As a tribute to the upcoming NBA season, we present a video collection of loose ball dives and crashes into the stands, the second most exciting NBA play next to the dunk. Check out Shaq doing his best Superman leap into the third row, Kevin Garnett almost smashing Jack Nicholson, Ron Artest smashing equipment, LeBron grabbing a fan’s fries and more acrobatic assaults below.
9. Shaq Channels Superman
Sitting up close at an NBA game is not for the weak. One second, you’re checking out the game in peace while downing a frosty beer, the next you’re running for your life as an NBA Center the size of a special education short bus is hurtling through the air in your general direction. NBA action…it’s FANtastic! And FAN-injuring!
8. Shaq Hugs it Out
In a move taken straight from the Kobe Bryant playbook, Shaq takes a moment away from his life threatening crowd dive to grope a fan before heading back to the court.
7. Kevin Garnett Dives into Jack Nicholson
Expecting to run over Jack Nicholson court side at a Lakers game is right up there with expecting to just show up at Vatican City and walk up to the Pope. Somewhere along your path, an intervention will occur and you will not like the results. In this case, Kevin Garnett’s road to Nicholson demolishment was cut short by a pretty deft sidestep by the man himself.
6. LeBron Breaks for a Snack
Prior to “THE DECISION,” LeBron James was one of the most beloved players in the NBA. Witness here as he goes into the stands following a layup and just digs into a young fan’s french fries. On the road, no less! This same situation this season would probably result in a suspension and a very special episode of “Jim Rome is Burning.” But back then, people loved it.
5. LeBron Plants One on a Fan
Again, don’t expect the type of warm reception that leads to making out with strangers on the sideline this season, King James.
4. Ron Artest Destroys the Scorer’s Table
This video lacks the full throttle destructiveness of the others, but scores extra points for the excessive monetary damage that can only come from busting a bunch of electronics with your threateningly large feet.
3. Ron Artest Flies Half Way Up Into the Stadium
After watching this, it’s hard to believe that Ron Artest was ever disliked by anyone. After running into the stands chasing down a rebound, not only does the notorious hothead refrain from punching anyone in the grill, he sticks around and does who knows what for the enjoyment of the gathered fans. He’s in the stands so damn long, Houston eventually had to call a time out to get him back on the court. Here’s hoping he wasn’t recording another shitty rap album or something.
2. Jamaal Tinsley is a Thief
This takes the two spot on the list simply because it’s an incredible play. Crowd dives are often fruitless efforts that succeed only in spilling tasty alcohol on ungrateful spectators. Not this time, though. Way to hustle, Jamaal Tinsley!
1. A Laker Girl Becomes Collateral Damage
This is easily the most brutal crowd dive of all time. While seated precariously close to the action, a Laker Girl basically takes a folding table to the face after being smashed into by two players. Look, of all the faces in that building you could be destroying, a Laker Girl should be last on the list. Whatever rules need to be put in place to keep sexy cheerleaders intact, we’re all for it. Cheerleaders are a national treasure. Make it happen, David Stern.