Despite being in his 16th season, LeBron James continues to play at a high level as he’s taken on the challenge of helping lead the Los Angeles Lakers back into contention. Though, not even James is immune to occasional signs of mortality.
One came Tuesday night in the first quarter of a 115-110 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Just over 1 minute into the game, James took the ball and attacked the middle of the paint.
He rose up for an emphatic one-handed slam dunk, only to have the attempt blocked by young Nets Jarrett Allen. James went up for a dunk attempt later in the quarter, which Allen contested and forced the miss.
Of course, it was his block that set social media ablaze. James largely downplayed the sequence and credited Allen for having his moment, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“He’s in his 20s, I’m in my 30s. It takes me a little longer to get warmed up, but that’s fine. I mean, you’re a shot blocker. You can get a block. It happens. It’s probably all over social media, so, that’s cool.”
Allen acknowledged the risk of his block attempt and is honored to have joined an esteemed list, via ESPN’s Ian Begley:
“If you go up and you block it, you’re going to be on the highlight. You get dunked on, you’re going to be on the highlight. So just go up and protect the rim,” Allen said.
“That’s a helluva list to be on. He’s an amazing player,” Allen, 22, said. “I got the chance to do it, so I’m on the list forever now.”
Per EPN Stats & Information, Allen is only the ninth player to block James on 1,850 slam dunk attempts in his career. James flushed down a two-handed dunk as the Lakers attempted to mount a rally.
He finished the night with a game-high 36 points, 13 rebounds and 8 assists. He shot 13-of-23 from the field, but it was Allen’s block that will be remembered.