While last week’s Beef Thursdays column featured actual beef, in the sense that athletes were trying to rip each other’s heads off en route to a horrific international incident that could have only been prevented by the United Nations or James Bond, this week’s edition is more of an imposed sense of rivalry. Namely, we thought that Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan became the clear frontrunner for Dunk of the Year last week, but then LeBron James popped up this week and said, “Hold on just one second.”
Funny how I’ve always thought we’d never be able to settle a Jordan-James debate.
Jordan and the Clippers raised the bar for humiliating opponents last week, when the 6’11” dunk machine threw down over an incredibly mismatched Brandon Knight. The result was two point for Jordan and a meeting with the floor for Knight.
Blake Griffin immediately dubbed it the “dunk of the year” while the Internet had a field day with Knight’s decision to try to defend the dunk. Some people argued that we were way too hard on Knight, who was just doing his job by trying to stop his opponent from scoring, but come on – watch that dunk again. You know you at least chuckled.
Then there’s James and the scorching Miami Heat, on a winning streak that has the legendary ’71-’72 Lakers a little nervous. Sure, the Heat are still 10 short of the record, but they’re playing lights out right now, and there’s no greater example than James’ nasty dunk over Jason Terry on Monday night. Like Knight, Terry was just a lone defender trying to do his job.
Obviously, there’s no beef between Jordan and James – at least DeAndre Jordan and James – but there is plenty of beef between Heat and Clippers fans right now, as they argue over the true dunk of the year.
So was it Jordan humiliating Knight?
Or was it James picking on Terry?
Watching the videos again, I think the Clippers bench had a much better reaction; however, James sold his dunk with a menacing staredown that earned a technical. In the end, I’m giving it to Jordan, only because his dunk gave us the Lil Clipper Bros.
In celebration of Beef Thursday, #BeefThursdays is a weekly column dedicated to worst feuds, issues and fights in the world of sports. Be sure to share your choices for With Leather’s beef of the week with the appropriate hashtag (#beefthursdays) and make your voice heard. In case we haven’t typed beef enough yet, “beef.”