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A.C. Green shares his favorite Laker dunks of the season

In between rounds, there was no point marveling at the dunks A.C. Green and I just witnessed.

We were part of a judging panel on Saturday for the NBA/Sprite Los Angeles Amateur Dunk contests at the Universal City Walk, and the first round consisted of either participants missing or endlessly imitating Spudd Webb's legendary lob bounce off the floor. So instead of picking Green's brain about what we just saw on the court, I thought I'd get his take on which Lakers dunks he enjoyed the most this season. Below are his top three choices followed by his explanations.

1. Kobe Bryant posterizing Emeka Okafor in Lakers' 106-90 Game 5 victory against New Orleans

Only a day earlier, the Lakers faced uncertainty on the severity of Bryant's ankle injury. He had hobbled off the court in Game 4, held postgame interviews in the trainer's room and made his way to the team bus on crutches. Yet, Bryant refused to take an X-ray or have an MRI exam, despite insistence from Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and the training staff, arguing it'd just waste his time. 

It turns out, at least for one game, Bryant was right. His 19-point effort on eight-of-13 shooting included a dunk where he went through an opening in the lane and powered a one-handed slam over Okafor. The play prompted Bryant to roar, the bench to rise and the 19,091 fans at Staples Center to cheer. 

"That's what really stands out for anything else," Green said. "It was the timing of it all, when it happened in the game and the attitude with it. The actual dunk itself, he had to go up and readjust because Okafor was coming at him face-to-face. So he had to adjust his body and glide over to the right. Basically, he had to hesitate, let [Okafor's] body pass his and then come down with it. Where I was sitting at the time, it was perfect. That's the kind that make you say, 'Oh yeah.' "

2. Shannon Brown's dunks

Green can't really pinpoint which dunk from Brown he liked the most. Whether it was his dunk where he switched hands in mid-air against New Orleans, catching an alley-oop lob from Steve Blake against New York or his reverse against the Clippers, Green recalled having the same reaction to each one.

"With Shannon, you just come to expect it," Green said. "It's one of those things where you expect him to pull something off athletic and crazy from a dunk standpoint. He gets up so high and goes after everything."

3. Ron Artest's reversal against the Clippers and one-handed slam over the Suns

Usually, Artest fast breaks entail him bobbling the ball, throwing up an ill-advised shot, or in the case of the Lakers' Game 4 loss to Dallas, allowing the rim to block him. But there are rare moments where Artest somehow manages to pull off something spectacular.

In the Lakers' 112-104 victory on March 26 over the Clippers, Artest surprisingly drove baseline past Chris Kaman for a reverse dunk in the second quarter and also had a one-hander on a fast break. Three days earlier in the Lakers' 139-137 triple-overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns, Artest stole the ball from Suns guard Steve Nash in the third overtime, drove for a fast break, finished with a one-handed dunk that gave the Lakers a 135-132 lead with 1:53 remaining and flexed and kissed his biceps afterward.

"Ron is the element of surprise," Green said. "You just don't know what you're going to get. When he does come and throws in a dunk, you never expect it. You know how you hear the crowd gasp when he pulls up for a three-pointer? It's the same feeling when he dunks the ball."

--Mark Medina

E-mail the Lakers blog at [email protected]

 
Comments () | Archives (9)

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Shannon's dunks are impressive but nothing compared to Blake Griffins. Much more electrifying to see Blake slam.

Dave W,

re: I did not mean to attack kobe if that's what you got from my post. I LOVE kobe and know that he is the only player that brings it every game. I know that it might also be for his own selfish goals, but i know the dude wants to win at nearly all costs. There is no doubt in my mind about that.

Maybe there is too much to write about in one shot and maybe i am not able to articulate everything that I want to - but I realize that without kobe this team as is, would be garbage. Gasol no matter how talented is constantly being pushed around in the paint. LO doing his annual disappearing act - but he did have a great regular season. I would like to see both of them traded as long as mitch can get players who can summon their talents during the playoffs.

my response: I've seen a lot of posts about Kobe should be more like
Magic or LBJ and pass the ball instead of shooting it. Normally, those
comments are in-line w/ he's a ballhog, a horrible leader, he's not as good as
"fill in the blank". Rather then do that dance again, I thought I'd come at
it from a different angle.

WHO is Kobe supposed to defer to?

Nobody wants to win as much as he does.
Nobody trains as hard as he does.
Nobody is capable of carrying the team, as he has.

So then when he says, "I'm the number 1 option". is he right or wrong?

We just saw him constantly try to get the ball into the post, to Pau & Bynum.
How'd that work out for us?

The reason why he's the #1 option and Pau is the #2 option is because those
are our best offensive guys. [ hint: all stars are a pointer to skill/value. ]

When Bynum runs the floor for the full 35 mins, learns to establish better
position faster, & learns how to play better offense & defense against
someone of like size ... then we can talk about his "pecking order" position.
Until then, would someone please tell him to go take some more lessons from
Kareem.

Sunday morning moderation test

Crikey! Moderation ... AGAIN! Back to Premier League Soccer then

Thanks
PSP Intern

I love Kobe, but I am worried. I have always hoped that he would grow old gracefully. His comments about pecking order were very disheartening. How can we bring in another great to compliment his greatness if he has this kind of attitude? It is a team game. The pecking order should be to get the ball to the guy in the end of the game with the hot hand. There was one game where Bynum was like 8 for 10 but he didn’t shoot in the fourth quarter. Can you imagine how it would have worked out in Boston if that was Paul’s attitude? - “I’m going to get my shots, next in line is Kevin, and Ray is just going to have to deal with being number 3.” They wouldn’t have won anything and would probably all be on different teams by now. They play together as a team and make sure that the guy with the hot hand gets the ball. If that guy is some player nobody has ever heard of but is playing his head off, then so be it. I know it is hard to be Kobe. It is hard to be the one trying the hardest. It is hard to trust teammates who give up on you. At the same time, it is a team game. One guy against 5 will lose every time.

Something happened at the end. I don’t think it is something we know about. We will probably find out in the book. I think it was Drew wanting to be a bigger part of the offense. Right around the point we were 17 and 1 - mostly because of his play. He must have received this pecking order speech. It cost us the championship.

I read the article about Phil on ESPN. It was a little chilling. It was written by a Celtic fan and so had to be taken with a grain of salt. It was pretty clear however that Phil left because he didn’t want to try and coach Kobe in his declining years. I am afraid it might be a little hard to watch as well as coach.

I think it is interesting that the guy to hit the nail on the head about why this season was different was Andrew Bynum. He basically said Kobe didn’t practice and they never got into sync because of it. I also found it interesting that Kobe said he would practice next year and basically admitted that this was a big part of the problem. I am a musician. I am trying to imagine one of the guys never practicing but only showing up to gigs and how good we would be. It wouldn’t suck. We are all professionals. We wouldn’t be as good as we could be however. The dynamics would suffer. The endings would have to be a little loose…

Jim is running things and Drew is his guy. We are not going to trade Drew. Trading Lamar will not get us an elite point guard. I am tired of watching a 7’ guy play timidly and shoot weenie shots. It is time for a change. We need to trade Pau and get D-Will or CP.

I would like to see Ron get traded as well. We need someone in his position who can hit a three for us.

I think Lamar played great for us all year, but not so much in the playoffs when his reality show got going. I think we need to lose the show and keep Lamar.

I love the triangle. I think we need to get rid of it. The triangle is based on getting guys open for easy shots. This will only works if you have a team that can shoot well. We don’t. In order to keep running the triangle (debatable how much we run it anyway), we need young fast players who can shoot. In order to bring back Showtime, we need young fast players. We have a few young fast players, but they currently ride the bench. I think a Sloan’s kind of offense would work well for the guys we have.

Rick Adelman – I don’t think Kobe would respect him enough to do what he says. Kobe beat Rick’s teams.

Mike Dunleavy – Please… As if… God no!

Brian Shaw – “He knows how we like to be coached.” I think hiring Shaw would be a huge mistake. Not only will Kobe not do what he says, Shaw probably won’t try to tell him anything anyway. I loved him as a player. He should take the Golden State job and start fresh. He is too much “one of the guys.”

Coach K – Would be a good choice, but he is happy with his current job.

Derek Fisher – I would give him the job if he would take it. Kobe listens to him. He has leadership in his blood. It sounds like he wants to keep playing. I hope he stays on the Lakers and becomes a great back-up for our new elite point guard.

Larry Brown – Won against Kobe. He doesn’t stick with teams. Maybe this would be good when Derek finally takes over…

We need Sloan. We need someone Kobe respects. Kobe has said things like, “Sloan’s teams don’t quit.” Kobe knows that Sloan has given the Lakers a run for the money many times with a lot less talent at his disposal. He also knocked Kobe out of the playoffs in the late 90’s. Kobe and Sloan are cut from the same cloth. They understand each other. I think they could work together to give Kobe another (and Sloan’s first) championship. It may be wishful thinking but, from what I have read, it sounds like he is willing to discuss it.

@sistermaryelephant.. Enjoyed ur post but I think ur being too lenient on pau.. No way he deserves a passing grade overall.. He may have passed just barely his midterms but he flunked the biggest exam of all..his finals!

@PSP.. Thanks and now that phil is gone I'm certain rookies will now get a fair chance at earning PT over phils totalitarian system and hopefully we'll get a coach who knows how to develop young talent!

@NuggetsCountry.. Like edwin said kudos and agree with every one of ur posts last thread.. Pau has been feeding us his lip service all year but now he sounds like a compulsive liar when he says he'll figure it out and bounce back esp during his exit interview when he said he'll "embrace his troubles and come back stronger"... What troubles? Its just lots of smoke n mirrors coming from this pseudo intellectual mind.. For 82 games it was himself constantly defending himself against a barrage of soft criticism saying he'll show up when it counts.. He also had plenty of chances to redeem himself in the playoffs from game1 against NOH considering he got outplayed every single game. So agree with you and I for one would rather not pin our title hopes again on a guy who flamed out when it mattered most.

Jon K

Who said we can never be beaten in 7 game seied!!!!
How about 4!!!

This team need to be blown up!

Get rid of Kobe and Bynum, and get some quality players such as D Will, CP, and The Superman

ToldYouSo

(you did not... show me the post from last NOVEMBER where you predicted anything - saying you predicted in May is bull-stuff).

>>>>This team need to be blown up!

You needs to learns English.

>>>Get rid of Kobe and Bynum, and get some quality players such as D Will,
>>>CP, and The Superman

Well, first of all, Shaq is shot, so Superman is not an option. Dwight Howard is not Superman. He's wannabe Superman.

Second, you're not likely to pry either Chris Paul or Deron Williams away from their current teams unless you're including at least an average PG in the deal. Fisher and Blake aren't going to get the deal done.

It's not impossible to get any of those 3 players, but very difficult. And Kobe's not going anywhere, chump. Get used to him or go cheer for another team.

Go cheer for LeBronze to take his team to another victory parade before he's even made it to the finals.


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