First of all, we know Houston’s Chandler Parsons got a put-back dunk on JaVale McGee, circling his crotch and balls around Epic ‘Vale’s head for good measure. McGee was more than posterized, he was GIF’d…
In video form, if you will…
Then, of course, in true JaVale fashion, there was this, a dunk off the backboard when down 64-60 early in the third quarter against Houston:
Sure, the best thing about the missed Von Wafer dunk on Monday night was him unknowingly flexing/basking in his own non-accomplishment afterward on the baseline, and then turning around to run back on defense only to find a teammate who’d recovered the live ball directly in his path. That teammate, Jermaine O’Neal, ended up being called for a violation because Wafer ran into him after he’d picked up his dribble, causing him to take another dribble. Boston turnover.
Actually, the “best thing” was that Wafer’s dunk would have put the Celtics up four points with three minutes left in overtime; Washington ended up winning by one point. But another “thing” about the failed dunk attempt was the warm towel and icy-hot rubdown that JaVale McGee and Andray Blatche offered Wafer as he easily glided toward the basket, unimpeded and observed from a comfy distance by the defense. Maybe the courteous treatment actually helped Wafer blow his easy dunk off the rim. We’ll never know.
What we do know is what the whole event looked like from the sideline, in picture form, and partially obscured by referee Dick Bavetta:
The Wizards were slaughtered by the Oklahoma City Thunder like lambs in the path of Zeus’ lightening bolts from Mount Olympus on Monday night. The rivers in the Verizon Center run red with the blood of losing. In addition to their 116-89 take down by the Thunder, Washington has lost their last two games by a combined 48 points. The statistics and numbers relating the common place of losing could go on; now the Wizards set their watching to those numbers.
Injuries, inefficiencies, youth, lack of heart and effort … the Verizon Center has become a dollar store for losing excuses. Or rather, reasons. But hey, the kids are in the pool. This is a good thing. Adult time and a dolt time is over with the forced hiatus of several injured veterans. There are still problem children, but without notables who enjoy night club potent potables, losing couldn’t be more comfortable. Not necessarily more comfortable for the fans and certainly not for the players and coaches, but for those who will endure.
The air about the team is all about getting this over with as fast as possible, which could be dangerous in the complacency of an apathetic mis-education and development. Seventeen games equating over a fifth of a season are left … gosh that’s a long time. If it continues to end horribly, upon whom will that reflect poorly?
The take away by most is that it was one of the most entertaining NBA All-Star weekends in a while, and JaVale McGee helped anchor it with his performance in the dunk contest on Saturday night. But just as some people are entertained by reality television that’s actually scripted, the show put forth by the NBA can follow the same narrative. Was Blake Griffin really ever going to lose the contest in Los Angeles? Maybe … if Griffin had failed to complete a dunk within the allotted time when it counted. But that wasn’t going to happen. The city of LA, the fan vote on the final and the made-for-SportsCenter player all but predetermined the deal, according to McGee’s teammate Rashard Lewis. There was no topping Griffin jumping over a car, an “officially sponsored by the NBA car,” with a choir in the background, the hype-man efforts of Kenny Smith bringing it all together, and the icing on the cake if you ask Nick Young, LA Clipper teammate Baron Davis popping out the sun roof to throw Griffin the oop.
What about Serge Ibaka’s role? His dunk where he grabbed a stuffed animal hanging from the rim with his teeth before dunking was very similar to a dunk McGee had in mind. McGee originally displayed a maneuver where he grabbed a piece of paper from the net before dunking; the video of him doing so after practice went viral back on January 6, perhaps an unfortunate consequence. Still, there’s no way to know the inception of Ibaka’s creation. McGee said that his version for the dunk contest involved grabbing a judge’s scorecard and showing it to everyone afterward. After Ibaka’s similar attempt (or, “exact same dunk” as JaVale says it), McGee was forced to move the three-ball dunk he was saving for the final higher in the program. Using that dunk as a last attempt might have kept him in the conversation, but again, with Griffin winning 65-percent of the fan vote in the end, it’s highly unlikely.
According to Flip Saunders, McGee would’ve had to pull of a 720-degree dunk from the free-throw line to top the pomp and circumstance surrounding Griffin. However, the Wizards coach also admitted that McGee probably should have won the contest because likely no one else could replicate two of his dunks — the two-ball, side-by-side basket dunk and the three-ball dunk (with help from John Wall). Also to note, as I’ve readily reminded people, some dude named Marko Milic has dunked over a car before … Griffin’s version was special, but not that special.
JaVale McGee is participating in the dunk contest tonight, obviously. So this post is wishing luck to him … and if you’re looking for TAI original photographic examples of Epic Vale dunking, we got you covered below.
Now, this dunk wasn’t on, on Australia’s Andrew Bogut, but we’ll include him for diplomatic reasons. Turkey’s Ersan Ilyasova getting smacked around by Los Angeles’ Nick Young is really the big winner here.
One of the first things that comes to mind when looking at a picture like this is that there’s no way he’s making it to the rim.
Marcin Gortat’s head is pretty stoic for the position that it’s in.
This was one of those weird times when some huge official arena flash went off while I was taking a picture … came out kind of cool though.
Before getting weirdly entertained by a white man from Iowa wearing Oakleys, in a January 20 chat on ESPN.com, John Hollinger wrote about Nick Young, when not even specifically asked about Young: Read more »
JaVale McGee had a pretty nice dunk on Josh Smith in Atlanta on Saturday. He also had a pretty nasty dunk on Spencer Hawes last night at home. Both dunks are very close in awesomeness. I have my ever-so-slight favorite, but you be the judge. Watch both and then vote in the poll below.
I’m pretty sure you’ve seen it by now, JaVale McGee’s monster dunk over New Orleans’ Kyle Hines in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game. It was pretty damn insane … and definitely would have been nice to see. I was right there, mere feet away taking pictures from the baseline. And right there in my way was the referee. Thankfully in this day and age there is a YouTube, so let’s take another watch.