LeBron James put down one of the more impressive alley-oop dunks of his career last night. Watch:
Though the angle is ever-so-slightly flattering, his headband appears to be just an inch short of the rim. Close enough:
In a league where ridiculous athleticism is commonplace, the head-at-rim-level achievement is a relatively rare sight, and one that I as a dunking and vertical leap aficionado must celebrate whenever it takes place (shoutout to you, 6’4” Shannon Brown).
Of course, this is not the first time we’ve seen LeBron sky so high to corral an alley-oop pass. Most memorably, he appeared to get his chin level with the rim when he went up to grab a misdirected Mo Williams lob pass in Portland on January 11, 2010:
Considering this took place just four years ago, it is a considerable shame that there is no HD footage or screenshot available of this monumental incident. But it’s nice to know that LeBron can still elevate into that neighbourhood of the rim as he reaches the tail end of his athletic prime aged 29. It would be even nicer if he finally overcame his fear of losing the dunk contest and entered the damn thing.
His game as a whole of course is as well rounded as it has ever been, and appears to still be getting better. James finished last night’s win with 32 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists and continues to play at a level few have sustained in the history of the game.
When you’re the best player in the world and you’re in the midst of a 16-point, 6-for-8 shooting quarter and you nearly kissed the rim on a dunk several moments prior, you can even get away with shooting this shot in transition:
Come on, LeBron. I know you want the two-for-one, and I know you probably make that shot in pre-game warm-ups, but there were still 33.5 seconds on the clock. You could have done the decent thing and shot from 30 feet rather than 35. There are field goal shooting records in play here after all…
 Get up, Shannon: