Links: NBA Friday

by Lang Whitaker

Maybe I missed something, but is this 1985 again? The Lakers and Celtics are both contenders again…there’s a young kid tearing up the midwest (Bron)…David Stern doesn’t seem to have aged…what’s going on here?

Anyway, it’s time for another edition of NBA Friday, in which the official illustrator of The Links, Joel Kimmel, blesses us with another original drawing.

This week, in honor of the upcoming All-Star Weekend, Joel decided to flip the script a bit and draw a dunk he invented. As I promised Joel, I’m gonna make sure Rudy Gay takes a look at it.

“Here is the ‘how-to’ illustration of my dunk,” Joel says, “which I call The Dirty Jersey. I’ve never seen this performed before but I thought it up about a year ago after last year’s dunk contest. It is essentially a between-the-legs dunk with a twist — literally! I was inspired by the dribble move where the dribbler bounces the ball upwards into his jersey, slaps it and sends the ball twisting around his body where it falls out of the jersey in front of the dribbler. I imagined this being pulled off in the air and turned into a through-the-legs dunk. It can all work pretty seamlessly, as diagramed in my illustration.

Step 1: The player throws the ball into the air and chases after it.
Step 2: As the ball is about to bounce, the player begins to jump.
Step 3: While jumping, the player opens his jersey to allow the ball to enter off the bounce.
Step 4: The player catches the ball in his jersey.
Step 5: With his left hand, the player slaps the ball to send it spiraling clockwise around his body beneath the jersey.
Step 6: As the ball exits on the left side, the player takes the ball with his left hand and moves it under his right leg.
Steps 7-10: The hardest part is over and the player completes the dunk.

The dunk I diagrammed is the more difficult version, with a lot of the difficulty coming with getting the timing right to get the ball into the jersey off the bounce. The slightly simpler version would be for the player to place the ball under the jersey and then attempt the dunk. Either way, if Rudy can complete this dunk I’d be honored and proud. Good luck, Rudy!”

Here’s Joel’s diagram…

Next week Joel’s going back to drawing a team a week, and next week’s team is the Sacramento Kings. Give him your suggestions below.