Jason Kapono doesn’t dunk. That fact would be unremarkable were it not for his occupation and his height.
Kapono plays for the Philadelphia 76ers and is 6 feet 8 inches. He is in his seventh N.B.A. season, but the only dunks he has thrown down in all that time have come during practice.
Not all tall athletes are created equal. Kapono began the season with 1,182 field goals in his career, nary a jam among them. In comparison, the athletic 6-7 rookie DeMar DeRozan notched his first dunk in just his second N.B.A. game with the Toronto Raptors.
In many ways, the slam dunk is the professional game’s signature play, the equivalent of baseball’s home run and football’s touchdown. Dunks are looped on highlight reels every night and emulated by children with small hoops and big dreams every day.
“I would love to feel that, I just haven’t discovered any pill or substance to take that would help me out in that category,” Kapono joked.