Wednesday, July 8, 2009

DunkGate

We've all heard about it by now: LeBron James got dunked on, by a college kid, at his own summer basketball camp.

Too bad none of us will likely never get to see it, since Nike confiscated the only two (as far as we know) tapes of the dunk. The official company line from Nike is as follows, according to the Associated Press:

"Nike has been operating basketball camps for the benefit of young athletes for decades and has long-standing policies as to what events are open and closed to media coverage. Unfortunately, for the first time in four years, two journalists did not respect our no videotaping policy at an after-hours pickup game following the LeBron James Skills Academy," said Nike spokesman Derek Kent on Wednesday.

But it seems pretty clear from CBSsports's Gary Parrish and his quotes from freelance photographer Ryan Miller, that there's more to the videos being confiscated than the above given reason.

LeBron is apparently responsible for having the video confiscated, but seriously, what gives? Is it really that embarassing that you were worried that it would be YouTube sensation? Really now, getting dunked on is not that bad. Every great player has been dunked on, I'm sure of it, even though I don't feel like going through years and years of NBA archived footage to prove it. C'mon LeBron, ask your new teammate, Shaq, even the "Big Witness" has been on the receiving end of a dunk. Hell, even the not so great players get dunked on (see: Shawn Bradley), but that's not the point. Everyone gets dunked on, it's part of playing basketball.

Sure, the video would have gotten its fair share of publicity, after all, it is "The Chosen One" getting dunked on (two-handed, reportedly), by a college player out of the A-10.

Here's my question though: how long will people remember it for? It's not like it was on a grand stage. It was in a pick-up game after a day of basketball camp, and I doubt that means LeBron was going as hard as he would in the fourth quarter of a playoff game. I'm sure people will remember longer that LeBron walked off the court at the end of the series against the Magic and didn't shake any hands, and skipped out on his post-game press conference. I mean, how many people remember when Devin Harris got crossed over by some British amateur by the name of Stuart Tanner. I bet more people remember when he hit that crazy half-court game winner last season against the 76ers.

I say, let the footage of LeBron getting dunked on by Jordan Crawford get released to the public, and give the kid the respect, and 15 minutes, he deserves, much like Stuart Tanner got his moment in the limelight after the Devin Harris incident. Because, let's face it, hardly any one will remember it a year from now.

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