Basketball dunk victims may recall Vince Carter's victimization of Frederic Weis at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, but Kevin Garnett said Yao Ming was the main target.
"People did not know it, we had a bonus for Yao Ming," Garnett told Yahoo in a recent interview.
The former Houston Rockets center was still more than two years away from its first game in the NBA. However, Yao was competing in his first Olympic Games for the Chinese national team, and his 7-foot-6 frame apparently caught the attention of the US team.
"All the American team had made a bet," said Garnett. "We bet a million dollars on who would be the first person to dunk on Yao Ming."
While the United States beat China by 47 points in their preliminary game, Garnett said no one in the team had succeeded, despite their best efforts.
"We all tried to knock ourselves out of Yao, but he was blocking or missing us," he said.
According to the FIBA score, Yao played 16 minutes in the game and recorded 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks and 5 personal fouls – which seems to suggest that US players were looking for him.
Instead, it was 7-foot-2 French – whose career had never started in the NBA – that would be remembered in YouTube's story. Garnett says that he had the bonus dunk on the mind when it happened, explaining why he had reacted in the same way as Carter did.
"The first thing I thought about when I saw Vince Dunk on Frederic was" Oh, you won a million dollars, "he told Yahoo.
"But then I realized that it was obviously not Yao," Garnett said. "I pushed Vince, and if you look at the clip, he almost hit me in the face by accident." But my first thought was, oh yes, you won, you got the million.
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