The Bucks put up a tremendously valiant effort Tuesday night against the Cavaliers, forging an impressive fourth-quarter comeback and forcing overtime, before finally falling 114-108 to the defending NBA champions.
It was a result already somewhat preordained; Milwaukee had embarrassed Cleveland on the same BMO Harris Bradley Center court exactly three weeks prior, routing them by 17 points with the narrative afterward being (rightfully, for that game, at least) that Giannis Antetokounmpo had been the best player on the court, outplaying – perhaps even "slaying" – the King in the Bucks' highest-profile win of the season. So many people expected the Cavs to come out fired up and intent on revenging that defeat.
What people absolutely did not expect was to see rookie guard Malcolm Brogdon, the Bucks' second-round draft pick lauded far more frequently for his brains and basketball IQ than his athleticism and physical gifts, deciding to assault the rim and absolutely obliterate whichever Cavs defender was in his path.
The first time Brogdon defiantly dunked on one of his NBA superiors, it was Kyrie Irving, and Brogdon even looked back at the All-Star guard with a (vain)glorious, and perhaps self-incredulous, brief mean mug. And then ... I hesitate even to type this out ... Brogdon dunked again. Oh my God, yes, he dunked again.
But this time it was on LeBron James, and it was a full-on, unapologetic, galaxy-shifting, straight-out-of-your-childhood-bedroom posterization.
It got the Bucks to within four points and it was purely, abhorrently amazing – the kind of visceral pleasure you almost feel bad about. Of course, Brogdon refrained from looking back at James, and perhaps his basketball career is now over after doing something so uncivilized to the league's best player. At least he can fall back on the undergraduate and master's degrees he received from the University of Virginia.
Anyway, here's the video:
Malcolm Brogdon adds LeBron James to his Holiday 2016 Poster Collection.
(Available soon at https://t.co/81I5ZszIGt)#FearTheDeer pic.twitter.com/tRUJ5NwxEm — Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 21, 2016
Here's another video, because you really can't get enough of it:
And here's both dunks, on Irving and James:
Afterward Brogdon, who finished with six points and five assists in 19 minutes off the bench, was ever-diplomatic in responding to questions about the dunks, saying he was "just trying to be aggressive."
But when pressed, Brogdon, who has earned the nickname "the president" from his Bucks teammates, admitted "it felt good" to dunk on James.
"I wasn't paying attention to who it was. Honestly, if I had looked and saw that it was LeBron, I might not even have gone up," Brogdon said Tuesday night via FOX Sports Wisconsin. "He happened to be there. It's cool, it's a good feeling. But we didn't get the win so it doesn't matter that much."
What a guy. Brogdon for president.
The Bucks play the Cavaliers again Wednesday night in Cleveland.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.