With the preseason now underway, let the excitement officially begin. We are that much closer to the start of the 2015-16 NBA season. We can’t wait. Unfortunately, we’re sure there are plenty of people out there who don’t share the same enthusiasm.
As hard as it is to believe, there are some out folks who don’t really like the National Basketball Association. It’s not that they aren’t fans of the game. On the contrary, they most certainly are. They just prefer to watch the sport played at the collegiate level. There’s nothing wrong with that — college basketball is super awesome. Yet, when it comes to dissecting the most memorable basketball plays of all time, if you ask us, the highlights within the NBA tend to trump most things. That holds especially true in the world of dunking.
When you’re dealing with a league that harbors the best players on the planet, you can assume that, on any given night, one of these individuals will do something to show just how truly special they really are. And while Dwyane Wade has proven time and time again that he is among the sport’s biggest superstars, if you look back at the 2009-10 season, there’s one particular moment that epitomizes that fact. For the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Anderson Varejao, it’s a shame that moment had to come at his expense.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy this latest edition of “Throwback Throwdowns.”
On November 12, 2009, the Cleveland Cavaliers traveled to Miami for nothing more than an early regular-season showdown with the Heat. Of course, as any fan of the game will tell you, anytime LeBron James and D-Wade take the court as opponents, they tend to bring out the best in each other. So you might want to make it a point to tune in. As it turned out, this night would be one of those occasions.
Had things worked out a little differently, this highlight could have very well belonged to the King. After all, the play itself did start with him driving to the lane, looking to flush the ball with authority. However, the Heat’s Jermaine O’Neal was not having any of it. He met James at the rim, got a piece of the ball, and thwarted an easy bucket. It was then that the real magic began.
Wade grabbed the board and immediately pushed the ball up the right side of the court. In what can only be described as a lack of good judgment, not one member of the Cleveland Cavaliers tried to stop the ball. As Flash picked up a full head of steam, moving toward the middle of the court and down the lane, Varejao stepped up between him and the basket. The Cavs big man should’ve known better.
As the two players meet in the paint, Varejao goes up to block the ball. Big mistake. Wade cocks it back and jams home; all while knocking Varejao to the ground and drawing the foul in the process. The crowd erupts and the two broadcasters — Marv Albert and Reggie Miller — lose their minds. As Varejao lays on the court, Wade steps over his body, struts his stuff, and gives the Miami faithful a look that seemingly says, “That’s right. I did that.”
Yes you did, D-Wade. And we are forever grateful.
All statistics are courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.