When Cleveland rookie Evan Mobley evaded Wizards' shot-blocking center Daniel Gafford with a beautifully executed reverse layup with his off-hand, Kyle Kuzma gave his opponent a high-five out of sheer respect.
Why? Well, Mobley reminded Kuzma of an iconic NBA legend known for his iconic creative finishes: George Gervin.
"You damn right I’m going to dap him up," Kuzma tweeted postgame after seeing the clip go viral. "I just saw the closest thing to George Gervin in the flesh!!!"
Mobley was the best player on the court for the Cavaliers for the first half and finished with 21 points overall in Washington's eventual 110-93 beatdown at Capital One Arena on Thursday night. The third pick in the 2021 NBA Draft has shown flashes of just high his ceiling can be all season long as just a 20-year-old. Still, compared often to the likes of ex-Raptor All-Star and Heat champion Chris Bosh, resembling "The Iceman" is a whole other level of high praise.
Gervin, who placed as the NBA's 57th best player in the league's commemorative 75th-anniversary countdown list this season, was known as the NBA's best natural scorer during the 1970s. The three-time scoring champion and nine-time All-Star wing's finger rolls and unique finishing ability around the rim made him impossible to stop offensively.
It appears Kuzma, who like Gervin is a fellow Michigan native, wasn't the only one idolizing Gervin's smooth up-and-unders growing up. For Mobley to get that amount of in-game respect out of Kuzma on his way back down the court exemplifies just how special of a play it truly was.
Luckily for Kuzma and Co., the Wizards pulled away from Mobley's Cavs in the third quarter and never looked back.