Pass that thing and watch me flex
Behind my back, you know what’s next
To the jam, all in your face
Wassup (wassup), just feel the bass
Drop it, rock it, down the room
Shake it, quake it, space KABOOM
- Quad City DJ’s, “Space Jam”
Kaboom, indeed. This wise prose from the real Space Jam movie soundtrack reminds us all that in the game of basketball there’s nothing quite like a vicious slam dunk to electrify the masses.
Sure, the Golden State Warriors used the power of the Splash Bros to revolutionize the modern game and make the three-pointer the shot everybody wants to shoot nowadays. But the visceral effect of one man skying above the fray, daring to fly, and tearing down the rim with furious indignation will always capture the world’s imagination.
It’s even more magical when a non-giant does it, like Gary Payton II did last night during summer league. Roll the footage!
Daaaayum. Let’s get another angle on that!
BOOM SHAKALAKA. That’s the most joyous expression I’ve seen on James Wiseman’s face as a Warrior!
The 6-foot-3 guard is known as a defensive ball hawk, which makes sense because his father Gary Payton Sr. (the Oakland-born Hall-of-Famer notorious for taking grown men’s cookies and letting them know about it) is known as “The Glove”. And while Payton Sr.’s defensive chops were his signature, he wasn’t a stranger to skying to the rim himself.
But I’d have to go through the old film footage to see if the father was elevating on the level of his son because Payton II is clearly has crazy hops.
If someone asked me what were my biggest memories of Payton II as a Warrior last year, I’d say his strong defense... and also this hilarious missed jam in garbage time of a blowout win over the decimated Cleveland Cavaliers.
But that is the price the high-flyer must sometimes pay in the quest for rim rattling feats of athleticism. In fact Payton II found himself sprawled on the floor earlier this week from an ill-fated jam attempt. But he never stopped dreaming of the air up there, and that’s how we get the “dunk of summer league” folks. #dontstopbelieving
Inspired by his tenacity, I curated some dunk highlights of GPII from the G-League for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
Buzzer Beating Turbo Slam
Screen Splitting Soul Crusher
Ultra Elevation Putback
From Defense To Dunk Contest
Who is the best dunker on the Warriors?
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Gary Payton II