Team USA had a $1 million 'bounty' to dunk on Yao Ming during 2000 Olympics, Kevin Garnett reveals
No one was able to collect the prize
Posterizing someone during a basketball game has to be an amazing achievement, at any level of play. But posterizing a 7-foot-6 superstar at the Olympics? Well, that's an achievement worth a whole lot -- $1 million, to be precise.
A certain former NBA star and Olympian -- let's call him Kevin Garnett -- revealed this week that Team USA placed a "bounty" on the head of Yao Ming during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. If any American player could dunk over the Chinese big man, they'd collect the reward.
Unfortunately, nobody was able to do it, though not for a lack of effort.
"People didn't know, we had a bounty out on Yao Ming," said Garnett in an interview with Yahoo! Sports. "The whole USA team had a bet. We had a million dollar bet on who was going to be the first person to dunk on Yao Ming. None of us did. We all tried to dunk on Yao, but he would block it or we would miss."
Although no one was able to climb Mount Yao, one USA player did have an iconic dunk over a towering defender during the 2000 Games. Vince Carter managed to completely jump over French big man Frederic Weis, making for one of the most memorable dunks in the history of the sport.
Garnett was one of the first players to celebrate that dunk with Carter and, for a split second, he believed the bounty had been claimed.
"The first thing I thought of when I saw Vince dunk over Frederic was oh s--t, you won the million dollars!" said Garnett. "But then I realized it obviously wasn't Yao. I pushed Vince, and if you look at the clip, he almost punches me in the face by accident. But my first thought was, oh s--t, you won, you got the million."
Close, but no cigar. However, Garnett, Carter and the rest of Team USA did get a gold medal out of the tournament, and you can't put a price on that. (Unless you list it on eBay.)
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