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NBA Dunk Contest

February 26, 2018

NBA Dunk Contest

The Verizon Slam Dunk Contest is an annual National Basketball Association competition held during the NBA All-Star Weekend. The contest was inaugurated by the American Basketball Association at its All-Star Game in 1976 in Denver, the same year the slam dunk was legalized in the NCAA. The contest has adopted several formats over the years, including, until 2014, the use of fan voting, via text-messaging, to determine the winner of the final round.

In the two-round event, participants can perform any dunk they choose.  The players have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round.  Five judges score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30.All four competitors get two dunks in the first round.  The two players with the highest combined score for their two dunks advance to the head-to-head final round.  The player with the highest combined score for his two dunks in the final round is crowned the champion.

This year’s participants were Victor Oladipo, Larry Nance Jr., Dennis Smith Jr., and Donovan Mitchell.Sadly Aaron Gordon was not able to play in this year’s dunk contest due to an injury.Here’s a bit about this year’s participants.

Victor Oladipo, Pacers: A first-time All-Star this season, Oladipo ranks 13th in the NBA in scoring while shooting career highs of 48.8 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from three-point range.  This is his second Verizon Slam Dunk appearance, having finished second to Zach LaVine in 2015.  At the inaugural NBA Awards last June, Oladipo won the fan-voted Dunk of the Year for the 2016-17 season.  The 6-4 guard is seeking to become the second consecutive Pacer to win the event.

Dennis Smith Jr., Mavericks: Smith ranks fifth among rookies in scoring and fourth in assists.  The 6-3 guard registered his first triple-double on Dec. 29 against the New Orleans Pelicans, joining Jason Kidd as the only Dallas rookies with a triple-double.  Smith, the ninth pick in NBA Draft 2017 presented by State Farm, will compete for the U.S. Team in Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 16 during NBA All-Star 2018.

Larry Nance Jr., Lakers: The 6-9 forward is the son of three-time NBA All-Star Larry Nance, who won the inaugural Verizon Slam Dunk in 1994 by defeating Julius Erving in the final round.  Nance Jr. is posting career highs in scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage in his third season.  He was a finalist for Dunk of the Year last season. Competing in his home arena, Nance is seeking to become the Lakers’ first Slam Dunk winner since Kobe Bryant in 1997.

Donovan Mitchell, Jazz: On January 4, 2018, Mitchell was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for December 2017 after averaging 23.1 points, 3.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 34.3 minutes per game during the month of December. On January 15, 2018, Mitchell surpassed Karl Malone for most 20+ points games during a rookie season when he had his 19th 20+ point game. On February 2, 2018 Donovan recorded his second 40 point game of his rookie season against the Phoenix Suns. On February 5, 2018, Donovan was officially named by the NBA as an injury replacement for Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon for the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He won the contest scoring a 48 and 50 in the first round, then a 50 and 48 in the final round.

This year Donovan Mitchell won the dunk contest, he fought till the very end against Larry Nance Jr. and managed to pull in the victory for himself.Larry Nance Jr. barely lost the contest with a pass to himself dunk, he managed to get a 50 and almost win the contest.Donovan Mitchell won when he did one of Vince Carter’s dunks, which it one of the best dunks in NBA history (Vince Carter’s dunks are considered the best in the NBA).


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Keshav Laxminarasimhan, Reporter

Keshav Laxminarasimhan is an 8th grader who wants to be an Olympic swimmer when he grows up. He is currently 13 years old and he wants to go to the Junior...

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