Nikola Vucevic got the ball on the reversal and had a familiar face in his sights as he rose up for the dunk. That familiar face, wearing a familiar black jersey, could not get out of the way in time.
When Nikola Vucevic and Andrew Nicholson return to the Magic locker room for Tuesday's game against Charlotte, Nicholson will certainly hear a lot about this infamous jam. It was one of many on the night during the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, but it was the one Magic fans will note the most in this game.
Yes, it was Magic-on-Magic crime. A poster featuring teammates. And Nicholson was on the wrong end.
Nicholson did not play bad. Vucevic did not play bad. They did what they needed — rebound when the ball came in their area and score when they were open (soemthing that happens often in this kind of an All-Star Game) — in a fantasticly entertaining BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. The final score, if that matters at all, had Vucevic's Team Chuck defeating Nicholson's Team Shaq 163-135.
Kenneth Faried was named the game's MVP with a 40-point, 10-rebound performance that featured some incredible dunks and his typical hustle and grit around the basket. It also featured Team Chuck scoring a competition-record 163 points and making 17 of 32 3-pointers, in an unconscious shooting effort.
Even Vucevic joined in on the fun. His third shot of the game was a 3-pointer that he easily made from the left wing. Vucevic scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds. Vucevic played junk yard dog and was around the basket when his team needed him. He even finished an alley-oop in the second half.
Nicholson scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting in 9.5 minutes. And Vucevic did let him score a few times as the teammates were often matched up against each other.
This was a guard's game — unless you are a crazy hustle machine like Faried. The main highlights came from Ricky Rubio throwing lobs and passing between his own legs to cutters that did not seem to exist moments before. Then there was Kyrie Irving playing a one-on-one contest with Brandon Knight, twisting up Knight's ankles on two occassions. And then there were the 3-pointers.
It was a good time for those involved — with the game hitting its seemingly normal lulls before competitive juices kicked in and the highlights continued.
For Vucevic and Nicholson though it was a good experience for them to be on the big stage. They got the Magic some good publicity as the broadcast mentioned Vucevic's rebounding prowess (not on display in this game) and mentioned Nicholson's strong play throughout the season.
Hopefully they both had a good time and enjoyed the experience.
Now they can get some rest for the remainder of the weekend.