In the first half the Miami Heat’s rout of the Sacramento Kings last night, LeBron James officially welcomed Ben McLemore to the NBA with this vicious jam.
The Kings rookie took the dunk in stride and still managed to score 20 points on an efficient 8-of-13 shooting in yesterday’s loss. Courtesy of the Miami Heat’s media relations staff, here is reaction from the parties involved on that monstrous moment in the game.
“Just knowing LeBron, I knew they weren’t going to call that call. I was just playing my defensive principles. Going in, being the low man and taking the charge. Even though they didn’t call it, I didn’t let that stop me or mess my game up. I still went out there and did some things to help the team. I really don’t know what happened over there. I was just doing my defensive principles on the weak-side low-man. I just went over there to try to take the charge. He dunked the ball. Afterwards I thought I should have just fouled him. At the same time, I was just playing my defensive principles.”
“As a defender it is a split second (decision) and if you make the wrong decision then that is what can happen. I have been fortunate enough to not be on the other end of a lot of those plays. It sucks that it was him (Ben McLemore) too because I like him, I have been talking to him since he was in high school so that sucks.”
“Ben [McLemore] is a fearless kid. I love his heart. He’s got a very bright future. He wants to do the right things. He’s very coachable. Some guys would duck and get out of the way because they do not want to be on the ESPN highlight tape. Ben is a competitor. He hates to lose. He gets better and better every single day. I’m proud of Ben, I’m proud of the way that he played tonight. I guess if there’s one bright spot or a silver lining, it would probably be Ben McLemore and the way he played against a very good team on the road in a hostile environment. As a young kid, you got to have a short-term memory. LeBron [James] has dunked on a lot of people. I saw it for five years in Cleveland when we were together. You got to move on, [have a] next play mentality. You got dunked on. That happens in the NBA. Get back in it and try to make a play on the other end.”
“You are going to get dunked on sometimes. Tough one for the young fella (Ben McLemore) but he had enough (guts) to do it.”
“90 percent of the players, you’re able to step up and be in a position to take that charge. There’s that top percentile that can go over the top of that. LeBron is that top percentile.”