-- It's 2018, right? We didn't slip back into 2008 for one night in Portland, did we?
They say you're not supposed to be able to do these type of things at this point. That at 33 years old, your best athletic days usually have passed you by.
After last night's vintage King James devastation, who other than LeBron James could leave us questioning our grasp of time? LeBron's thunderous jam over Portland's Jusuf Nurkic immediately takes the top spot at the Dunk HQ
, knocking current Cavs teammate Larry Nance, Jr. from his long-held throne.
It's obvious LeBron is in one unique, continuous groove and seems to defy the rules of time on a nightly basis. Every so often, he'll toss out a visual reminder of what used to be:
If anyone knows personally that not much has changed with LeBron from yesteryear to now, Nurkic does now.
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1. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers | March 13 vs. Blazers
We've long held the notion at the Dunk HQ
that contesting a slam and jumping with leapers is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, defenders have a lot of pride. The Blazers applauded Nurkic for his defensive effort
. How did NBA nation reward Nurkic?
2. Larry Nance, Jr., Los Angeles Lakers | Dec. 18 vs. Warriors
"Oh. My. Goodness!" is so correct. Where do we begin? For starters, how about Nance giving the No. 2 shot-blocker in the league in Kevin Durant (yes, that
Kevin Durant) the business? The crazy extension. The hangtime after the contact. Best of all, check out the fan in the baseline seats who senses something amazing brewing and totally loses it when Nance drops the facial. This had to bring a smile to the always-smiling Magic Johnson, who has visions of producing a Showtime sequel to take center stage at Staples Center.
3. Jordan Bell, Golden State Warriors | Oct. 23 vs. Mavs
Whether the launch of Jordan Bell into the NBA spotlight broke showboat protocol or not
, the Dunk HQ
will always show appreciation for pizzazz. It's what a great in-game, open-court dunk should be about. Oohs and ahhs, fallen jaws. A bit of the unexpected. This slam had all of that.
4. James Johnson, Miami Heat | Oct. 21 vs. Pacers
Look, we understand. You have to protect the basket. Victor Oladipo gave it an honest try. The extra lift and power of James Johnson is just too much.
5. Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers | Nov. 10 vs. Bulls
Sometimes, there are advantages to having a short memory in the NBA. Longtime Dunk HQ
resident Victor Oladipo clearly understands that. Leaving the Johnson poster in the past, Oladipo uses space and opportunity to show a little style with the classic 360 jam.
6. Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic | Jan. 27 vs. Pacers
Maybe Gordon is over the dunk contest. After all, two straight losses can zap the fire. But when you throw down jams like this, maybe you still have something to prove. Here's hoping that Air Gordon gets a chance to shine under the All-Star Saturday night spotlight once again.
7. Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics | Nov. 14 vs. Nets
The Celtics spark-plug is latest to exhibit some creativity in the open-court. Is better perimeter defense suddenly the source? Or is the notion that an open court and individual artistry go hand-in-hand catching on more? Either way, it's definitely entertaining to see players capitalize on these opportunities. Keep 'em coming.
8. Dwight Howard, Charlotte Hornets | Jan. 31 vs. Hawks
It must have felt good for Howard, an Atlanta native, to be back home. Maybe not so much for Howard's former Hawks teammate Mike Muscala, the recipient of Howard's southern hospitality and the second Howard poster victim to make the countdown.
9. Dennis Smith, Jr., Dallas Mavericks | Jan. 22 vs. Wizards
It's been said that slams from smaller players look better because of all the ground they have to make up from floor to rim. Is it true? I guess the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In Smith's case, height plays no role in this 360, which easily fancies the eye.
10. Jaylen Brown | Jan. 31 vs. Knicks
In his second appearance this season on the Dunk HQ
, Brown does it all. A shifty in-and-out dribble attack set Brown up for an off-leg takeoff that Kristaps Porzingis had nothing for. While we thought highly of the facial, Brown wasn't particularly impressed
. Harsh critic.
* * *
Dropping out this season: Ben Simmons
, Jeff Green
, Victor Oladipo
, Blake Griffin
, Donovan Mitchell
, Kris Dunn
, John Wall
, Dwight Howard
, Jeff Green, Part II
, Andrew Wiggins
, Giannis Antetokounmpo