Cam Whitmore was widely projected as a top-10 pick coming into the 2023 NBA Draft. The Houston Rockets reportedly considered taking him at No. 4 overall before going with Amen Thompson instead. When the Rockets came on the clock again at No. 20, they couldn’t believe Whitmore was still available and rushed to select him.
We rated Whitmore as a top-five overall prospect in the class coming into the draft because of his absurd combination of power and explosiveness. The 6’7, 230+ pound forward can absolutely fly through the air when attacking the basket, and he put that talent on display in the Houston Rockets’ preseason game on Monday night.
During the first quarter, Whitmore took off from a step inside the free throw line for a monster dunk … that didn’t count because it was ruled charge. Boo, refs!
First of all, that’s an incredible dunk. Whitmore leapt from beyond the dotted line and slammed it home over a defender. This play is the ultimate evidence of his awesome athletic tools.
It’s also a damn shame this is a charge. Defensive players should not be rewarded for sliding under offensive players in mid-air, and not just because it takes away fantastic highlight plays like this one. Sliding under players is a great way for injuries to happen. This is exactly how Giannis Antetokounmpo was injured in last season’s NBA Playoffs.
We don’t need to ban the charge, necessarily, but the league should change how it’s enforced. No defender should be incentivized to make a non-basketball play just to get a charge. Dunks like Whitmore’s have to count.