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The Slamdunk

With the NBA Allstar game around the corner, today was a good idea to do a post around the same. Actually, this post is about one of ours & everyone else’s who watches the NBA’s favourite play, the SLAMDUNK!!! Over a period of time, since the ABA & Dr. J (Julius Erving popularised this great feat) the slamdunk has come a long & high way ;-).

nba_slam_dunk_contest_history_widescreen

My brother, Mihir, & I have been watching basketball since forever. Although initially, we didn’t really watch it for the love of the game.. actually we did; we used to play Tecmo Basketball on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) & that, over a period of time, got us familiar with the teams and the players. Soon we migrated to watching the game. This was around the time cable TV was introduced to India & ESPN & Starsports were broadcasting matches. Anyways, the Slamdunk & its versions, the tip-in dunk & the alley-oop, were our all time favorite things to watch in the game. We also followed some great dunkers & their exploits; to name a few – Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Scottie Pippen, Spud Webb, Shawn Kemp, Kobe Bryant,  etc. etc.. For all those interested in seeing the history of the Slamdunk Contest check the link http://www.nba.com/history/allstar/slamdunk_year_by_year.html ; also below is the video for the Top 10 dunks of all time in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest:

Moving on….. what i wanted to talk about was the evolution of the sport and my top few dunkers. Let me start by talking about my most favorite dunkers & my top 5 in order are – at number 1 – The Reign Man, Shawn Kemp number 2 – Half Man Half Amazing, Vince Carter & current favorite at number – 3 Blake Griffin. Vince & Blake both have been Slamdunk Contest winners; Kemp, on the other hand, hasn’t won any Slamdunk Contests yet, though his Alley-Oops courtesy Gary Payton and his insane in-game dunks are absolutely revolutionary. Vince Carter’s showing in the 2000 dunk contest is probably the greatest showing in the history of the NBA Slamdunk contest ever!!! Blake also showcased some amazing dunks during his winning run in 2011, his bounce ball off the board elbow dunk was very cool & his over the car dunk was a showcase event. Also, through the years, the dunk competetion has seen a great many dunkers like Jason Richardson, Nate Robinson, the only 3 time winner, Gerald Green, Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, etc. Don’t miss Vince Carter’s performance in the Slam Dunk Contest, check the below video:

Dwight Howard, one of the few big men who won the crown in 2008 with the Superman dunk, which according to me is when the dunk evolved…. Dwight jumped so high that he actually threw the ball downwards into the rim from far. Further to that, and since then, Blake Griffin has taken that to another level with his crazy dunks over Kendrick Perkins & Pau Gasol. His teammate, DeAndere Jordan, also matches Blake’s ability to fly, and showcases monstorous dunks regularly. Gerald Green, with his insane dunk, wherein his head was above the rim & then he decides to windmill the same………. insane, I tell you. Then there is Jawal Mcgee who, according to me, should have been a co winner with Blake Griffin in the slamdunk contest. This guy is a freak of nature,  with the arm span he has…… every time he dunks his hand is above the white box! All these guys have taken the art of dunking to the next level. A worthy mention here is The King, Lebron James, who as per me, has some of the most insane & powerful ingame dunks! When he jumped over John Lucas the 3rd, it was a sight which not many will ever forget! Blake vs. Jawal in the video below:

This year’s competetion features some great dunkers, though, no real superstar … which is a bummer :-(. NBA, take notice! Get Lebron, Blake & a few others to take part. Having said that, the competition this year features……click on the hyperlinks to see highlights of the participants:

2013 Eastern Conference Sprite Slam Dunk Competitors

Gerald Green (Indiana) Terrence Ross (Toronto) James White (New York)

2013 Western Conference Sprite Slam Dunk Competitors

Eric Bledsoe (L.A. Clippers) Jeremy Evans (Utah) Kenneth Faried (Denver)

My pick? I don’t have a single one, but will go with boys from the eastern conference – each of them has insane ups!!!

Intresting Trivia:

1) Nate Robinson has won the contest thrice as part of the New York Knicks

2) Three Atlanta Hawks have won the Slamdunk Contest – Dominique, Spudd & Josh Smith

3) Julius Erving never won the NBA contest but won it when it was a part of the ABA

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Helmets & More

 

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1 King to Rule Them All

Scorching Heat!!!

Miami Heat win the 2012 NBA Championship!!! Lebron James takes the team to the promised land… The King perseveres & finally delivers on his promise. We having been watching the NBA for over 20 years & this is the first time ever after a team has one the championship, there is a clear feeling of achievement & redemption. Through this article I have not only captured details about the Heat organization but also of Lebron so as to understand why this championship meant so much to both city & player….

The Wade Shaq Era…

Burnie!!!

The Team started out in 1988 /1989 though the time this team came on the map was with the arrival of Pat Riley, the legendary coach of the Lakers. This also brought Players like Alonzo Mourning, Dan Majerle, Eddie Jones, etc. The team was a good strong contender till 2000, post which they had a slight decline between 2001 & 2002 where they didn’t even make the playoffs. Then came the Dwayne Wade era in 2003 / 2004 who was signed as the 5th overall draft pick by the Heat. The next few years saw the genius of Pat Riley bring the Big Daddy Shaquille O’Neal to Miami & come 2006, with a veteran squad of Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, Alonzo Mourning, Shaq & Dwade, Miami won its first championship!!! 2007 to 2010 there is nothing to write home about though come 2010, the world changed as the Big 3 came together – Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh & the most important & prolific peice of the puzzle Lebron James…

James, Wade & Bosh

The King!!!

Important here to mention the Lebron James story so that we understand the importance of this championship. He was selected with the number one pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Listed as a small forward, James has set numerous youngest player records since joining the league. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003–04, the NBA Most Valuable Player in 2009, 2010 and 2012 and has been both an All-NBA selection and an All-Star every season since 2005. In 2010, a much-publicized free agency process ended with James signing with the Miami Heat. James led the Cleveland Cavaliers to consecutive playoff appearances from 2006 through 2010. In 2007, the Cavaliers advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, but lost to the San Antonio Spurs. In 2011, James and the Miami Heat advanced to the NBA Finals, but lost to the Dallas Mavericks.  James has been a member of the USA national team, winning a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and gold at the 2008 Olympics.

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Heat Win!!!

Post losing to the Mavericks last year wherein Mihir &  me were both rooting for the Heat to win, this year was definitely a make or break year for the Heat. Fortunately, the season did happen and through the same, The King performed at an unmatched level. James entered the lockout-shortened 2011-2012 season with a drastically changed demeanor. Admittedly humbled by Miami’s loss to Dallas, he spent the off season attempting to improve himself as a basketball player and a person, going so far as to work with Hakeem Olajuwon on his post game. The Heat opened the year on a strong note, finishing January with a 16-5 record and matching their best start to a season in franchise history. During that stretch, James averaged 29.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.80 steals and 37.4 minutes while shooting 55.1 percent from the field and 40.6 percent from three-point range. In the 2012 All-Star Game, he tied Kevin Durant with a game-high 36 points and tied the All-Star Game record of six three-pointers made. At the conclusion of the season, James was named league MVP for the third time, finishing with averages of 27.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.9 steals per game on 53 percent shooting. A championship was now way overdue…

The King Rules!!!

Finally, post beating teams like the Indiana Pacers & Boston Celtics, Miami returned to the big stage, this time to take on the Oklohoma City Thunder lead by the season MVP runner Kevin Durant. The series was pitted as one of the most evenly balanced series’ in the history of the NBA and with allstars on both teams, this was the most media friendly series as well. What seperated the men from the boys was not only the hunger and dissapointment for the Heat players from last year’s loss against Dallas but also the emergence of Lebron James who took over the reigns of the club and pushed it to the next level. The King had multiple triple doubles in the finals series – one of them in the decisive game 5. James also won the MVP of the Finals basis his contribution to this series. This also opens up another discussion basis build & buy. Clearly Miami Heat today is a bought & build team which defeated a build & bought team in Oklohoma City… Purists – one of them being my brother – will always argue this point though, today, the writing’s on the wall and Miami Heat are your 2012 NBA Champions!!! Today there is only 1 King to rule them all!!! Kudos to Pat Riley’s genius as president, Eric Spoelstra, the coach & key players not only like Dwade & Chris Bosh but a great supporting cast – Shane Battier, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Noris Cole, etc.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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