Wizards’ Jan Vesely throws down monstrous dunk, gets rave reviews

September 30, 2013

Thank you, thank you. You’re far too kind. (Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

Kevin Seraphin attempted to mimic the play, cocking his arm far behind his head as he stood in front of Nene, but Eric Maynor shook his head and offered a different explanation. Nene finally chipped in from his own angle. They weren’t exactly certain about how it went down, but Wizards players agreed on one thing after practice: Jan Vesely had just thrown down one of the nastiest dunks that they’ve seen during an intense scrimmage.

“It was disgusting,” forward Trevor Ariza said, scrunching his face.

“It looked like a nuclear explosion. Everybody curse at the same time,” Nene said.

Near the end of the third day of training camp, Vesely woke up his teammates and elicited a few expletives when he caught a pass from Bradley Beal along the baseline, took a drop step and threw down a one-handed flush over camp invitee and former George Washington star Pops Mensah Bonsu.

“He caught a body today. He actually livened up practice with that,” swingman Martell Webster said. “This is the third day, legs are heavy, now you have to will yourself through practice, but it was fun. When he did that, it livened up practice and got the competitive nature out of everybody. I’m not going to throw any names under the bus. But he dunked on somebody hard. It was a Chris Paul, Blake Griffin type of play. [Beal] came off the pick and roll, went middle and Jan caught a body.”

Webster said he wouldn’t name the player who got posterized, but Mensah Bonsu wasn’t shying away. The 6-foot-9 forward who is hoping to return to the NBA after being out the past two seasons couldn’t help but hear his teammates discussing the dunk and felt the need to explain what happened.

Mensah Bonsu, who is known for having some spring in his legs, simply got caught helping after a defensive breakdown and paid the price.

“We have defensive principles on this team where they say, ‘You don’t let the ball or the man go middle.’ Somebody had a defensive breakdown,” Mensah Bonsu said. “Bradley Beal went middle and I went to stop the ball, as I know, and he made the right play and dropped the ball off. Before I knew it and I turned. Jan was already in the air. I halfway jumped. He dunked the ball so hard, I had no chance of blocking it.”

Ariza backed up Mensah Bonsu’s story and provided some defense: “It wasn’t his fault. But sometimes, it’s not your fault. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Mensah Bonsu declined to name the player who missed his assignment on defense. “I’m cool. I’m going to take it. I got dunked on. That’s okay. Come back tomorrow. Let’s see what happens,” Mensah Bonsu said with a laugh. “But he jumped over me. I think he jumped outside the paint. He took out from far. He dunked it hard. And he let me know about it. He don’t even speak English well and he let me know about it. What is that about? He said, ‘Yeah. Yeah. I dunked you.’ ”

Coach Randy Wittman has noted how Vesely is playing with more confidence early in camp and said the dunk is just the latest example.

“Today was probably one of his better all-around practices of the three,” Wittman said. “So, yeah, I continually see him playing with shoulders back and feeling good about himself, which is what he’s got to do.”

Otto Porter Jr. and Trevor Booker both sat out for the third day in a row. Ariza hurt his right calf and received treatment afterward but said the injury wasn’t serious.

“I just felt a little pull after I shot the ball and started to run back. Just taking precautions,” he said.

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(Video courtesy Monumental Sports Network)

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