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6/15/2007 02:04:00 PM
Best Dunkers of All Time
James White often put on dunk show when he attended the University of Cincinnati.
Photo by AP
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
CLEVELAND -- The San Antonio Spurs are one of those teams where the sum of the parts is equal to something pretty damn great. One of the Spurs bench players this season has been rookie swingman James "Flight" White. JW played his college ball at Florida and Cincinnati, and after a brief stop with the Pacers found an NBA home in San Antonio, where the Spurs have mostly used him as a practice player while they allow him to develop into an NBA player. White hoped to initially make his mark in the NBA as a defender, although many who follow basketball closely already know White as maybe the best dunker in the world. His windmills from the free-throw line and various dunks where he finishes with his eyes above the rim have made him a YouTube superstar.
Despite his impassioned pleas, White couldn't wrangle an invite to the NBA's Slam Dunk contest this season. He hopes to get there next season in New Orleans, where he says he has "all kinds of things planned, stuff nobody's ever seen before."
In the meantime, we asked White to select his five favorite dunkers of all time. In no particular order, White said…
1. Michael Jordan: "He dunked on so many people," White recalls. "He really changed dunking for everyone."
If there's one thing that gets Venus Williams emotional, it's a John Legend concert.
By Richard Deitsch, SI.com
No, your eyes don't lie. See that tall woman in the club? Looks like Venus Williams, right? Well, it just might be. When she's not smashing serves (she blasted a record 128 mph serve at the French Open) or winning Wimbledon titles, the five-time Grand Slam champion is dancing away at concerts across the land. Her musical tastes range from genre-bending punk rock (Unwritten Law) to R&B (John Legend). "My perfect evening?" says Venus, who is ranked No. 31 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. "I'd probably go to a concert. I really love music." We caught up with Venus this week at her home in Florida, where she's training for Wimbledon, which begins June 25. Here are Venus' five favorite concerts she has attended in person:
1. 311: They are my favorite band, and I went to see them in Sept. 2005 in Houston. Wonderful day. Great concert. And no one had more fun than I did.
2. Unwritten Law: I went to see them in Dec. 2005 at some place in L.A. It might have been The Roxy. They were great.
3. Agents of the Sun: I love them and I remember seeing them in a bar in Baltimore a couple of years ago. You don't understand how much fun I had. No one could more fun than I did that night.
4. John Legend: I saw him at the House of Blues in Hollywood a couple of years ago and I've seen him in New York as well. But the concert at the House of Blues was emotional for me. I had a bit of an emotional moment there.
5. Green Day: I saw them in April of 2005. I think it was Miami. They were amazing. I had so much fun that my neck was sore the next day. Seriously, I could not move my neck for two days.
What are your favorite concerts? Let us know below ...
While in San Antonio last weekend for Games 1 and 2 of the NBA Finals, I had to do something to kill the boring downtime between the boring games. And in a booming metropolis like San Antonio, this meant only one thing: minor league baseball. On Saturday night I went with a few friends out to the appropriately quaint Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium, plunked down $9 and bought the best seat available, fourth row behind the plate. Much like the NBA Finals, I didn't witness much of an offensive game -- the final score was 5-0 and the San Antonio Missions were two-hit by the mighty Corpus Christi Hooks.
What could have been a boring evening was rescued by a trip to the concession stand, where I was introduced to a regional fare that immediately vaulted into my personal list of top five stadium foods I've sampled. Here's my top five below. You'll get your chance to chime in momentarily…
1) Fish Tacos at Petco Park in San Diego: The fish tacos are catered by a regional restaurant chain called Rubio's, and they are simple and spectacular: a tortilla, a fillet of beer-battered fish, cabbage, salsa and a mysterious white sauce. The gorgeous setting and temperate climate enhance the crunchy-chewy combination.
2) Roasted Peanuts at Turner Field in Atlanta: They're nothing special, the same mass-produced, pre-packed peanuts available at stadiums around the U.S. But I love the ritual involved in cracking the shells, tossing the heavily salted peanuts in your mouth, throwing the debris on the ground. A special mention here goes to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, where they sell only unsalted peanuts, which have all the flavor of Styrofoam. You'd think The Boss could shell out a little extra to keep the fans fat and happy.
3) Frito Pie at Wolff Stadium in San Antonio: I'd never heard of a Frito Pie before visiting San Antonio, but now I'm having trouble forgetting it. Imagine a bowl of Fritos drenched with chili and cheese, creating so much mass that the only way to eat it is by using a fork. Not exactly your standard stadium fare, but it should be.
4) Meat Pie at Old Trafford in Manchester, England: It was a cold, blustery night a few years ago when I settled into the lower stands to watch Man United play, but I was really more interested in getting something to tide me over until dinner. The concession stands had chips, chocolate bars and ... meat pies? Having never heard of such a thing, I immediately ordered one. It was basically a cross between an empanada and a potpie, filled with an undefined ground beef paste. It was flaky on the outside, warm in the middle -- just the thing to ward off the cool Manchester evening.
5) A Watered-Down Coke at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia: My idea of heaven. In recent years, more and more stadiums have taken to selling plastic bottles of soda, which is probably easier for them to manage. But for my money, nothing beats sitting outside in the blazing fall sunshine, hailing a wandering salesman carrying a metal tray full of Cokes which have lost their potency in the heat. It may take a few sips to get past the layer of melted ice, but it tastes so great. And anything that's great requires at least a little work.
What's your favorite ballpark food? Let us know below…
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.