On any given night during the NBA and college basketball season, ESPN's Sportscenter's Top 10 has at least one insane dunk that brings basketball fans out of their seats. Dunks are one of the most exciting parts of the game. A posterize is when one player dunks on someone so bad that the victim of said dunk takes a few seconds to contemplate retirement. No shame, it's part of the game. For the fans and viewers it brings theatrical facial and body expressions. But, what if I told you that the best posterizing dunks aren't on ESPN? Nope, the best dunks I have seen are on the video hosting app, Vine.
The best Vine dunks aren't in million dollar arenas with superstar players and live TV feeds. Instead, these moments in history take place in random recreation gyms, with amateur hoopers, around a local crowd of friends and observers equipped with smart phones. No million dollar contracts, no trophies or championships, just good old fashioned pride and showmanship; the love for the game. However, there is just as much at stake in these showcases as there is for LeBron every NBA finals. These moments can make or break you in your local hood; get exposure or get exposed, fame or infamy, make a name or take a name. With that level of risk, this is why I respect the heck out of the Vine dunk.
Two years ago, I stumbled upon this one particular dunk on Black Twitter, the most important part of Twitter, the title simply said "Bang Bang". I had to check it out. What I saw pulled a vocal reaction out of me with something along the lines of "Oh shoot!". I leapt out of my seat, dropped my phone, then sent this video to most of my friends. What came from this video is two years worth of screenshots and memes. Without further ado, I present to you, The Most Important Vine Dunk of All Time.
There are 3 acts to this disgusting dunk. Act I, the set up and take off. Like I mentioned earlier, this is a humble gym with a couple dozen folk crowded around to see what's going to happen. As the young man dribbles the ball a couple times gathering speed and momentum, we see the brave defender ready to challenge the dunk. All looks normal as the guy with ball jumps in the air. But then...
Act II, elevation and contact. After the initial take off, the gentleman dunking levitates and climbs in the air an additional two feet; it's unreal. For a couple of seconds in the air it's as if he tells gravity, "I'm going to stay up here for a while". Then, there is the actual dunk on his fellow brethren. Dude A, the dunker, puts his knee directly in Dude B, the defender's chest and hops so far above him that he has to look down to even see him. A great dunk has to be disrespectful, and this dunk is just plain rude and dismissive. To add more difficulty to this dunk, Dude A slams it down with two hands, swinging on the rim, demolishing everything in sight.
Act III, the reaction. Black people reacting to big moments brings me nothing but joy. In the video we clearly hear a gentleman yell out "bang bang" as soon as the dunker pauses gravity. This observer already knows a crime scene is about to unfold and is trying to warn us. No later than the ball grazes through the rim you hear the spectators erupt in "aaahhh's and ohhh's". The entire gym is physically reacting; hands over mouths, grabbing their head in astonishment. Some people have to hold the person next to them to grasp what is happening. It's beautiful. But one young woman in particular loses her whole entire mind. The young woman shrieks like she's in a horror film. She is genuinely disturbed. After the young lady screams, she turns and unleashes from her friend's grasp, then proceeds to run for dear life because she can not physically handle the assault that just happened. 2 years later, I honestly think that she is still running.
Valid, completely valid. This young lady's reaction has genuinely enhanced my life. Whenever I need to explain to people the beauty of authentic black reaction and expression, I point them to this video. I hope you all will begin to look at life frame by frame. There are so many hidden gems to find when we slow down and soak in the present moment. It is so important to appreciate the small things.