The 2018 NCAA Tournament tipped off on Thursday, so the NBA took a little bit of a backseat to college basketball on Thursday night. That is, until LeBron James snatched the spotlight away from the NCAA by throwing down one of the most amazing dunks of his entire NBA career.
With the Cavaliers trailing the Trail Blazers by a point early in the first quarter during a game played in Portland, LeBron took the ball near the top of the key, drove cleanly towards the basket thanks to a screen from teammate Rodney Hood, and dunked all over Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic attempted to slow LeBron down by jumping to block him, but he didn’t stand a chance and paid the ultimate price for doing it.
At this point in his career, LeBron has thrown down so many incredible dunks that it’s hard to even try and figure out where this one ranks among them. But after the game, LeBron himself said he realized the dunk was special the second he threw it down.
"I knew it was going to be a good one that’s going to be shown for a long time," LeBron said, according to ESPN.com. "I was more excited to look over and see my teammates, how excited they were. So that one will last forever in my highlights from my career, even when I’m done."
LeBron’s teammates were excited in the moment, as many of them couldn’t contain themselves on the Cleveland bench. Guys like J.R. Smith were jumping all over the place and losing their minds.
Unfortunately for LeBron, the Cavaliers ended up losing the game 113-105, which ruined an otherwise memorable night. But his teammates were still excited about his dunk after the game ended. Jordan Clarkson even went as far as joking that LeBron had ended Nurkic’s career—and life—with the slam.
"I think there’s a body bag in the hallway right now," Clarkson told reporters in the Cavaliers’ locker room.
Cavaliers players weren’t the only ones flipping out over LeBron’s dunk, either. Those who were watching the game at home—and those who simply caught LeBron’s highlight on their Twitter timelines—went wild over it, too, with many NBA fans crowning LeBron’s dunk the best one of his career. Check some of the best reactions to the dunk below.