If the dunk looks familiar to you, it might be because George’s Shanghai slam resembles the 360-degree windmill that he completed at the 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during NBA All-Star Weekend, though he’s since added the extra wrinkle (and difficulty) of going through his legs in mid-spin. If the dunk doesn’t look familiar to you, it might be because George did that February dunk in the dark while wearing glow-in-the-dark stripes on his jersey, marking arguably the worst decision of a dunk contest that saw Chase Budinger both pretend to be Cedric Ceballos and jump over Diddy, which is saying something.
It’s no secret that George has ridiculous hops — if you’ll recall, he also dunked over 7-foot-2 teammate Roy Hibbert during the 2012 contest, and while he did have to push Hibbert’s head down a bit to make that work under the bright lights of the competition, he’s also cleared Hibbert with hardly any contact before. But while his vertical’s clearly impressive, it’s George’s ability to integrate so many moving parts in the dunk — the reverse spin away from his right hand, the through-the-legs move passing it to his right hand and the windmill for the tomahawk, all while passing left-to-right away from the basket — that makes this so cool. Add in the fact that, as James said, George just got up out of his chair and did this without stretching, warming up, practicing or anything, and it’s really a remarkable display of athleticism and coordination that’s likely to leave fans eager to see George make another trip to the All-Star Weekend dunk contest.
Except maybe leave the lights on this time, Paul. It’s hard to freak out over an insane dunk if you can’t see it.