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Sneaker Moments: Leaping The Eiffel Tower

For many people around the world the Olympic games are the pinnacle of sport, a gold medal is the highest achievement possible, earned while wearing your country’s colors on your vest or jersey. To upstage winning that medal, to provide a moment more memorable than standing on the top of the podium as the national anthem plays takes something truly special, and that is exactly what Vince Carter provided on September 25th, 2000.

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At 7’2 French national Frederic Weiss was an intriguing prospect for NBA scouts and GMs. Size has always been a coveted trait in the NBA, so it was no surprise Weiss had been drafted a year prior to the Sydney Olympics with the 15th pick of the 1999 NBA draft with the New York Knicks opting to take his rights should he enter the league. As a player potentially on his way to the league a matchup against the US team should have been an opportunity, a chance to show he could hold his own on court with the best players in the world. Instead Weiss found himself on the receiving end of what became known as “the most demoralising dunk of all time.”

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The French media dubbed it “le dunk de la mort”, the dunk of death. As Carter stole the ball and drove towards the intimidating 7ft plus frame of Weiss not even the most imaginative viewer could have envisioned what would happen next. We all knew that VC had hops, his highlight reel was already fully loaded by the millennium, but as he took off in his Nike Shox BB4, reached down with his forearm to shove Weiss’ head between his legs, and finished ferociously Carter provided one of the most jaw dropping moments hoops fans around the globe had ever seen. With that one moment Weiss’ NBA dreams essentially died. Le dunk de la mort, Weiss never took up his option with the Knicks.

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For anyone who remembers seeing Vince Carter “leap the Eiffel Tower” as I do, how many of you didn’t immediately want a pair of those Shox? I know I did.

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images: nk

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About weaverthegreat

Sneakers, Hoops and Hip Hop. Representing London, England

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