LeBron James dunked on Ben McLemore so hard that he actually felt badly about it.
The Kings' 20-year-old rookie found himself in the unenviable position of being the last man between James and the basket on Friday night in Miami. As the resulting poster will commemorate, James got the best of their meeting in the paint.
“It sucks that it was him, too, because I like him," James said after Miami's 122-103 win, via The Palm Beach Post. "I’ve been talking to him since he was in high school. So it sucks.”
With the Heat leading the visiting Kings 21-19 with 4:48 remaining in the first quarter, James blew by his defender on the wing and came roaring toward the rim. In his first career NBA game against James, McLemore opted to set his feet and attempt to take a charge. To paraphrase James, it sucked for him. The four-time NBA MVP rose up and nearly over McLemore and threw down an emphatic, right-handed slam dunk.
(GIF via @SBNation)
Asked about the dunk, McLemore explained what he was trying to do defensively on the play. He also suggested that officials would be unlikely to whistle James for a charge in that situation.
“Just knowing LeBron, I knew they weren’t going to call that call (a charge on James),” McLemore said of the play, via the Sacramento Bee. “I was just playing my defensive principles. Going in, being the low man and taking the charge.”