Milwaukee Bucks rookie Malcolm Brogdon was labeled as “not an explosive athlete” leading up to the NBA draft, and to that I can attest as an avid Virginia Cavaliers fan. Though he led the Cavs to great heights in becoming the only player to win the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year awards in the same season, it wasn’t because of the heights Brogdon reached on the court.
Brogdon dunked, sometimes, in less-than-impressive fashion. He was 6-5 with huge hands, and all that allowed him to do was barely clear the front of the rim. Despite a surprisingly quick first step, I doubted he’d have much success once the game became primarily about winning one-on-one athletic battles.
It appears “The President” was holding out on us all those years, because at the combine he broke out a 30.5-inch no-step vertical leap and a 35.5-inch max vertical, which was half an inch better than Dwayne Wade coming out of Marquette. You know, the D-Wade known for things like this.
Brogdon has emerged as the second-best rookie in the league halfway through the season despite being drafted in the second round, but perhaps even more surprising is an emerging propensity to not just dunk on people, but dunk on famous people. Let’s work down the list, in order of least-humiliated (shortest) to most-humiliated (tallest) defender who dared challenge “The President” over the past five weeks:
Kyrie Irving (6-3), Dec. 20, 2016
OK, Uncle Drew is only 6-3. But, still, no respect shown at all by trying to meet Brogdon at the tin. Bet that doesn’t happen again.
Dwayne Wade (6-5), Dec. 17, 2016
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 17, 2016
Yes, D-Wade is Brogdon’s equal in the height department, but with no cartilage left in either knee I took it for what it was and figured that would be Brogdon’s highlight for the year if not his career. Instead, it’s already nearly forgotten after what Brogdon did just three days later.
LeBron James (6-8), Dec. 20, 2016
Dude. Brogdon flushed on Irving and The King IN THE SAME GAME. He definitely won’t top this dunk, or so I thought,
Nerlens Noel (6-11), Jan. 26, 2017
— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) January 26, 2017