So, Serge Ibaka dunked from behind the free throw line in the 2011 Slam Dunk Contest Saturday night. No biggie.
The dunk earned a 45, which served to effectively disqualify Ibaka on his first dunk, given that Blake Griffin (twisting 360 hammer) and JaVale McGee (two balls, two rims) earned a 49 and 50, respectively, on their openers. Serge Ibaka dunked from behind the free throw line, and scored the second lowest total of the competition. Are we done with the free throw line as a standard of excellence?
Ibaka's result would seem to indicate that's the case; even teammate Eric Maynor seems only mildly impressed with the feat. If we are post-FT line, perhaps it's because the feat has been accomplished outside the NBA dunk contest. James White, for instance, dunked from roughly where Ibaka took off in the 2009 NBA D-League Dunk Contest.
White's dunk was prettier in execution and, well, two years ago. In its various forms, it has hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. White, a former Spur, is a bit of an international dunking phenomenon, and surely folks who'd care about whether we are post-FT line have seen it.
So while Ibaka's free throw line dunk was certainly more impressive than the original, Julius Erving's heel-on-the-line effort, it's not unprecedented. Something like McGee's double dunk? Jumping over a freaking car? That's new, at least at the dunk contest.