LeBron James may be in his 17th NBA season, but that’s not stopping the 35-year-old Los Angeles Lakers star from delivering poster-worthy dunks, like the reverse windmill he threw down in Thursday’s loss to Houston.
At full speed, the jam was undeniably impressive, although it might struggle to compete with the offerings at the upcoming NBA Slam Dunk Contest on February 15.
The picture of the dunk, however, could garner some awards as James was captured perfectly in mid flight while twisting the ball from his right hip back over his head with both hands.
NBA photographer Andrew D. Bernstein shot the picture, which went viral shortly after its release.
All these looks of LeBron’s dunk 😳
(📍 @NissanUSA) pic.twitter.com/bffnuNYO6Z
James has never actually competed in the NBA Dunk Contest, although not for any lack of demand.
‘Wish he wasn’t scared of competing in the dunk contest his whole career,’ wrote one fan in response to the dunk on ESPN’s Twitter account.
James’s teammate Dwight Howard is not scared, however, and even petitioned the league for another crack at a title.
The 2008 dunk contest champion will be joined by a pair of former dunk contest runner-ups – Orlando’s Aaron Gordon and Miami’s Derrick Jones Jr. – as well as first-timer Pat Connaughton of Milwaukee.
This is the first time Chicago has played host to All-Star weekend since 1988 – the year that Michael Jordan took off from the foul line to beat Dominique Wilkins for the dunk title.
‘Chicago is historical, and that’s partly the reason why I’m doing it,’ Gordon told TNT, apparently mixing up the words ‘historic’ and ‘historical’ – a common mistake.
As for the game itself, James nearly had a triple double, scoring 18 points to go with 15 assists and nine rebounds in a losing effort to the new-look Rockets.
James did struggle from three-point range, missing seven of eight attempts from deep, while committing six costly turnovers on Thursday.
Houston was playing its first game since trading center Clint Capela to Atlanta and bringing in forward Robert Covington from Minnesota.
Covington hit two big three-pointers late in the game that clinched the 121-111 victory.