Maybe it’s the discrepancies in level of talent, maybe it’s the freedom of exhibition play or maybe guys are just extra motivated to win for their country, but for whatever reason, international play seems to produce some of the greatest and most ridiculous dunks of all time.
Everybody remembers Vince Carter literally leaping over 7’2 Frenchman Fredric Weis at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, but if DeMar DeRozan would have pulled off his own absurd feat of athleticism on Tuesday night against China, it may have topped Vinsanity’s legendary dunk.
Team USA was already up nearly 50 points when DeRozan caught a pass from Draymond Green just inside the three-point line, so there wasn’t much left in the game in the way of drama. But what DeRozan did after that dish might end up being remembered for years even though he didn’t quite pull it off.
The Toronto Raptors All-Star took one power dribble, surveyed the challenge awaiting him at the rim and casually launched himself into a 360-degree dunk that was thisclose to going down, even with a nice bump from the Chinese defender at the rim. The attempt itself was insane, and even though it rimmed out after the foul, it was enough to send the USA bench into hysterics, including Kevin Durant running on the court and pirouetting to mimic the best missed dunk you might ever see.
LeBron James wasn’t in Oakland for the game, but he was just as impressed as everybody else.
With the Olympics starting on August 5, hopefully DeRozan has another attempt or two at the 360 poster in him so he can join the pantheon of amazing dunks on the international stage.