5. Russell Westbrook — Jan. 17, 2022
A few minutes before this MLK Day dunk, Russell Westbrook grabbed a mop to help clean up a spilled drink on the court. The arena formerly known as Staples Center crescendoed in gleeful applause. There were jokes that it was the loudest that Lakers fans had cheered Westbrook all season. (Russell Westbrook really needed this power dunk.)
Westbrook has the ball at the top of the key and drives downhill after a pseudo screen from LeBron. Russ charges straight at Gobert, who is the only thing standing between him and the rim, albeit the only thing being a 7-foot-1 Frenchman, who just so happens to be a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Westbrook is undaunted by The Stifle Tower standing in his path. He takes flight from the dotted line and he’s already got the tomahawk reared back before Gobert can even get up to contest. Westbrook keeps climbing. He’s ALL over Gobert when the tomahawk is unleashed on the rim, letting out all of his frustrations on one play.
Russ stares down Gobert while flexing and talking some trash. Westbrook gets a technical foul for taunting, but it was worth it.
It’s a classic Bill Macdonald call: “Russ!! Throw it down! Throw it down, Russ!! Down the middle he goes.”
After the dunk, Bill also lets out a “Woo!”
On the replay, Stu Lantz calls it, “A monster dunk by Westbrook.”
And there isn’t much doubt that THIS is the real moment in which Laker fans cheered Westbrook the loudest.