When an NBA coach dunking is more than a highlight: 'It does add to the respect and appreciation'
"YEAHHH!" ORLANDO MAGIC players hollered in unison as coach Jamahl Mosley turned and started his approach, chopping his feet to check the grip on the soles of his Nikes.
It was Nov. 8, and practice was winding down inside the Arena Ciudad de Mexico, one day before the Magic faced the Atlanta Hawks in the annual NBA Mexico Game.
Moments earlier, point guard Markelle Fultz had issued the challenge to his 45-year-old coach with the entire team huddled at midcourt.
"Come on, Coach, you said we gotta bring it," Fultz told Mosley, who stays in shape with mixed martial arts training and occasionally jumps into drills during practices to ramp up the intensity. "All right, you go to get one in."
Mosley knew exactly what Fultz meant: A demand for the 6-8 third-year coach to throw down a dunk.
Mosley took one dribble just outside the 3-point line and then committed a massive traveling violation, taking 10 steps before leaping off his left foot with the ball in his right hand. Players giddily jogged behind their coach and jumped when he finally took off.
Mosley's vertical proved just enough, as he squeaked the ball over the rim and through the net, much to the delight of his players. Most were toddlers during his globetrotting career for teams in Mexico, Australia, Spain, Finland and South Korea in the early 2000s... [read more]