How to Survive Becoming an NBA Poster
Ever since Jason Terry was put on the proverbial poster by LeBron James, the Boston Celtics' shooting guard has gone 3-of-14 from the field and hasn't hit a three-pointer in the past three games.
While it's doubtful the dunk had any sort of adverse effect on Terry's mentality, he clearly hasn't been the same since he became part of James' personal highlight reel. Against the New Orleans Hornets two nights later, Terry went scoreless for the first time in more than two months.
Shooters like Terry are prone to their hot and cold streaks, so his recent woes are likely nothing more than a regression to the mean. But over the years, players have reacted differently after they've been posterized.
Let's hope Terry finds himself in the class of those who were able to successfully put such a traumatic incident behind them.
1. Blake Griffin over Timofey Mozgov
The best dunk that wasn't an actual dunk is Blake Griffin's infamous throwdown over then-New York Knick Timofey Mozgov. The appeal of The Blake Show was just beginning to spread worldwide, and the video of Griffin's rather rude dismissal of the Knicks' center has been viewed more than 2 million times on the NBA's YouTube channel.
Mozgov was little more than a role player at the time for the Knicks. And after being traded to Denver as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal, he serves pretty much the same role for the Nuggets. With Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee ahead of him in the Denver rotation, Mozgov only sees about nine minutes per game.
Fortunately for him, that means there's far less of a chance that he'll get "Mozgov'd" again.
2. DeAndre Jordan over Brandon Knight
DeAndre Jordan's dunk over Detroit Pistons' point guard Brandon Knight spawned a T-shirt, a host of Internet memes and even an update to Knight's Wikipedia page. Even more impressive is Knight's owning of the moment: Things could have been a lot worse if he didn't choose to inject humor into the situation.
In Knight's defense, he was caught in a no-win situation: He had absolutely no chance of blocking Jordan's dunk attempt. Furthermore, as bad as that moment was, it wasn't even Knight's most embarrassing moment in that calendar month.
Fate hasn't been all that kind to Knight since the Hammer of Jordan came down: The next night, Knight sprained his left ankle four minutes into a game against the Utah Jazz and hasn't played since.
3. Vince Carter over Frederic Weis
Vince Carter's dunk over Frederic Weis at the 2000 Olympics is far and away the greatest in-game slam of all time. From that moment on, anything that Weis did (and will do) for the rest of his life will be nothing more than a footnote.
The 7'2" Weis was actually selected by the New York Knicks with the 15th overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft. But after "le dunk de la mort," Weis likely wanted no part of the NBA.
He bounced around various European leagues for 11 years following the Sydney Olympics and retired from professional basketball in March 2011 due to issues with both of his knees.
4. Shawn Kemp over Alton Lister
Seattle Supersonics forward Shawn Kemp destroyed Alton Lister with a vicious, spread-eagle, tomahawk slam in the first round of the 1992 playoffs, and Lister was never the same afterward.
Lister was a solid journeyman center before the incident, but his stats suffered a noticeable regression in the years that followed. During the 1992-93 season, Lister's player efficiency rating was a paltry 4.3, and the seven-foot center actually had a -0.2 win share for the Golden State Warriors that season.
Lister was waived by the Warriors after four injury-plagued seasons and wound up playing for three other teams over the next four years. But Lister never averaged more than 12.9 minutes per game after leaving Golden State.
5. Scottie Pippen over Patrick Ewing
Scottie Pippen won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and was named to the NBA's 50th anniversary all-time team. But when you type his name into YouTube, the first result in the search box reads "Scottie Pippen Dunks On Patrick Ewing."
To be fair, that's a rather innocuous description of one of the fiercest slams in NBA history. The dunk (which happened during Game 6 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals) was impressive enough. But Pippen standing over Ewing in the immediate aftermath took the moment to the next level.
It was one of those games where we were playing against the Knicks and we were frustrated and tired of them holding and pulling and doing things of that nature. I think that after that dunk, I sort of overreacted, almost trying to push [Ewing] into the stands.
What's been forgotten over the years is that the Bulls actually lost the playoff series in which that dunk occurred. While the Bulls went on to win Game 6, 93-79, the New York Knicks would win Game 7, 87-77, and eventually went all of the way to the NBA Finals.
Both Pippen and Ewing were perennial All-Stars in the years following the dunk, and the Bulls would go on to win three more titles in the late '90s.