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Nick Young shuts down impromptu slam dunk contest


Practice had wrapped up several minutes before, but a few Wizards players were in no rush to leave the court. On one end, Andray Blatche, Hamady Ndiaye and Kevin Seraphin were working post moves with assistant Gene Banks. On the other, John Wall, Nick Young, Al Thornton and Lester Hudson were in a dunk-off version of the game, O-U-T.

In all unfairness, the 6-foot-3 Hudson had to follow the 6-6 Young. Now Wall may have had the best vertical leap (39 inches) of any player at the NBA combine in Chicago last May, but he still didn't record the highest hops of any current Wizard in pre-draft drills. That would be Young, who notched a 40-inch vertical before the 2007 NBA draft and has been hoping to enter the slam dunk contest since his rookie season. His behind-the-back, 360-degree dunk is still one of the most amazing that I've seen.

None of the dunks on Monday afternoon were that impressive -- well, at least until Young ended the competition.

Thornton showed some surprising hops only a few weeks after spraining his left ankle, as he started out soaring just inside the circle at the foul line and dunked. Wall got excited, cursed a bit, and high-fived Thornton to congratulate him. Young was next but had no problem getting it to go down. Hudson got hung. O.

Thornton then had an impressive, rock-the-cradle reverse dunk, which Young repeated with relative ease. Hudson followed but was unable to get the ball to go down. U.

Wall kept trying some creative dunks, but couldn't get any to go down. He wanted Young to toss the ball off the backboard, so that he could come from the baseline and dunk it. When Young was unable to get the ball high enough, Wall started complaining. "I'm a shooter," Young said and walked off. Hudson got the pass to work, but Wall missed.

Young finally ended the competition in emphatic fashion. He looked over at Wall, the new face of Reebok, and playfully mocked Dee Brown, the former slam dunk champion who wore Reebok pumps. Young leaned over and acted like he was "pumping" some air into his shoes. Wall cheered him on, seated against the Wall.

Then Young tossed the ball off the backboard and brought it between-the-legs before ramming it with his right hand. Realizing that Hudson had no shot of avoiding a "T" after that dunk, Young leaned down, raised out his arms like wings, sprinted off the court and high-fived Seraphin before running up the stairs and into the locker room.

Wall and Thornton looked up at Hudson and doubled over in laughter. Wall was even kicking his legs up, he was so amused. Hudson picked up a basketball, then he looked over at Wall and Thornton laughing uncontrollably. Hudson just rolled the ball toward them. He didn't even attempt to duplicate Young's dunk.

By Michael Lee  | October 25, 2010; 6:34 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards preparing for Orlando without injured Gilbert Arenas

Comments

I know he can be a black hole on offense, but how can you not love Nick Young?

Posted by: IrenePollin | October 25, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Nick Young, best player on the floor 80% of the time.

Unfortunately the other 20% are the games.

Posted by: divi3 | October 25, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

As usual, the streak of positive comments end at 1.

Posted by: IrenePollin | October 25, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

IrenePollin i'll start a new streak, i love nick young and i love the boys having fun. This isn't a group of guys that will compete for a trophy this year, but its going to be real fun to watch this year. We might not get the big trophy, but we'll get some hardware. John Wall ROY and Gilbert with the comeback player of the year

Posted by: patljr7 | October 25, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

And Nick Young WIN the SLAM DUNK CHAMPION CONTEST of 2011. at the ALL STAR.

Posted by: maejude | October 25, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

don't forget McGee or Blayche as MIP. I'll take Josh Howards chances for Comeback ove Arenas, though.

Posted by: Blurred | October 25, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

*Applause* This is what makes a blog a nice place to hang-out, you'd never see this in a "straight" news article. Thanks Mike!

Posted by: closg | October 25, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Good look for NY but I'd rather see NY knock down open looks from the the perimeter. I ain't gon hate tho . . . do you Nick!

Posted by: zack5 | October 25, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Thornton's ankle looked pretty good on that first attempt too.

Posted by: elfreako | October 25, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

well, if that's what he does, WHY hasn't he had at least one appearance in the dunk contest? somebody, obviously, doesn't think much about THAT ability (to dunk) OR figures that if he got lucky enough to win that he (Nick Young) might try to "demand" more PT. Or another edition of being "a legend in his own mind..." or sumpn like that. i LIKE the kid, but dayum, nick: get your brain on, son!

Posted by: dcjazzman | October 26, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

Go hate on Wall. With all the love he get, he need some hate, to balance this stuff out. Nick have being dump on by some jealous team mate, some of them try to steal his move. And what can I say about the coach's they all try to down play Young talent. so it time for Young to get some respect. You go Nick Young. I am a big fan

Posted by: maejude | October 26, 2010 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Here's a trade that could work out for both teams: Carmelo & J.R. Smith and a case of Coors Light (since it's Denver), for Arenas & Nick Young and Nick Young's apologist/blogging alter ego "maejude". We definitely need to get rid of all three (two) of those head cases.

Posted by: Janitor_with_a_Jumpshot | October 26, 2010 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Go Nick! Also, the video of Nick serving the troops was hilarious, eating the lamb chops but calling them ribs!

Posted by: washwiz | October 26, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

From SI.com, "An opposing team's scout sizes up the Wizards":

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/nba/10/11/wizards.scouts.preview/index.html

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 26, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

@Kalo_Rama
i like how the writer keeps saying "I bet" this will happen or "I bet Gill will struggle off the ball" it comes off so professionally. Someone tell him no one reading the article can actually wager with him, so we'd much rather have some factual analysis of the team and players versus personal opinions of guys. Did Mike Lee write that?

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10,

Maintaining your usual high standard of insight and close observation, I see. Had you actually paid attention while reading you'd have noted that the piece was not written by a journalist or professional writer but by an NBA scout, whose job it is to observe other teams and give his opinions about their players and make predictions about how they'll react in certain situations based on said observation. Moreover, as the piece is clearly intended as a preview/prediction of the upcoming season, factual analysis is impossible, absent the use of a very high-end crystal ball.

But hey, other than getting all of that wrong . . . nice job on the review.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 26, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

From SI.com, "An opposing team's scout sizes up the Wizards":

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/nba/10/11/wizards.scouts.preview/index.html

Posted by: kalo_rama

I sort of get the impression that this scout hasn't watched the Wizards play in the preseason and is just going off of how his opinions of the players from last year and supposing how they'll meld together.

Honestly, for a scout's report, I was unimpressed. I've read better analysis here.

Posted by: ts35 | October 26, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Michael Lee,

FYI Al Thornton actually recorded a max vertical of 41 inches during the 2007 pre-draft drills.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | October 26, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I found the report pretty accurate except for Yi.

He has a nice stroke but he's not athletic enough for his size to play the 3, and he's not a good enough rebounder or defender to get many minutes at the big spots. His only hope is to extend himself out to the three-point line as a specialist.

I agree he's not a SF, but Yi is a good enough rebounder to be a starter if he extends his range. Seems to me a lot of NBA people are so down on Yi that they won't acknowledge what he does well.

Posted by: djnnnou | October 26, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Another team's 'scout' told me the Dallas Cowboys were good enough to play in this years Super Bowl. What scout? How do we know if this person is really a scout?

All jokes aside, whoever this person is seems to forming his opinion mainly on him not trusting Blatche, and Gil not being able to play the 2-guard, off the ball, not with the ball. Both are valid in all honesty.

Y'all know I got Gil's back, but all these things have to be proved.

Do I think Blatche can grow up and play consistently? I think he CAN. Will he?

Can Gil be a catch and shooter? I think he can? Will he? I don't know.

Most people side on the side of both Blatche and Gil won't do the above.

I hope they do. I don't wish curses on nobody.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 26, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree he's not a SF, but Yi is a good enough rebounder to be a starter if he extends his range. Seems to me a lot of NBA people are so down on Yi that they won't acknowledge what he does well.

Posted by: djnnnou

Once people form a negative opinion about you, it is hard to overcome. They will bet the dice lose.

Posted by: G-Man11 | October 26, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

G-Man11, Gil should be able to play the 2-guard well enough off the ball. He played fine for 2 years at Arizona with Jason Gardner at the 1-guard. But that's college ball...

The limited time he played during the pre-season, he had some good catch and shoot jumpers. Time will tell if he can do it well in the NBA. I tend to think he'll be fine offensively at the 2-guard. I just hope defensively he puts out some effort slowing down some of the bigger players he'll be guarding.

Posted by: TakinAWiz | October 26, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

From SI.com, "An opposing team's scout sizes up the Wizards":

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/nba/10/11/wizards.scouts.preview/index.html

Posted by: kalo_rama

A couple of quibbles--Blatche is better than this guy thinks and Thornton is worse. He's certainly no scorer. Otherwise it's probably pretty depressingly accurate, even if it sounds like it was written by a grade-schooler.

I'm still thinking 19 wins. The Wiz--and especially Arenas--haven't shown me much in preseason to think otherwise.

Posted by: KTV1 | October 26, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

@lilhollywood10,

Maintaining your usual high standard of insight and close observation, I see. Had you actually paid attention while reading you'd have noted that the piece was not written by a journalist or professional writer but by an NBA scout, whose job it is to observe other teams and give his opinions about their players and make predictions about how they'll react in certain situations based on said observation. Moreover, as the piece is clearly intended as a preview/prediction of the upcoming season, factual analysis is impossible, absent the use of a very high-end crystal ball.

But hey, other than getting all of that wrong . . . nice job on the review.

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 26, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

A)Never said he was a professional journalist. I said that the WRITER, or person responsible for the material written in the article kept saying "I bet".

B) While he is a scout, with these responsibilities you outlined
"... whose job it is to observe other teams and give his opinions about their players and make predictions about how they'll react in certain situations based on said observation."

His "observations" have to be factual, ie based on events that actually happened. His predictions can be somewhat based on his opinion of how things will work going forward, but that opinion should still be rooted in the facts/observations, given that his observations while scouting were events that actually happened.
C) Stop being a dbag. The piece is good. If you paid more attention to my comment you would see that the only issue i took with the piece was his "Betting" something bad will happen when he has no idea and no "crystal ball".

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

As usual, the streak of positive comments end at 1.

Posted by: IrenePollin | October 25, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse


I liked that Irene Pollin; LOL!

I try to keep some of these clown's positive, but it's a futile endeavor.

They must be from "fighting families"?

I Love all ya'll!, even the "hater's". Hate on... Chef John

PS. B-up!
(That's short for Bradley's Upscale); part of the enterprise I am launching.
Peace & Blessings!!!

Posted by: upscalechef | October 26, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kalo_rama | October 26, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

seems like you are the only D-bag who thought i was doing a "Review" of the article, and was off base with my OPINION. BTW factual analysis of the team could be as simple as listing the players, their measurements,stats, and position on Flips depth chart. Harldy impossible, definitely not crystal ballish.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

@KTV1

I know you're not one of the haters, but don't be among the last to figure out that the Wizards are built to be playoff team NOW. The ingredients are all there. They just need to have to have a little good fortune with their veterans' health while the youngsters continue to mature.

I submit to you that this preseason the Wizards won all three games in which they had at least 80% of their projected starters available for the full game. In other words, the team, as intelligently and painstakingly constructed by one Ernest Grunfeld, has been built with the attention to detail and precision of a Swiss watch - when their core players are suited up, a "W" for our Wizards is there for the taking. Granted, since injuries occur throughout a season, the team's young players will have to get accustomed to changing their mindset from that of guys who come off the bench to guys who are willing and able to start when called upon. I have no doubt that they will get better at this aspect of the game sooner rather than later and the Wizards will make the playoffs despite what the offkey haters spew from their acidic constitutions.

The official start of the Grunfeld Era is nearly upon us and Ernest Grunfeld is no longer working with one hand tied behind his back. Wizards Faithful, I ask: Are you ready?

In Grunfeld We Trust!!

Posted by: melodious_thunk | October 26, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I sort of get the impression that this scout hasn't watched the Wizards play in the preseason and is just going off of how his opinions of the players from last year and supposing how they'll meld together.

The writer probably hasnt watch much of the Wiz (or Clips, or Nets) in several seasons if ever. It's always like that with 'insider' analysis of the bad teams, they only do them because they're obligated. You can tell they dont know the players. For instance:

It's like he [AB]doesn't see anybody else out there playing with him

Huh? Even his biggest critic here knows that patently false. Speaks to an 'analyst' who has never watched him play.

Or how about Mcgee being "more consistent and coachable"?

Really? Funny, his biggest fans would admit he needs to finally show he is coach-able this season.

Yi isnt athletic enough to play 3? What does that mean exactly? The guy runs like a gazelle and can leap into the rafters. He's clearly as agile as any 7 footer you'll see too. Maybe he's too big to play 3, but not athletic enough? Bad choice of words.

And why would anyone think Gil cant drain open looks even better than he's always hit contested shots?

Throwaway piece fulfilling need to write something about every team.

Posted by: divi3 | October 26, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

And it's really a shame that Nick Young doesnt attack the basket. This kid has a 40" vert and can throw down on ANYBODY, yet loves that fade away jumper instead. Have never understood that, he's a good FT shooter too, getting to the rim should be 2nd nature.

Posted by: divi3 | October 26, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Yi probably isn't able to play much at the 3 -- what 7' player is? SFs like Durant and Carmelo would go right around him. He could slide out where Dirk Nowitzki likes to camp and match up pretty well against some of the league's PFs. I don't see him as a center unless the opponent is a face-the-basket type, and those aren't all that common any more.

In a weird way, Yi is something of a tweener. So's McGee. Usually that translates to rotation player, not full-time starter. Like a lot of clubs, we're going into the season without that plowhorse in the middle. Consolation being that the Wiz aren't the only ones.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 26, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"And it's really a shame that Nick Young doesnt attack the basket. This kid has a 40" vert and can throw down on ANYBODY, yet loves that fade away jumper instead. Have never understood that, he's a good FT shooter too, getting to the rim should be 2nd nature.Posted by: divi3"

It's a mystery. Might be he doesn't like contact. Some players don't. That was an amazing thing about Allen Iverson, his ability to absorb contact without losing his balance. Of course he was a football player.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 26, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"And it's really a shame that Nick Young doesnt attack the basket. This kid has a 40" vert and can throw down on ANYBODY, yet loves that fade away jumper instead. Have never understood that, he's a good FT shooter too, getting to the rim should be 2nd nature.Posted by: divi3"

It's a mystery. Might be he doesn't like contact. Some players don't. That was an amazing thing about Allen Iverson, his ability to absorb contact without losing his balance. Of course he was a football player.

Posted by: Samson151 | October 26, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

it might have something to do with him being coached into becoming a catch and shoot player vs a player who creates his own shot. Sure if he's allowed to create his own shot he may settle for that between the legs, step back fadeaway. But eventually the step back fadeaway sets you up for stuff like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISTx7NahdWA

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@lil,

I guess I would say to that that we know Flip coached NY to add catch and shoot to his game, but we don't know if that's all he's allowed to do. Most coaches generally don't have a problem with a player taking the ball hard to the tin if they can. But you never know.

Some of it may also still be Nick trying to adjust to what he's being asked to do and finding a way to incorporate the things he's used to doing with the new things they've asked him to do.

Who knows? But it would be good for Nick and the Wiz if he started taking the ball to the rack again. But he can still leave the fadeaway jumper in the closet.

Posted by: ts35 | October 26, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ts35 | October 26, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

I feel ya. I think it was really that season of ETaps and First Yr Flip that NY got grilled for overdribbling. now i think he's playing like a robot. He's trying to do what the coaches tell him to do so he can stay on the floor. I'm sure i'll get killed for that comment, due to his lack of prowess in rebounding or defense or passing (other areas coaches have wanted him to work on). But for a guy who was a big time scorer in college and drafted in the first rd ,to be told to totally scrap his game; it's gotta be hard. i think that's why you heard NY say that stuff about trying the catch and shoot, but probably going back to playing the way he felt comfortable (with a lil bounce to his game). Funny how he got killed for that comment then, and now people want him to take it to the rack more and draw fouls.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, except I don't think anyone ever really wanted him to totally scrap his game, just ditch some of the style in favor of a little more substance. Because 'game' was essentially get the ball and shoot if he was 'open' or dribble until he felt open and shoot, regardless of the type of shot.

Posted by: ts35 | October 26, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Yall keep talkin bout this man he's gon come to your house and dunk on you.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5Dzxct3pmQ

why can't he put it together

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, except I don't think anyone ever really wanted him to totally scrap his game, just ditch some of the style in favor of a little more substance. Because 'game' was essentially get the ball and shoot if he was 'open' or dribble until he felt open and shoot, regardless of the type of shot.

Posted by: ts35 | October 26, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse
The delivery of the message is sometimes more important than the message itself. From the look of things, NY took it as meaning not to dribble. There was a lot of talk about his overdribbling by both Eddies and Flipper. He may be one of those players that needs extra attention, as laughable as that is to say about millionaire athletes.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Yuppers, or hopefully at some point he'll just develop a comfort level and mature into his game (although he's already 25).

Posted by: ts35 | October 26, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

My hope is that Saunders will give Young consistent minutes this season. That is the only way we can see if Young has what it takes to be a nightly contributor. My guess is that Young cant put it together for 82 games but I'd like to find out for sure. I do love his athleticism though.

Posted by: sjp879 | October 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Yuppers, or hopefully at some point he'll just develop a comfort level and mature into his game (although he's already 25).

Posted by: ts35 | October 26, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Maturing into your game isn't the same as maturing as a human being. I know what you're saying, but let's not say his game needs to mature. He's been coached by 4 different guys since he was at USC. he's constantly had to adjust his game to what coaches want him to do. Rarely do coaches come in and say I'm gonna tailor this system to you. More so they say, "This worked for me with someone else, now i want you to do it" players and their games change as the game evolves, some coaches don't, that's why they have to lean on examples of players they drafted decades ago to try to reach the guys they have now.NY has never demanded a trade, never thrown a coach under the bus, and never had an altercation regarding his tick. He seem mature enough to me, maybe not super bright but i don't think he's any more devoid of maturity than the next avg NBA player.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

My hope is that Saunders will give Young consistent minutes this season. That is the only way we can see if Young has what it takes to be a nightly contributor. My guess is that Young cant put it together for 82 games but I'd like to find out for sure. I do love his athleticism though.

Posted by: sjp879 | October 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

from the video i posted above you'd think we have one of the top young 2 guards in the league. I dunno why he can't put it together,but if and when he does lookout, cuz he has all the tools(be nice).

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | October 26, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

it's funny that when NY went 10-14 people complain he didnt have a rebound, but then when he grabbed 7rebs people complained he went 4-16.

i dont really care if he doesnt rebound. As long as he exerts consistent effort on defense I think he's good enough to be in rotation. With Gil already unable to play, this team will need scorers.

Posted by: divi3 | October 26, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

@KTV1

I know you're not one of the haters, but don't be among the last to figure out that the Wizards are built to be playoff team NOW. The ingredients are all there. They just need to have to have a little good fortune with their veterans' health while the youngsters continue to mature.

Posted by: melodious_thunk | October 26, 2010 2:28 PM |

Melodious, I love you like a brother, man, but when did the Wizards ever enjoy any good fortune, except just long enough for their fans to be set up for heartbreak?

I'm marking my 43rd season as a franchise fan here, and believe me, nobody would be happier than me to be wrong about this season. But the stats suggest this is a weak and vulnerable young team--and one that other teams will find very easy to adjust to both on offense and defense. If good fortune smiles and everything breaks their way, they just might make a run for the last playoff spot, but I still don't think they'd quite get there. If there's a "perfect storm" of bad luck--and the past few seasons have shown us that's much more likely--they could easily have the worst record in the league.

I trust in Ernie--but I'm still hanging onto my own bullets...

Posted by: KTV1 | October 26, 2010 8:59 PM | Report abuse

If Nick Young were as driven to win games as he was to win this competition, he'd be a valuable player.

Posted by: Cratchit | October 27, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/basketball/nba/10/11/wizards.scouts.preview/index.html

Rearding Gilbert Arenas: "I don't see him as a catch-and-shoot guy at all"

Well, the guy probably didn’t watch Wizards in preseason. In the games that Gil played, he actually "catch-and-shoot" pretty well. In fact, I wish Gil can also drive to the basket sometimes, and not just be a completely "play off the ball" type of guy.

Sure, Wall should handle the ball most of the time, but I have no problem seeing Arenas handle it occasionally. The problem with Arenas is that he seems like the "all-or-none" approach, this worries me, not his "catch-and-shoot" ability.

Posted by: sagaliba | October 27, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

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