With many NCAA Conference tournaments taking place this week, I promise that tomorrow's blog will be dedicated to previewing the Big Ten Conference Tournament. But as for tonight, I would like to keep this post in the basketball realm. This last Sunday night, a number of words were used to describe the straight up filthy dunk that Los Angeles Clippers Center, DeAndre Jordan, stuck on Detroit Pistons Guard, Brandon Knight. As the media took hold of the story and turned it into equal parts of good and evil, I've noticed that all levels of athletics have taken a stance on the issue. Please feel free to give me your comments and thoughts on this, because no matter what my opinion is, you have one too.
Does this dunk show how dominate Jordan can be while making Knight a laughing stock of the NBA, or does it exemplify the never quit attitude of young Brandon Knight who was taken advantage of by a man almost a foot taller than him? In my opinion, that one play showed the best of both worlds.
First, we start with the Kentucky product, Brandon Knight, who, may I remind you folks, is ONLY 6'3"!! Most people would ask, "why is a 6'3" guy trying to take on a 6'11" guy?" I ask, why not? From the time that Knight was in high school to the moment that Chris Paul was running down the court, I'm sure he has always known that the probability of him stopping a guy who is 6'11" is very small. Whether his chances were good or not, he didn't back down. He was the underdog, and during that split second, he showed determination, his never quit attitude, and most importantly, his heart. Brandon Knight showed me that he isn't afraid of anyone, and I will take a guy like that on my team any day.
To the casual fan, DeAndre Jordan's dunk looked pretty sweet, and that's because it WAS really sweet. But that dunk was more than a Sports Center Top 10 play, it summed up Jordan's career into one word, opportunistic. From his high school days in Houston, Texas to his college career at Texas A&M, Jordan was always the big guy and was able to get away with it. Had a decent field goal percentage and was one of the premier shot blockers in the country, and because of that, he was drafted by the Clippers in the 2nd round in 2008. At that time, the Clippers were bad. I think we all need to remember that the Clippers used to be GOD AWFUL and because of that and injuries, Jordan was able to get plenty of playing time as a rookie. His good fortune continued the next year when Blake Griffin was drafted and within 2 years time, Jordan and Griffin were one of the best young combo forwards in the league. Then with the likes of Chris Paul and Caron Butler coming on board, Jordan has been along for the ride. When an opportunity is given to you, take it. DeAndre has had a string of good fortune come his way since entering the league, and he has enjoyed every minute of it. So whether some people feel that it wasn't fair to catch a ball mid-air with one hand and throw a thunderous dunk on tiny Brandon Knight is left to be seen. But all I saw was once again, the strong, tall, charismatic and talented DeAndre Jordan pounce on another stellar opportunity.
I give special props to both DeAndre Jordan and Brandon Knight for their acts during Sunday's game, and even though Jordan has been one of my favorites in the NBA, Brandon Knight just earned a little more respect from this guy.