Over at NBA.com, this guy John Schuhmann blogs from time to time. He mentions the Rudy dunk ON Dwight as being one of the best highlights from one of the best games ever.
At the end of the piece, you'll notice one guy comments:
Kobe Bryant will admit that the dunk that Rudy had on Dwight was his mistake, so let's not make it like Howard was there on time to contest the dunk. Looks to me like he is almost defending him after the dunk.
Looks to me like this guy didn't even watch that game and he is deriving his conclusion from this still photograph. Had he taken the time to watch the dunk in its entirety, he would likely have to admit that it qualifies as a baptizing for both Rudy and Dwight. Rudy did something every European wing player could only dream of, and Dwight got dunked on for the first time in international competition.
For me, this dunk is an obvious facial and one of the many dunks I will never forget for as long as I live. Yes, Kobe went for that old-man-ymca-slap-the-back-of-your-hand-trick and looked ridiculous in the process. It's a move he would rarely make in the NBA against great guards with excellent ball-handling abilities. He would only look to make that move against an inferior ball-handler, which leads me to believe that he didn't have as much respect for Rudy as has been suggested. Kobe also looked bad as he held up his hands (except unlike Jordan hitting a 3 in Cliff's face, his teammate got dunked on because of his own error) while Rudy hung from the rim for the And1. He was probably astonished because he thought that even if his gamble didn't result in a steal or turnover, Dwight had his back and could stop anyone from getting to the rack. Kobe's blunder was therefore caused by a combination of underestimating Rudy and overestimating Dwight (which he knows better than to do since even he dunked on Dwight...I guess he overestimates himself too because even Rudy can dunk on Dwight).
And about Dwight: What truly makes this a facial, posterizing, "dunk on", or parachute as I like to call it, is the simple fact that Dwight committed wholly to stopping it and came up empty ended (And1). If you watch the above-provided link, you'll notice that Dwight takes a full two steps before somewhat awkwardly jumping off his left leg. He doesn't explode from the floor and he's coming from an awkward angle, but he still fully commits to the block attempt with his left hand and comes up about 6-12 inches shy of the soaring ball. Dwight was also out of position and came too far out from under the basket, perhaps not giving enough credit to the speed of Spain's best player.
I hope this quells any improbable debate of whether Superman did or did not get dunked on, posterized, parachuted, t-bagged, etc. The new debate in my opinion is whether in fact the real Superman was the one dunking. In any case, here's a poll for you so you can click your mouse too and feel interactive:
Did Dwight Howard get dunked on by Rudy Fernandez?
Yes (92 votes)
Of course (105 votes)
It could have been CGI (33 votes)
230 total votes