The world outside is scary right now, so I suggest we spend this entire Friday reliving the happier moments of this year, like the time DeAndre Jordan baptized Brandon Knight against his will and that other time when Blake Griffin dunked all stupid when he didn’t have to.
The NBA playoffs start tomorrow, so the NBA’s YouTube channel posted their picks for the top 10 dunks of the year. A lot of these have appeared in the Wednesday Dunk Battle, so it’s a pleasant trip down a brutal memory lane. Remember when LeBron James made Jason Terry feel like a useless asshole? Remember when Kobe remembered how good he can be and dunked on the entire Brooklyn Nets line-up? Good times.
The NBA’s top 10 is after the jump, followed by the ACTUAL best dunk of the year.
Interested in learning more about Kobe Bryant’s injury and its impact on the Los Angeles Lakers? Then turn to the only people who matter in sports reporting, Taiwan’s Next Media Animation. They gave everybody big heads, have Kobe sobbing in a wheelchair and even managed to cram in a Jeremy Lin reference. Note: Jeremy Lin has a regular sized head. Because Taiwan? (h/t to Josh Mendoza)
Last week’s Wednesday Dunk Battle was one of the most hotly contested ever, pitting LeBron James and Blake Griffin (the two most prolific Wednesday Dunk Battlers of the season) against a sea otter and a guy who dunked through fire. The sea otter murdered them. But still, the idea is that the Wednesday Dunk Battle is HEATING UP, and this week we see who dares follow in Eddie the Sea Otter’s footsteps. Yes, LeBron James is in this one, too. Yes, I tried to see how many times I could write “Wednesday Dunk Battle” in one paragraph.
This week’s dunks:
1. Past-his-prime Kobe Bryant goes FULL PRIME on Josh Smith. 2. LeBron James runs a slant route en route to his one millionth alley-oop from Dwyane Wade. 3. Baylor’s Brittney Griner dunks on what might as well be everyone from Kansas State. 4. Louisville’s Chane Behanan uses the anger he’s felt trying to spell “Shane Bohannon” in his lifetime and brutally dunks over DePaul guard Worrel Clahar, who has NO IDEA what to spell.
You make the call. Please remember that your science is appreciated, and that voting in the poll below officially makes you a scientist. OF BASKETBALL DUNKS.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka has some anger issues. See also: that time he tried to rip off Mike Dunleavy’s arm. He’s the kind of guy where if somebody came up to you and said “Serge Ibaka just flagrantly punched a dude in the nuts during a professional basketball game,” you’d be all, heh, classic Serge.
If you missed it earlier in the week, Ibaka got called for a flagrant 1 foul late in the fourth in OKC’s 108-104 victory over the LA Clippers for, without grace or mercy or subterfuge, hauling off and whaling on Blake Griffin’s nuts. Everybody has an opinion about it. Kendrick Perkins thinks Griffin deserved it because he flops a lot, and that it should’ve been a “double foul.” Kobe Bryant says he probably would’ve smacked Ibaka in the mouth.
The one constant has been the assumption that Ibaka would get suspended, because seriously, watch the video. Griffin isn’t flopping, he got punched in the junk by a guy whose Eagle Claw could rip a hole in steel. News of the punishment came in yesterday afternoon, and sure enough, Serge was suspended for … wait, he wasn’t? Really?
The NBA announced Tuesday that Ibaka’s foul was upgraded to a flagrant 2 and he was fined $25,000 for striking Griffin in the groin area, but Ibaka was not suspended.
Before the ruling was handed down, Griffin said he didn’t “see how it could be let go” by the league with only a fine.
“I’m not going to cry,” Griffin said after practice Tuesday. “I’m not going to complain.” (via LA Times)
Griffin handled the situation as well as anybody could, but achieved legendary status for last night’s tweet, which cuts to the heart of the matter while remaining light-hearted and brand-conscious:
“It’s beyond measure,” Bryant said. “I don’t think there’s any way to really define it. What he’s done, it’s tough to really find a match for that in any sport. He’s been a model of consistency.”
“He’s meant everything to me in my career, taking a risk on a 17-year-old kid coming out of high school and believing in me my entire career,” he said. “For the game itself, the brand of basketball, ‘Showtime’ carried the league. You think about the rivalry that took place between the Lakers and the Celtics, and what that did for the global outreach of the game.
You know the drill. Every Wednesday we collect four notable slam dunks from the last seven days of basketball and pit them against one another in the WEDNESDAY DUNK BATTLE. You watch the dunks, then scroll to the bottom and vote for your favorite. The winner is named the scientifically, democratically-decided Dunk Of The Week, which I assume wins them fame and prizes.
This week’s dunks:
1. Nick Young’s 360 dunk for the mild enjoyment of Sixers fans. 2. Pacific University’s awesomely-named Dustin Bowser catches a ball off the glass and sends his defender tumbling into a wall. 3. Kobe Bryant dunks on the Nets, but Kris Humphries is there, so we’ll just say he specifically dunked on Kris Humphries, because f**k Kris Humphries 4. Nate Robinson’s fast-forward dunk on the Bucks.
Please consult the following clips and make your decision below.