Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan almost broke the Internet on Sunday with his monstrous dunk on Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight off a lob from Chris Paul. It’s deservedly being called the “Dunk of the Year”, and it might be the best dunk in the NBA over the past couple of years. See for yourself:
The video is like eating potato chips; once you watch it once, you’ve got to have another. Just for good measure, Jordan also hit the free-throw, which doesn’t happen often considering he’s shooting just 41.6 percent from the charity stripe this season. The Clippers went on to dominate the Pistons, winning 129-97.
Jordan’s dunk obviously energized the crowd and his teammates, but the reaction of the Clippers during and after the game shows one of the underrated aspects of their team. Paul, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, Lamar Odom and everyone in a Clippers uniform was celebrating with Jordan after that dunk. They were having fun.
After the game, the fun between the teammates continued as Paul, Griffin, Jamal Crawford and others all took to Twitter to talk about how unreal Jordan’s dunk was. Sure, most teams would have had an excited reaction to a play like that, but it felt different with this Clippers team.
Los Angeles is one of the closest-knit teams in the league this season. They are all loose around each other and have fun on and off the court. They aren’t just guys wearing the same jersey — they are teammates and friends. Though it sounds cliché, that can’t be ignored.
These guys legitimately enjoy playing with one another and have a clear camaraderie with each other. As they are about to venture into the NBA Playoffs, being so familiar with one another will allow them to escape some of the pressures of the postseason.
The Clippers probably aren’t going to win an NBA Championship this season, but they’re in the conversation. That fact makes their solidarity as a team even more important because it probably means that they are less likely to depart from L.A., and will have chances to compete for a title for years to come. Even if they happen to be disappointed by not winning a championship this year, they will still have Jordan’s dunk to fall back on.