If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out the dunking exploits of new Wolves rookie Zach LaVine, All Ball guru Lang Whitaker has already provided the proper introduction.
What I’m going to do is take this a BIG step forward: Given what I’ve seen from this UCLA skywalker, both on the collegiate level and in the early stages of his NBA career, I’m going out on a limb to say that LaVine will go down as one of the best dunkers we’ve ever seen in the NBA.
You know what? As blasphemous as it may sound, LaVine might be the most exciting we’ve ever seen when it’s all said and done. Write it down. Take a picture. Hang it on your refrigerator.
I know, I know, I know. The man hasn’t even taken his first dribble in a meaningful professional game. But let’s take a quick look at why LaVine is and will be the new standard bearer of slam:
Height: The first — and quite frankly, only — names that come to mind in comparison to the air that LaVine gets is Vince Carter in his early days and Gerald Green of today. We’re talking nose-high level to the rim. Getting that kind of elevation definitely has an impact on …
Style: Nothing makes a dunk stand out quite like flair. In LaVine’s case, he has a great deal of smoothness and airborne creativity about him. As mentioned before, his crazy hang time allows him to do things in the air that run-of-the-mill dunkers just don’t have the time to pull off.
The perfect blend of these two factors? How about a windmill from the free-throw line. Yes, you read that right. The free-throw line. Allow that to marinate while we wait for the upcoming season.
And you know what sets this all off? He’s just getting started. We’ll definitely be watching, Zach. Both up in Minnesota and at NBA All-Star 2015 in New York, where we assume you’ll be taking center stage in the Sprite Dunk Contest.