Any Given Thursday

by Rich Shen and Austin Lim | 2/18/15 7:21pm

This past weekend marked one of the most entertaining All-Star weekends in recent memory. It was filled with high-flying dunks, wet three-point shots and hysterical commentary from the most entertaining crew in sports (read: Shaq and Charles Barkley). The events on Saturday culminated with the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk, one of the most entertaining dunk contests I can remember. For this edition of “Any Given Thursday,” we decided to share our reactions to each one of these dunks.

Mason Plumlee’s first dunk: Pretty solid. He had Kyrie Irving throw the ball off the side of the backboard and then jammed home a two-handed reverse. The real question, though, is why did he pick Irving instead of a teammate? I guess the Nets are just that bad.

Victor Oladipo’s first dunk: This dude has some major swag — he came in singing Sinatra and then did a sick 540. For the shortest guy in the contest, he certainly made a big statement with his first dunk.

Zach LaVine’s first dunk: LaVine emerged wearing a “Space Jam” jersey with Michael Jordan’s name on the back — bold statement. He can’t possibly live up to the name, can he? Oh, he threw the ball in the air, we’ve all seen this before…OHMYGOD. That dunk was ridiculous! How is that even possible? He had to avoid hitting his head on the rim! Wow.

Giannis Antetokounmpo’s first dunk: Sorry, still watching LaVine’s.

Plumlee’s second dunk: Mason brings out his brother, who is around 6’ 11” and proceeds to dunk over him, which is pretty cool. Admittedly he did push off a little, but still a solid dunk. I’m finally sitting down again after LaVine’s dunk.

Oladipo’s second dunk: Gets a pass off the side of the backboard and does a 360 dunk, but it is less emphatic than I would have liked. Impressive, but not as good as his first dunk.

LaVine’s second dunk: This dunk was insane, like throw-everything-you-currently-have-in-your-hands-on-the-ground-and-walk-out-of-the-room insane. I think I did a real life spit-take, and I didn’t even take a sip of anything beforehand. He puts the ball behind his back and is still rising! He’s still going up and finally after his head reaches the level of the rim he decides, hmm I guess I’ll dunk it now, and does so emphatically. My god. This kid must have springs on his shoes or something because these dunks should be illegal.

Antetokounmpo’s second dunk: Still watching LaVine.

LaVine’s third dunk: He just makes it look so easy, it’s insane. Andrew Wiggins holds the ball up before LaVine puts it through his legs and jams it home with authority. This gets me thinking about a Wiggins-LaVine dunk contest. Which would you rather watch, Wiggins vs. LaVine dunking or Steph Curry vs Klay Thompson shooting? These are the tough questions in life.

Oladipo’s third dunk: Another solid dunk. He has a teammate throw it off the backboard and does a windmill before dunking it with authority. Can we talk about his teammate’s hair? It looks like a bird’s nest. I was initially distracted from the dunk by the hair — need to have a talk with Victor about his teammate selection.

Oladipo’s fourth dunk: Tries to do an awesome dunk, but can’t convert it. Unfortunate, but it doesn’t matter because we all know who’s going to win.

LaVine’s fourth dunk:LAVINE. Off the structure of the backboard from a teammate, through his legs, jams it home and that’s all she wrote. This was an unreal performance from LaVine, who won in emphatic fashion.

If you haven’t seen these dunks already, do yourself a favor and get to a computer NOW. LaVine’s high-flying heroics made for what was easily the best dunk contest performance we’ve seen in the past decade. He single-handedly revived what was once the most exciting part of the All-Star weekend. The best part of it? Zach LaVine is only 19 years old — the second youngest winner of the dunk contest in history. He still has room to improve, get stronger and jump even higher. Who can even imagine what this kid will be able to do five years from now?