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LeBron Posterizing Nurkic

There’s nobody who’s a bigger scoreboard guy than yours truly. The only thing that matters is what it says on the scoreboard at the end of the game. Everything else is just noise. I don’t care about anything but the scoreboard. Scoreboard. Look up at it. It settles every single argument and renders any excuse ever meaningless. Period. Scoreboard. HOWEVER…

Last night in Portland was different. First off, respect to the Trail Blazers who continued rolling with a 113-105 win over Cleveland. That’s 11 straight for the Blazers. As Chris Haynes said on the show yesterday, nobody saw this season, well nobody outside of Portland’s locker room. But truthfully, it wasn’t that long ago that there were grumblings about this roster and whether it really worked. And now they’re mowing teams down in mid-March. And they did it again by beating Cleveland.

But with all due respect to Portland’s win, and whenever someone starts a sentence with “with all due respect” you know that someone is about to be disrespected. And that someone is Jusuf Nurkic. Number 27 in your program and number one on your trending topics last night. Why? Because of this.

The Bosnian Beast just got beasted. Murdered, actually. I could just have that on loop for the rest of the day and I’d never get tired of it.

LeBron didn’t just dunk on Nurk, he trended him. Trending a guy is the new poster job. And LeBron did that with authority. I’m not sure what’s better – LeBron’s dunk or LeBron’s teammates reacting to the dunk. Because they went insane. You rarely see an NBA bench go college bench mob like that, but the Cavs did.

As Jordan Clarkson said: “I think there’s a body bag in the hallway right now.”

LeBron was pumped, not just by the dunk, but by his teammates: “I knew it was going to be a good one that’s going to be shown for a long time. I was more excited to look over and see how excited (my teammates’) were. That one will last forever.”

It will last forever, because that wasn’t just a good LeBron dunk. That was a great LeBron dunk. That might actually be his greatest dunk ever. I’m not sure what’s more ridiculous – the dunk itself or the fact that he’s throwing down with that ferocity and nastiness in his 15th NBA season. LET ME REPEAT THAT: 15 FREAKING YEARS IN AND HE’S DUNKING LIKE THAT ON 7-FOOTERS.

He’s 33 years old. 33.

The guy has played nearly 53,000 minutes in the NBA and is still getting up and throwing down like that.

That is truly ridiculous. And if you want to hate on LeBron after that, then I feel sorry for you. I’m not saying you have to love LeBron, but if you can’t appreciate what you’re witnessing right now, then you’re missing out on something special.

Just as if you’re laughing at Nurk for last night, you’re missing that point as well. Nurk is a good guy. But sometimes bad things happen to good people. And that was a very, very bad thing.

And here’s the thing. I’m not here to clown Nurk or to bury him. I totally respect him. I do. Seriously. He knew how that was going to end. With LeBron way above him and his name blowing up on every social media platform. And he still went for the block.

The man’s game isn’t just the dunk, it’s being willing to try to stop the dunk, even though you know how it’s probably going to end. You know the kind of courage it takes to step in front of a 6’8, 250 pound freight train like that? Especially a freight train that will jump and dunk on your head?

And I love how his teammates dealt with it. They didn’t ignore him or look at replays. They patted him on the back and gave him fist bumps for doing what he did.

Damian Lillard: “When we came to the bench, everyone was dapping Nurk up just for being there at the rim. (James) has done that to plenty of people. It would have been a completely different story had Nurk seen him coming and moved out of the way. We’ll take him getting dunked on and challenging at the rim over him moving out of the way any day. It happens.”

Or, as Ed Davis said, “We talk about it all the time. You’ve got guys who are known dunkers. And the question is: When they come in the lane, what are you going to do? I respect Nurk for going after the block. A lot of guys are scared and get out of the way.”

Truth. Most guys duck out of the way, but Nurk went for it, looking to help his team, knowing that he’d be trending in seconds and remembered on video for the rest of his life. Respect to the dunk. Respect to the dunker. Respect to the dunkee.

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