In mid-December we postulated that this Morry Gash AP photo of Lebron James unleashing a tomahawk jam while Dwayne Wade soars underneath like an airplane might be the best sports photo of 2010.
Now, The Wall Street Journal is weighing in with its list of the five top sports images of 2010 and along with including Gash’s photo it includes commentary from the photographers on the stories behind the shots.
According to photographer Mark Pain, who captured the comical shot of Tiger Woods driving the ball right into his lens, the Cigar Guy in the image who become an Internet cult figure, was nearly edited out of the picture.
“The ball came straight toward me, hit the camera in the lens, bounced onto my chest and landed between my feet,” said Mark Pain, a Mail on Sunday photographer. “One of the loveliest things about the photo is the expression of the spectators. It’s, like, ‘Wow, that guy’s gonna get hit!’” As for Cigar Guy? He was almost cropped out. “He very nearly didn’t get his moment of fame,” he said.