MIAMI — It was the dunk heard ’round the world. And certainly around the Lucas household.
“LeBron got our family again,” John Lucas II said Monday.
On Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena, 6-foot-8 Miami forward LeBron James literally hurdled 5-foot-11 Chicago guard John Lucas III while taking an alley-oop pass from Dwyane Wade and ramming it home. The dunk, which came in the first quarter of the Heat’s 97-93 win, has been continuously replayed since then.
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Lucas III is the son of Lucas II, the NBA’s No. 1 draft pick in 1976 and a former NBA coach. When Lucas II was Cleveland’s coach in May 2002, he was fined and suspended for two games for inviting James in for a workout. That was illegal considering James, then a high school junior, was not yet draft-eligible.
“You know, I got suspended for him,” Lucas II said by phone. “So he got our family again the way he jumped over (Lucas III).”
Lucas II was impressed with James’ dunk. He said he’s spoken to his son since he was posterized but that he didn’t bring it up.
“He said nothing about it. But I’m sure all his buddies are tweeting about it,” Lucas II said with a laugh.
James downplayed the dunk after Sunday’s game. He said he didn’t even see where Lucas III was on the court.
“I give all credit to D-Wade,” James said. “He threw it. I can’t let him down and not go get it.”
Miami forward Chris Bosh sure liked the hookup between the Heat’s two perimeter stars.
“It was nice,” Bosh said. “We drew it up. I wasn’t sure if it was open. But LeBron, sometimes you can just throw it up and he’ll go get it. I was at the top of the key. I had the best view in the house. . . . I’m surprised he went and got it. Then again, he does things like that often. So we kind of expect that of him.”
The dunk conjured up memories of Team USA’s Vince Carter jumping over France’s Frederic Weis in the 2000 Olympics in what the French media have called “le dunke de la mort (the dunk of death).” That’s about all that Weis — who was taken No. 15 in the 1999 draft by New York but never played in the NBA — is remembered for.
As for Lucas III, a fourth-year man who is averaging a career-high 6.9 points this season, his father did want to remark that “he’s been playing well.” But a Google search Monday revealed Lucas III is pretty much known now for having been LeBroned.
The first three items that came up in the search read: “LeBron James Posterizes John Lucas III”; “LeBron Over Lucas . . . Worth Another Look!” and “LeBron James leaps over John Lucas III.”