December 22, 2010
Coming out of Fresno State, the book on Paul George(notes) was that he had "excellent leaping ability and a frame that is reminiscent of a young Tracy McGrady(notes)," according to the fine folks at DraftExpress. T-Mac has used his long, wiry frame pretty well over the years, establishing himself among the game's elite athletes and (once upon a time) as a ferocious in-game dunker, thanks to mammoth posterizations like this classic on Shawn Bradley.
Obviously, George hasn't really had an opportunity to establish himself as much of anything yet — he's only 20 appearances into his rookie season with the Indiana Pacers, playing just 16.5 minutes per contest. But this post-practice clip of George — clad, for some wonderful reason, in what Pacers assistant coach/narrator Walter McCarty calls "the throwback John-Stockton-of-the-Utah-Jazz shorts" — going up and over ginormous teammate Roy Hibbert(notes) for a sweet dunk definitely confirms the leaping ability.
It's gotta be the shorts, right?
George's jam probably reminds most of us of Nate Robinson's(notes) famed "Krypto-Nate" dunk over Dwight Howard(notes) from the 2009 Slam Dunk Contest. The fact that George is much, much taller (he's listed at 6-foot-8, while Nate's booked at 5-foot-9) does downgrade the wow factor a bit, but keep in mind that at 7-foot-2, dunkee Hibbert's three inches taller than the 6-foot-11 Howard. Still a really, really impressive display of upsmanship.
If George could ever translate that kind of explosion into a game, he'd probably become an Internet legend and garner dunk-crazy fans all over the world. For now, though, Pacers fans would probably settle for the rook hitting more than 34 percent of his shots, even if they're not always so breathtaking. They'd also probably dig it if he hit the floor wearing them Stockton-esque joints, too, because that's just how Indy gets down.
International readers ("Int'l read'rs"): If the clip above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to peruse the one giant leap for Georgekind courtesy of pacersvideo.
Tip o' the tweed to CelticsHub.