Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola is a very good player, a veteran with many skills and a high basketball IQ. No one would ever confuse him for being particularly athletic, though, and he doesn't dunk with the regularity you'd expect from a 6-9 person who gets paid to play in the NBA. That's to say it doesn't ever happen: As the stats show, he hasn't tried to dunk this season.
That changed on Sunday night. Late in the second quarter, with the Rockets already blowing out the Kings in Sacramento, Scola took the ball from Courtney Lee on a four-on-one fast break to find himself face-to-face with center DeMarcus Cousins at the rim. Instead of dumping it off for an easy bucket, Scola decided to have a little fun and took it right at the 6-11 big man. It was perhaps a little arrogant, because Cousins committed the no-brainer foul and sent Scola to the floor.
Scola laughed it off afterward, likely realizing that he might have flown a little too close to the sun. His teammates got a kick out of it, though, as noted by Jonathan Feigen for The Houston Chronicle:
"I almost had a heart attack," Chandler Parsons said. "My chest really was hurting after that. If he wasn't fouled, he had it."
Scola said he has heard plenty about the moment from his teammates and expects more. He did not seem to mind.
"It was funny," he said. "I was close. That's all I'll say. I was close."
Saying Scola would have had it if he wasn't fouled is like claiming that I could dunk if the rim were two feet shorter, so I'm not sure Parsons is giving Scola much credit. Nevertheless, if Scola were ever going to try something like this, it's best to do it in a sure win against a team with a clinically moderated allergy to defense.
It sounds odd to say, but Scola might never get a chance to dunk on someone again in his career. Let us remember this moment and toast him even if he wasn't successful. He deserves that much credit.
(Video via ClutchFans)
- Luis Scola
- Houston Rockets