Thanks to a global pandemic that has completely defecated on how we conceptualize time, December 2019 feels like eons ago. Hell, I don’t even remember what I got for Christmas that year. But with a little help from Blu Ivy’s Internet, I can tell you some of the biggest moments from that month: Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin chucked the deuce and stepped down from their roles within the company, Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” was one of the biggest songs on planet Earth, and Blake Griffin dunked a basketball.
And before you go, “The hell is so special about a basketball player dunking a basketball when dunking basketballs is what basketball players do for a living?,” please allow me to finish. Because Blake is no ordinary basketball player. Well, at least not anymore.
In a past life, you might’ve bore witness to him leaping over Kias or helpless defenders as he threw down a nasty 360 windmill to send the crowd into a frenzy, but those days are looooooong gone. In fact, due to an endless succession of knee injuries, the six-time All-Star now has about as much hang time as a tree trunk. So that aforementioned dunk? Courtesy of the Blake Griffin of Christmas Past that happened back in December 2019? That actually was the last time he dunked in a game.
That is until the Edmond, Okla., native made his debut with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday after reaching a buyout with his previous employer, the Detroit Pistons.
Playing on a minutes restriction due to—wait for it—his left knee, the former Dunk Contest champ checked in with 4:37 left in the first quarter and somehow pulled this rabbit out of his hat:
Then in the fourth quarter, the stars aligned and something magical happened: HE DUNKED THE DAMN BALL!
Like, for real!
WHO IS THIS MAN AND WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH BLAKE GRIFFIN???!!!???
Considering NBA Twitter had been waiting an eternity for this moment, you already know they get their jokes off:
Even the Nets bench was hype at having front row seats for such a historic moment:
For his part, Blake took the bench’s reaction in stride and laughed about it after the game.
“I knew once it happened it was going to be a thing so I tried not to look down at the bench,” he told reporters. “But then I kinda peeked over and saw [teammate] DeAndre [Jordan] all the way out on the side and I saw everybody stand up, so it was hard not to smile in that situation. It felt good to just get that out of the way and move on.’’
And after finishing the game with two points and two boards in 15 minutes, he knows he has work to do and is eager to contribute more on the court.
“It was great to be back out there,’’ he said. “I felt like it was a good start, but I’ve got some room to improve obviously.’’
Will that include more dunks? Only time will tell. But I’m sure Pistons fans must feel some type of way about Blake’s play earlier this season with Detroit.