Five of the biggest stars still balling in these NBA playoffs.
Five YouTube Clips apiece of their coolest, slickest, most entertaining moments. Without further adieu, click, click, click away.
LeBron James (Miami Heat)
Revenge Dunk over Jason Terry
Remember when LeBron used to get crushed for a lack of killer instinct, for being too nice? Ask now-Boston Celtics guard Jason Terry if that narrative holds any water. This posterization came a year and a half after LeBron and the Heat had avenged their 2011 Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks, who then featured Terry. The King warned us after The Decision that he keeps an enemies list. Dude wasn’t messing around.
And How About More Dunks?
Um... yes, please. 10 of his greatest, and #6 over Tim Duncan and #1 over KG are particularly impressive.
A Collection Of Sequences Difficult For Everyone Else...
But for LBJ? Not so much. Good lord, this guy is really, really spectacular at basketball.
Like every great perimeter player, LeBron has received the “Is the next MJ?” treatment. But at his core, he’s really closer to Magic Johnson, and just happens to be an unstoppable scorer. A point guard in a power forward’s body, LeBron has redefined how we categorize positions in the NBA.
The Science Behind LeBron’s “Chase down” Block.
The only person who won’t enjoy this is clip is O.J. Mayo.
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
Wade’s First Ring
Say what you will -- and many folks still do -- about the refs sending Flash to the free throw line like it was an all-you-can-eat buffet, but he was spectacular as the focal point of Miami’s 2006 championship run. Here are the highlights from the Game 6 series clincher, in which he seriously stuffed a stat line.
A Whole Bunch O’ D.Wade Dunks
The title pretty much says it all.
It’s awesome to swoop in and block Amare Stoudemire while STAT was still an explosive athlete. It’s awesome hit a 68 buzzer beater to close a half. But hitting a 68-foot buzzer beater on the heels of blocking Amare? That’s next level. (This one comes Andre Agassi approved)
KG gets spun like a top. Ray Allen ends up on his knees. Dwyane, thy crossover is narsty.
By any means necessary... or even totally unnecessary.
It’s probably wrong to label these transgressions “cool,” but they’re certainly eye opening. With the possible exception of Kevin Garnett, there’s no superstar player universally considered dirtier than Wade.
Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs)
Why is Ginobili perhaps the craftiest player in the league?
Because he throws baseball passes like these...
And splits two defenders while spinning, then hits a cutting Tim Duncan with a bounce pass...
And takes a handoff with Duncan, runs a curl, then threads an over the shoulder pass through three defenders to set up Duncan at the rim...
(Oh, and he’s also Batman, And we all know Batman is awesome.)
Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Garden Variety Star-Making Performance
MSG is still considered the basketball Mecca, so in the eyes of many, a star truly arrives when they light up 4 Pennsylvania Plaza. 54 points last February? That’ll do, Pig. That’ll do.
He kills In La La Land, Too.
Last month, he put up 47 points against the Lakers. Were this also not known as “the game in which Kobe blew out his Achilles, the locals likely would have found themselves begrudgingly entertained.
Take A Seat, George!
Cut to :26, then watch Curry cross over Indiana’s George Hill onto his ass. Oh my goodness!
Yeah, Go Ahead And Shimmy, Steph.
That’s pretty much how the average person would react after perfectly threading a bounce pass to Jarrett Jack from halfcourt while on the run.
Shooting With Pops
Curry’s father Dell was a deadly NBA sharpshooter from 1987-2002. The family genetics are clearly strong, and it’s fun to watch father and son trade shots in the driveway.
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
After half a season’s worth of drama, Melo finally got his wish and forced a trade to the Big Apple. The Knickerbocker faithful were delirious that, after a long, dry period, one of the league’s biggest stars now called the Garden home, and Anthony put on quite a show. 27 points, 10 rebounds and a pair of game-sealing late-fourth quarter buckets.
Last season, Anthony put a 35 point, 12 rebound, 10 dime hurting on the Celtics. The display was also a reminder that, while the knock on Melo as an unwilling passer is sometimes accurate, that’s not the same thing as incapable.
A series of game-winners, drilled over the likes of LeBron, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala, and other high end wing defenders. You can make a very credible argument there’s no better scoring option with the game on the line.
Sticking It To New York’s Other Squad
Putting up 45 while shadowed by Gerald Wallace shouldn’t look this easy.
Melo v. A.I.
The two were definitely better suited as dueling scoring machines than teammates. During a 2006 game in Denver, they put on quite the mano y’ mano, and a combined 81 points were the result.
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