Lebron Dunks; Wade Soars…Sports Photo of the Year?

©Morry Gash, AP

Some are calling it the sports photo of the year and it was captured, like many great images, partially by chance.

AP photographer Morry Gash’s photo of Lebron James dunking while his partner in crime on the Miami Heat, Dwayne Wade, soars underneath like a pterodactyl, was shot early on during a December 6th match-up against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat would go on to win 88-78 in an otherwise uneventful game.

Even when you look at the video of the dunk, shown below, it seems like a rather nonchalant, if commanding, sequence by the Heat. Gash’s image though shows the swagger and the domination of two of the Heat’s controversial superstars.

So how’d Gash get the wide-angle shot? Well, he was actually just focusing his Canon 1D Mark IV on Lebron at the time.

“The camera I was shooting with was a longer lens,” Gash said. “I was following the ball and I was on LeBron.”

Meanwhile, at Gash’s feet was his Canon 5D Mark II with a wide-angle lens which was synced to the Mark IV and fired automatically by radio remote. It was the wide shot that was the winner.

“To be honest,” Gash said, “I had no idea Dwyane Wade even did that.”

Yet, when Gash went to his computer to transmit back to the AP the photos from both cameras, he got quite the surprise.

“The handheld stuff was OK,” Gash said. “I thought it was going to be better than it was. So when I saw the remote, I was stunned.

(via NBA Fanhouse.)

Along with receiving nice notes and emails from friends and colleagues, Gash received praise from King James himself who said in a tweet: “By far one of the best sports pics I’ve seen taken!!”

But of course, it’s of him. ;-)

What do you think of Gash’s photo? Best sports image you’ve seen this year? What are some other contenders? Please leave your thoughts and suggestions (with links) in the comments below.

7 Responses to “Lebron Dunks; Wade Soars…Sports Photo of the Year?”

  1. Troy Freund Says:

    It IS a great shot. Not sure if it’s “Sports Pic of the Year”, but definitely a contender. I’m also happy to see Milwaukee get a little attention! :)

  2. Gu Says:

    nothing special

  3. groovehouse Says:

    It’s a very nice shot, but I don’t think it’s the shot of the year, if the Heat win the NBA Finals, maybe.

    How about that Tiger Woods in your face golf ball shot? That’s gotta be a contender, huh?

  4. doncraig Says:

    Photo of the year? Really? Perhaps in the U.S.
    Let’s look further afield; it’s a big sports world out there.

  5. PAul Says:

    Great? No.
    Lucky? Yes.
    I’d agree, it’s nothing special.
    Not even in the US.
    And yes, it’s a big world, I’d say odds are it’ll be a non-USA photographer and event.

  6. Scott Strazzante Says:

    It is an excellent image from one of sport’s biggest stories of 2010 but it is not the “Sports Photo of the Year”.
    One of the problems with these year end best photo galleries is that they don’t highlight the best photos of the year, they highlight photos from the best stories of the year.
    Kudos to Morry Gash, though, he is one of the best sports shooters out there.

  7. Eric Molle Says:

    I like the Heat image presented here, but my favorite from this year so far is Randy Moss’ catch against the Jets, by Ray Stubblebine. http://www.raystubblebine.com/FOOTBALL_files/Media/500th%20Career%20catch/500th%20Career%20catch.jpg?disposition=download