The Slam Dunk

Basketball is one of the most influential sports, culturally speaking, in the whole world. If you are looking for proof of this, then one of the clearest examples is the commonplace nature of the phrase “slam dunk”. From its original meaning as a type of basketball shot it has become almost as popular beyond the world of basketball as something that describes an endeavor that is easily and emphatically achieved. “Did you pass that exam?” “Oh yeah – it was a slam dunk!”.

To witness a slam dunk is quite something. It is not the most graceful of moves, not known for its finesse, but for players who have mastered the skill it is extremely effective. By powering through a clear run to the basket – or clearing the way themselves – physically powerful players can get themselves in a position to place themselves where they can jump high enough to actually get above the basket and power the ball down through the hoop. For greater emphasis you might hang on to the basket as you come down. It is something of a show-off move.

Having an accomplished slam dunk merchant in your team can be worth a great deal when it comes to winning games. The emphatic nature of the manoeuver can give your team a real lift and demoralise the opposition. If a team is playing a strong defense and blocking off all jump shots, the slam dunk can burst right through them and leave them wondering: Just how do you stop that?

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