Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is a rare breed, unlike anything we’ve ever seen. It is unreal how well he continues to play at age 38, having logged 20 seasons in the NBA. He’s one of the greatest hoopers of all time, but in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Denver Nuggets, we saw James produce some moments we aren’t used to seeing from the King.
During his two decades in the Association, LeBron has been one of the more fierce and powerful in-game dunkers who rarely miscues once he takes flight. James’ breakaway transition dunks have become a signature move in the repertoire that fans look forward to. Once he gets going downhill at top speed, it’s a sight to behold when he hits peak height soaring through the air. But on Thursday night in Denver against the Nuggets, James had a couple of oops moments, one of which happened during his attempt at a breakaway dunk that would’ve amazed even the most hardcore fan in the mile-high city.
It wasn’t like James missed the dunk; he never got to attempt it because the ball just slipped out of his hands. That’s not something we’re used to seeing from King James. Probably needs more baby powder these days. Or less baby oil, who knows? James missed an easy layup at the rim at another point and looked bewildered afterward.
LeBron flopped, again
There was also a funny moment where James was guarding Nikola Jokić and knocked the ball loose, and as both men chased after the ball, James flopped egregiously as if he’d been run over by a freight train. It’s only notable because this incident came a little over a week after Lakers head coach Darvin Ham said his team doesn’t “teach flopping” in response to Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s claims that LA was going overboard with their flopping.
“We don’t teach flopping. We teach our players to play downhill and attack the paint and be forceful,” Ham said.
On this play against the Nuggets, James clearly flopped, but it worked and got the ref’s attention. The worst part was him sliding across the court into the first row and knocking over some guy’s beer. I’d feel really bad if that was a fan who had to scrape together pennies to purchase that one beverage. Clearly, sitting that close at an NBA conference finals game, he’s not looking for loose change in between the couch cushions. But LeBron had quite the night that, unfortunately for LaLa land, ended in another loss and the Lakers returning home in a 2-0 hole.