LeBron James is a powerful in-game dunker.
Sometimes those kinds of dunkers don’t translate well to the showy exhibition that is the NBA’s Dunk Contest All-Star weekend. Think Shannon Brown. Heck, Jazz forward Jeremy Evans told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida he could beat LeBron in the contest because we’ve never seen LeBron in that kind of competition.
And we never will, LeBron told Tomasson.
“No,” said James, who turns 28 on Dec. 30. “It’s over with. I’m getting too old for that. … There were times when I wanted to do it. But I came into All-Star Weekend a few times banged up and I didn’t want to risk further injury.”
LeBron was even good with Evans’ boast.
“I’m not a dunk-contest guy, so he probably could beat me in a dunk contest,” James said. “I’m OK with that.”
I’m not sure we ever thought we would see LeBron do the contest, but it seems a bit of a waste. A loss for us. Michael Jordan did it (those against Dominique Wilkins were classics), Kobe Bryant did it, Dr. J did it, Amare Stoudemire did it, Vince Carter did it, Dwight Howard did it and revived it, Blake Griffin did it, a lot of the games great star dunkers gave it a shot.
But we’ll never see LeBron do it. And he’s good with that
Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.
First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.
Three quick takeaways here:
1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.
2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.
3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.
(Hat tip reddit)
VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”
That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.
Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:
“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”
Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.
And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.