CLEVELAND -- Nearly 20 hours after The Dunk, “Jason Terry” was still trending worldwide on Twitter.
For the uninitiated, “trending” is a Top 10 of the most frequently tweeted or re-tweeted words or phrases on Twitter. When LeBron James dunked over Terry on Monday in Boston, the Internet’s nuclear core went Chernobyl with a hysterical meltdown in the form of photo-edited spoofs — “memes” — and witty one-liners.
Nearly a full day after the play, the aftermath of The Dunk was still circulating through cyberspace like a virus. The Heat’s winning streak extended to 23 games after Monday’s 105-103 victory against the Celtics and James hit the game-winning shot to cap the Heat’s largest comeback of the season (17 points), but all anyone wanted to talk about was The Dunk and the untimely “death” of Terry.
The Internet is a ruthless place and the running joke, as is the case when anyone is on the receiving end of a vicious dunk, was that Terry expired on Monday after attempting in vain to defend the alley-oop from Norris Cole to James.
Even Terry’s Wikipedia page was edited to jokingly note his passing: “Jason Eugene Terry (born September 15, 1977; death on March 18, 2013. Cause of death was LeBron James.)”
Various memes included a graveside-service scene ripped from an episode of the television series Lost. The image of Terry lying flat on the court was edited into the picture in place of a casket. In attendance at the burial were Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Tom Brady.
Another photo mockup showed wrestler The Undertaker holding down Terry for a three count while James menacingly stared down at the scene. Many more tongue-in-cheek graphics popped up on Twitter as well: headstones above Terry’s body, police tape marking the scene of the crime, Terry’s soul floating above his body and James dressed like the grim reaper.
And, of course, James punctuated his dunk after the game with the most dismissive of comments, which only served to fuel the gags.
“Yeah, I seen him down there,” James said of Terry, who was knocked flat to the court during the play.
Terry’s effort, apparently, wasn’t even worth the respect of proper English.
Even players around the NBA joined in the Twitter eulogy.
“R.I.P. Jet,” wrote Floridian Chandler Parsons of the Houston Rockets.
“[H]mmm touché sir … touché. lol,” tweeted Clippers big man DeAndre Jordan, who only a few days earlier caused a similar Internet explosion with an overpowering dunk against Pistons guard Brandon Knight, who prepped at Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest.
With a nod to Jordan’s highlight, a blog on the Los Angeles Times’ website posted a video clip of James’ dunk with the headline, “Watch Jason Terry get ‘Knighted’ by LeBron James on monster dunk.”
Of course, there is history between Terry and the Heat that only made the storyline all the juicer. Terry, of course, was instrumental in the Dallas Mavericks’ defeat of the Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals. Terry scored 27 points off the bench in Game 6, which clinched the series for the Mavericks at AmericanAirlines Arena.
“Credit them,” Terry said during post-game after miraculously being resuscitated. “They’ve won however many in a row. I hope they lose the rest.”