LeBron James is great at a lot of things, but none has he honed to more devastating effect than the dunk. James hammering the rim has to be one of the most demoralizing plays in all of sports.
It's the physical answer to an opponent's mental question: can I compete with the King?
No. Not this game.
That's what James told the Raptors last night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. This dunk came on the way to a 115-84 win over Toronto in which James shot 11 of 13 from the field.
Let's take a closer look at the finish. Do you see what's happening to the basketball?
James is so strong, he makes us wonder things we'd never had occasion to wonder before.
How much force does it take to pop a basketball?
More than to snap a rim?
What happens if the ball explodes in the middle of the game?
Has that ever happened before?
Who would get possession?
He is so strong, suddenly we feel sorry for an inanimate object. And we start thinking Nike really did pay him $1 billion.
James also helps answer a key question: Do the Raptors have a prayer?