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.

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