It might go down as the dunk. The dunk. As in ten years from now we’ll say “Remember that Luka dunk?” and everyone will know exactly what you’re talking about.
Luka Doncic’s game isn’t exactly built for highlight reels. The most exciting part of his game are his unique and preposterous passing. But everything else is just a steady dissection of an opponent’s defense, subtle changes in direction and slight pump fakes that get defenders off balance. It’s almost as if he’s the result of a mad scientist’s experiment to combine James Harden with Tim Duncan.
But on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, Luka put down a dunk that will definitely be a part of every Dallas Mavericks highlight package going forward. The fact that it came out of nowhere makes it even better. Here’s an incredible angle of it set to Kanye West’s “Father Stretch My Hands:”
Luka Dončić x Father Stretch My Hands pic.twitter.com/uKisjnXk9U— Steph (@yostephrivas) March 2, 2022
I watched this video at least a couple dozen times. And what struck me was everyone’s reaction to Luka’s dunk. So here’s a breakdown of every single reaction that struck me:
First up is Dwight Howard, standing in shock. Maybe he’s looking to his teammates for confirmation that it was indeed Luka Doncic who absolutely yammed on him. I don’t blame him. We were all surprised. If anything, Dwight had this coming for the whole free agency fiasco back in 2012.
Jalen Brunson can’t believe what he just saw. You can tell he’s wishing he had the ability to rewind reality because Luka leaping above the crowd beneath the basket to put back a dunk isn’t something that can really happen. This is the face of a man who has seen ball lightning or won the lottery.
Boban looks like he just discovered Santa Claus is real. Moses Wright is screaming in joy with the realization he just got paid to be a spectator to one of the most amazing plays in Mavericks’ history. Reggie Bullock looks like he’s been training Luka for months to be able to dunk with such emphasis, such force, and now that Luka’s done it there’s nothing but over the top pride. Dwight Powell can’t believe this is his life.
There’s a lot going on here. Dorian Finney-Smith is STUNNED. Theo Pinson is pure rapture. If you look closely at Russell Westbrook’s face, you can see him quickly reliving every box jump, every Bulgarian split squat, and all the weighted lunges, and realizing none of that mattered, because Luka Doncic defies gravity, too. (It’s gotta be the shoes, right?)