Yes, LeBron James' mammoth fourth-quarter rejection of a Tiago Splitter dunk came in the midst of a roaring Miami Heat run that turned Game 2 of their NBA Finals series against the San Antonio Spurs into a blowout victory. No, it wasn't a truly game-changing, momentum-shifting play like, say, Roy Hibbert's man-cave-adorning stuff on Carmelo Anthony that sparked an Indiana Pacers win over the New York Knicks. In the grand scheme of the game at hand, it was a play that didn't really "matter."
But, like, of course it mattered.
It was one of the most singularly impressive athletic feats we've seen in the NBA Finals, a signature moment for James that reminded everyone watching that, when push comes to shove, he's the most dominant physical force in the NBA. It was amazing, and worth rewatching and revisiting today. Often, and in myriad forms.
Here it is in super slow motion, courtesy of the NBA's Phantom camera:
Here it is, over and over again, from a wide variety of camera angles, soundtracked by appropriately apoplectic commentary from the folks who called the game:
Here it is, recast as an NBA BIG commercial by intrepid (and talented) YouTube user wonderpulp:
And here are 10 still shots of the moment of truth, each seemingly more ridiculous than the last:
After the game, the Spurs' big man seemed to take the play in stride, according to USA TODAY Sports' Alex Kennedy: "'At least I'm going to be on the news,' Splitter said with a laugh."
Yes, you are, Tiago. And for a long, long time.
NBA Finals coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Late run powers Heat blowout of Spurs in Game 2
• LeBron's block on Tiago Splitter sends crystal-clear message to Spurs
• Heat dominate despite subdued output from LeBron
- Sports & Recreation
- Tiago Splitter
- LeBron James
- San Antonio Spurs
- Miami Heat