Every All-Star weekend, the entire basketball world gets together to observe the pandemonium of my favorite event; the NBA dunk contest. In recent years, the dunk contest has been comprised of an assortment of young gun rookies and mediocracy, but this year’s lineup has me excited.
Although Lebron James has decided to sit this one out yet again, this year the fans will be rewarded with the likes of All-Stars such as Paul George, Damian Lillard and John Wall. This star-studded lineup with also include returning champ Terrence Ross and young up-and-comers Harrison Barnes and Ben McLemore. This may be the most athletically gifted assortment of NBA players in the past five years.
Here is a brief preview of what to look forward to this Saturday at 8:30 PM ET.
Paul George: If you’ve been watching the NBA the past few years, you sure as hell know that PG has proved that he deserves the persona of being a “human highlight reel”. He will most definitely be looking to dethrone returning champ Terrence Ross. George may be the most versatile dunker in this years contest, as his mix of hops and length put a unique flavor on each and every slam. Just in case you haven’t seen enough to be convinced, take a look at another mixtape.
John Wall: four seasons, and hundreds of SportsCenter highlights, after being selected with the #1 draft pick by the Washington Wizards, Wall has finally decided to show off his talents in the dunk contest. Surprisingly enough, he chooses to participate during the one season the Wizards are actually in playoff contention and need to keep him healthy. But with that being more false hope for a championship more than anything else, Wall is ready to put his body on the line for a few good “hoo-rahs” this Saturday. Lets be real, everyone really just wants to see him incorporate his token “John Wall dance” into one of his dunks. In case your not convinced that Wall is an elite dunker, heres a video of him slamming it out with the best.
Damian Lillard: The reigning Rookie of the Year is competing in every possible skill challenge this All-Star weekend. Lillard has shown to be a beast dunking in traffic. Now he will finally get a chance to show off what he can do with no one around him, which I have to say has gotten to the heads of some of the dunkers in past years.Check out this video of some dunk contest bloopers. Nevertheless, Lillard will look to impress with a variety of skills this weekend, whether it be in the dunk contest, skills challenge, or three-point competition.
Terrence Ross: We’ve already seen what T-Ross could do in last years’ dunk contest. It will be interesting to see what he does to try to one-up his last Vince Carter-like showing. With this years improved competition, I don’t see Ross taking home the crown for a second year in a row.
Ben McLemore: Its been rumored that B-Mac plans to perform the dunk contest’s first ever 720 dunk. If he does end up pulling that off, he’s a shoe in to win the whole thing. If he doesn’t at least attempt the 720, his rookie season will continue to be a huge disappointment. Don’t worry your sweet cheeks any longer; no matter what he pulls off Saturday, you’ll know by the end of the night that this kid can fly.
Harrison Barnes: Everyone is just waiting for this kid to break out and become a superstar in the NBA. Hindered by his spot behind Andre Iguodala in the Warriors depth chart, the dunk contest is finally Barnes’ chance in the spotlight. Im gonna have to assume that he’s gonna use a teammate as a prop, because he loves to posterize his opponents. Check the first 30 seconds of his highlight film.
My Pick: Ben McLemore. With this year’s talented crop, it would be easy to say that any of these guys could win it all, but I’m a sucker for spinning dunks. If he pulls off the 720, you better believe its gonna be game over.