NBA Announces Slam Dunk, Three Point Contest Participants
Every year, tons of NBA fans tune in on All-Star Weekend to watch the Dunk Contest and Three-Point Competitions. They're possibly more entertaining than the game itself, and the NBA wants to bring the show to their fans again in 2017.
The NBA announced this year's participants for the Slam Dunk Contest and the Three Point Shootout, and both lists feature some interesting names.
Klay Thompson will try to defend his three-point title against Cavs star Kyrie Irving, Toronto's Kyle Lowry, Hornets guard Kemba Walker, Mavs wing man Wesley Matthews, Portland's CJ McCollum, former Pelican Eric Gordon and the Lakers' Nick Young. All eight players can light it up from beyond the arc, but do any of the challengers have what it takes to dethrone one of the "Splash Brothers?"
The Dunk Contest lineup is a little different. The two-time defending champion, T-Wolves guard Zach LaVine, decided to pass up on the opportunity this year. He said he has nothing left to prove, so the stage is wide open for last year's runner-up.
LaVine won the Dunk Contest in 2016, but Aaron Gordon might have had the more memorable dunks. Orlando's young forward put on a show last year, and now he has a shot to take home the title. It's going to be hard to top last year's final showdown, so hopefully Gordon still has some tricks up his sleeve.
The biggest name trying to take Gordon's title will also be the biggest guy on the court.
DeAndre Jordan is a beast in the paint for the Los Angeles Clippers, and a lot of his points are scored on dunks. He's not the first big man to participate in the Dunk Contest, but will he have the athleticism, like Dwight Howard did, to pull off some acrobatic efforts?
Jordan put a lot of people on posters in his NBA Career, but most of his finishes come with force. He's going to have to bring some creativity if he wants to beat Gordon.
The third participant in the Dunk Contest is the son of an NBA baller, but he has way more ups than his pops.
Glenn Robinson Jr. was a two time All-Star in the NBA, and his son will get to participate in All-Star Weekend this year. Pacers forward Glenn Robinson III might now be a household name, but he has a chance to earn a lot of fans with a big showing in the dunk contest.
He's thrown down some vicious dunks in games before, but this will be a true test of his abilities above the rim. Go make poppa proud.
The last contestant in the NBA Dunk Contest might be the most obscure player involved in All-Star Weekend, but he probably has the best chance of beating Gordon.
Derrick Jones Jr. split time this season in the D-League and with the Phoenix Suns, but he created a lot of internet buzz with his ridiculous dunks. He checks in at 6'7", and he has an insane vertical that could help him win the whole contest.
He earned the nickname "Airplane Mode" by rocking the rim, and he already won a national dunk competition coming out of high school. Most people have no idea who Derrick Jones Jr. is, but they probably will remember his name after the Dunk Contest.
As always, I just hope the Dunk Contest isn't a disappointment. I remember the days when the Dunk Contest was my favorite part of All-Star Weekend with guys like Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant and Jason Richardson throwing down dunks I never saw before. Last year's contest was one to remember, so we'll see if they can top it in 2017.
For what it's worth, my money is on Gordon and Thompson. Klay is a machine from three, and Gordon is a physical freak. I could be wrong, but there's a reason they're the favorites.