It happened Thursday, but LeBron James’ rendition of a classic Kobe Bryant dunk is still the talk of the NBA.
If you missed it at the time, James had a breakaway against the Houston Rockets and threw down a double-clutch reverse jam that was amazingly similar to one Bryant had in a 2001 game against the Sacramento Kings.
Both dunks came at Staples Center in Los Angeles and both came on the same side of the court — on the same side of the basket.
The Lakers’ social media department multiplied the wow factor by putting highlights of the two dunks side-by-side.
“It was pretty dope,” Lakers center JaVale McGee told ESPN.com on Saturday. “It was extremely accurate and damn near identical. That was pretty cool. … That’s really some legendary stuff right there.”
Among the many tributes to Bryant since he and eight other people died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, James’ dunk stands out as something only he could offer.
“I didn’t really predetermine that either until I jumped,” he said. “I just jumped and kind of figured it out, and then … it’s crazy how it’s the same exact dunk, the same exact hoop that Kobe did (it on) — what, 19 years ago or something like that? That was nice.”
NBA photographer Andrew D. Bernstein managed to get a shot of James as he was soaring through the air, an image James shared on his Instagram account the next day.
James and his mother, Gloria, have already said they plan to get framed prints of the photo to hang in their homes.
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