Permitting (if not instructing) Nike reps in the gym in Akron, Ohio, to confiscate video evidence of the play, sure, that's one way of handling it. Then there's this way, by what would be known as The Jordan Rules of Posterization.
Jordan, of course, had the luxury of playing the bulk of his career in the relative Jurassic period of the Internet, when an NBA defender who got posterized truly wound up on a poster, taped to a kid's bedroom wall, the shelf life of the public indignity short. Times have changed. Everything is, or swiftly winds up, in the public domain. Behind closed doors in a summer-camp gym? Not a chance now, not with YouTube and TMZ and all the other forms of viral transmissions.
"You have to understand," Collins also said, "these NBA players today, they'll be in a game and a guy will be going to the basket ... and a guy goes up, sometimes guys will get out of the way. I've said to guys before, 'C'mon, you've got to go up and challenge that.' [They say] 'I don't want to be on
Makes the notion of winding up on a poster seem quaint. Do kids even buy posters of their favorite players anymore? Now the great fear is getting shown up globally and in perpetuity. You've been wallpapered, baby. Bitmapped, JPGed and YouTubed. Getting dunked on now is like getting an electronic tattoo ... chosen by a rival ... smack in the middle of your forehead ... that never, ever can be burned or grafted off.
From the moment man first dunked -- literally a giant leap for mankind and, legend has it, first executed regularly by Oklahoma A&M 7-footer
For years, dunkers and dunkees have switched roles easily, giving as good as they got. Kurland dunks on
(Or not. An early and still-famous case of official posterization came courtesy of
Good for Robinzine, by the way. "I've seen more guys who won't even contest dunks because they're afraid of 'ending up on a poster,' '' one NBA big man said this week, requesting anonymity lest he be, I dunno, targeted for a few fresh ones. "I think every single thing should be contested, whether it's a dunk or a three-pointer. If a young player is worried about getting dunked on, he's not doing everything to help his team win."
We've all seen that: Defenders who try ever so subtly to slip out of the frame, turn sideways, duck for cover or show up a split second late, hoping to avoid that direct linkage of LeBron or
"You'll have certain great shot-blockers where, before the game, the coach says, 'Hey, it's
No one expects them to like it, as competitive and proud as these guys are. But it happens to the best of them.
Often it's an equal-opportunity thing:
Jordan isn't known for being on the receiving end, obviously, and he isn't immortalized that way either. The bronze statue outside Chicago's United Center shows the Bulls' legend soaring for a dunk in that familiar spread-legged-in-flight logo pose, over an outstretched arm, its hand a good 3 feet below where Jordan's likeness has the ball. The opponent? No one in particular and therefore, Everydefender, an amorphous bronze blob that spares any one identifiable foe from an eternity's humiliation.
The sculptor described Jordan's fly-over mates as "an abstract entanglement of opponents." We'll just say he took posterizing one step beyond to ... statue-izing.
No story on posterizing, though, would be complete without a nod to
Bradley got dunked over by the greats and the not-so-greats.
Collins gave Bradley credit at least for almost always challenging the dunks, regardless of the likely outcomes. But he couldn't suppress his amusement while recalling a game he worked for TNT when
Collins remembered broadcast partner
Poster? Probably. But at least Bradley escaped unnamed from the audio-only version.