Vince Carter's victimization of Frederic Weis during the 2000 summer in Sydney may be the dunk basketball fans remember, but Kevin Garnett says Yao Ming had been the primary target.
"People didn't know we had a bounty out on Yao Ming," Garnett told Yahoo in a recent comprehensive interview.
The former Houston Rockets center was still more than two years away from its first NBA game. However, in his first Olympics, Yao played for the Chinese national team, and his 7-foot-6 apparently hit Team USA's attention.
"The whole US team had a bet," Garnett said. "We had a million dollar bet on who should be the first person to dunk on Yao Ming."
While the US beat China with 47 points in their initial round matchup, Garnett says no one in the team was successful ̵
"We all tried to knock on Yao, but he would block it or we would miss it."
According to FIBA's box score, Yao played 16 minutes in the game and recorded 5 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks and 5 personal errors – which seems to indicate that US players were seeking him.
Instead, it was 7-foot 2 Frenchman – whose career never went off the ground in the NBA – who would be infamously memorialized in YouTube history. Garnett says he had dunk bounty on the mind when it happened and explained why he reacted as enthusiastically as Carter.
"The first thing I thought of when I saw Vince dunk over Frederic was oh s *** you won millions of dollars," he told Yahoo.
"But then I realized that of course it wasn't Yao," Garnett said. "I pushed Vince, and if you look at the clip, he almost accidentally stamps me on the face. But my first thought was, oh, *** you won you got millions."
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