If you host it, they will dunk. That’s how I imagine the thinking behind FIBA’s 3-on-3 world tour this summer, where a dunk contest has followed each stop’s tournament. Even though 3-on-3 hoops with high-level players leads to about as many alley-oops as a dunk contest itself, the actual competitions have been more than just a sideshow. Add Madrid’s duel between Polish compatriots Raphael Lipinski and Emil Olszewski to that opinion. Olszewski took the victory, though Lipinski, in my opinion, had the best dunk of the whole competition.
Both players helped each other out in the final, which led to Lipinski going over Olszewski with a reverse dunk that had some ridiculous hang time. That’s not to discount Olszewski’s Blake Griffin homage by leaping over the hood of a BMW. Not every dunk in here is going to go on a Team Flight Brothers tape, but I appreciate most that the multiple stops by FIBA allow us to see dozens more undiscovered dunkers than we ever would before. The tournaments are kind of the pied pipers of dunkers on the cusp of widespread appeal in this way.
Olszewski takes his dunking pretty seriously, too. In the post-victory interview he said that injuries — or his lack of insurance — don’t faze his creativity. I’m not sure that’s what his loved ones want to hear as he jumps over metal barriers, mid-sized sedans and four cheerleaders, but it makes for some nice footage.
What do you think?
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