle while dribbling the ball between his legs just outside the three-point line, leaving an opening for his defender to reach in and knock the ball into the open court. James was caught by surprise as his opponent corralled the loose ball and took it towards the hoop in transition. Rather than get between his man and the basket, James opted to time a chasedown block attempt from behind. His opponent rose with surprising ferocity and finished with two hands, and James was only able to swat at air, much to the crowd's enjoyment.
But, unsatisfied with either the score, 24-22 Red at half, or his status as coach, James unexpectedly took the court in the second half to play alongside the White Team. Not content to just coast, James threw down a series of vicious dunks to open the half, highlighted by a self off-the-backboard pass which he threw down with one hand. As the game wore on, James increased the intensity and blocked three shots on three straight possessions, each swat more spectacular than the last. First, James raced back on defense to get one of his signature chase-down blocks to thwart an easy lay-up. Then, he stonewalled a player going above the rim for a dunk before finally pinning another player’s driving bank shot to the backboard.
“I was prepared to coach,” admitted James to reporters after the game. “But, I saw how much fun those kids were having out there and I wanted to join them and be a part of the whole experience.”
To cap the moment, smoke shot out from the basketball hoop into the air. James responded to the dunk about as well as he responded to criticism in the NBA Finals, rushing down court, travelling (there was no call) and then throwing the ball out of bounds. Just an incredible sequence. Give it a look below.
Hat tip: LarryBrownSports.com.
Here's the video of LeBron James getting dunked on by a Taiwanese All-Star courtesy of YouTube user king20192003.