The 2016-17 season for the Los Angeles Lakers turned into a developmental year, as the young core obtained another year of experience under their belts. With head coach Luke Walton experimenting with his lineup, he was truly able to get the best out of players like Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Ingram.
The Lakers soon hit reality after their unforeseen 10-10 start, but still managed to progress as a unit and put on spectacles in whatever arena they played in. Perhaps no player provided more highlights last season than Nance Jr., the athletic forward with a constant burst of energy.
Nance Jr. has developed into a integral role player for this Lakers team, with a high basketball IQ and relentless motor while on the court. Many NBA players have become accustomed to his versatility, earning respect around the league for the various posters already established in his two-year career.
The NBA is conducting their annual top 10 countdowns on YouTube, where they rank various categories throughout the season. They posted their top 10 dunks of the season on Thursday, with Nance Jr. claiming the No. 2 spot on the list for his vicious dunk over then Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez.
That dunk was often referred to as the dunk of the year in the NBA, only for Nance Jr. to get a little salty when Victor Oladipo’s dunk on Dwight Howard dethroned him at the NBA awards show.
Oladipo once again got the better of Nance Jr., claiming the top spot on this countdown as well. The dunk over Lopez definitely had an awkward significance for Nance Jr., as Lopez would be traded to the Lakers in the D’Angelo Russell deal a few months after.
Nance Jr. posted 7.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals per game his sophomore campaign, while shooting 52.6 percent from the field in 22.9 minutes per game.