In preseason, hope springs eternal and all flaws have been fixed — it's why we read about how countless shooters' janky jumpers have been fixed in three months' time, how this is the year that all-offense swingman is going to commit on the defensive end, and how the relentlessly demanding coach who calls every play from the sidelines is finally going to let his point guard run the show. We're always hearing about what players are going to do differently at this time of year, and it always seems to get us excited, irrespective of whether it actually comes to fruition.
For the past couple of years, Rudy Gay's been one of the most commonly referenced players in these preseason flights of fancy. The super-athletic, undoubtedly gifted Memphis Grizzlies forward has been on the brink of All-Star status and asserting himself as one of the more consistently menacing wing players in the league if he could just put it all together, and this year (we say every year) is the year when it's all going to happen. Whether it does or doesn't, though, we do know that Mr. Gay is a terror off the bounce and a demon when driving the lane.
And now, thanks to a Memphis preseason showdown with vaunted international basketball side Real Madrid, defenders Marcus Slaughter and Mirza Begic know it, too.
Slaughter and Begic converged for the swat as Gay curled to the cup off the feed from new Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless, but they wound up getting nothing but air. Actually, strictly speaking, that's not true — a closer look shows that they wound up with a handful of, well, hand:
Obviously, it stinks to get dunked on, but that must have still been a pretty satisfying high-five. Jumping as high as you can and slapping your dude's hand in mid-air at maximum velocity is the kind of thing most often attempted at weddings, and here these guys did it during a basketball game in front of what appears to be dozens of interested onlookers. A classic moment about which they'll be telling their bros for a lifetime. (They might leave out that whole "dunk" part, though.)
Gay had 27 points on 11-for-18 shooting to pace Memphis to a 105-93 win in the preseason contest on Saturday night, which won't mean a whole heck of a lot when live action starts in just a few weeks, but is still kind of worth celebrating. Up top, y'all!
If the video above isn't rocking for you, please feel free to check out Gay's tomahawk elsewhere, thanks to NBAGermany2011.
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