February 16, 2011
Self-created Unassisted Basketball Achievement. It's science. Step your acronym evolution game up, champ.
Obviously, no right-minded soul would argue that this holds a highlight candle to the 90-foot Wade-to-Bron bomb that Eric Freeman brought you Tuesday night, but it's still a tricky piece of business worth a second look.
LeBron James(notes) pumps under Danny Granger(notes) at the top of the key, tosses an off-balance lefty scoop toward the backboard, splits Paul George(notes) and Roy Hibbert(notes) to get to the cup, corrals the carom with his right hand and flushes it (with a little bit of help from the member's bounce). The end of it might have looked a little janky, but man, is that some nimble stuff for a guy that big. And for those wondering about the statistical implications of the play, according to the play-by-play scoring of the game, there weren't any — LeBron gets credited for a dunk at 6:11, but no offensive rebound or assist. No Ricky Davis(notes) potential here.
Making the play more interesting, it was a bucket that James' Miami Heat actually needed. After racing out to 41-19 lead over the Indiana Pacers at the close of the first quarter, new Indiana coach Frank Vogel's squad outscored the Heat 64-41 in the second and third frames to set the stage for a nip-and-tuck fourth quarter where every possession mattered ... for the first nine minutes or so, anyway, before the Heat created enough breathing room to hand the Pacers a 110-103 defeat.
More than anything else, though, let's just be thankful that this one play offered something for all of us. Impartial observers get to watch a fun clip of an athletic play. LeBron backers get to discuss how amazing he is for pulling off such a creative and potentially risky move in the throes of a hotly contested game. LeBron haters get to say, "Pffft — in case you forgot, guys, Kobe Bryant(notes) did this three months ago, and he did it cooler, and better, and LeBron is a veritable forest of jerktrees who will never be as awesome as Kobe." And people who hate all of the above can say, "Dan's stupid for posting this."
See? We all get well off stuff like this. Embrace it.
International readers ("Int'l read'rs"): If the clip above isn't rocking for you, feel free to watch James do bad all by himself courtesy of our friends at the National Basketball Association.
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