This year’s NBA Slam Dunk contest has fielded a very interesting group of dunkers. We will see the return of Victor Oladipo to the contest, who was the runner-up to Zach LaVine back in 2015.
In addition to Oladipo, the world will also see the debut of three new dunkers; Larry Nance Jr. of the Cavs, Dennis Smith Jr. of the Mavericks, and Donovan Mitchell of the Jazz.
But honestly, there is a better Slam Dunk contest out there. (Personally, I would want Aaron Gordon in my Slam Dunk contest, but he had to withdraw from the original group due to injury.)
1. Donovan Mitchell and Dennis Smith Jr. are the two PERFECT members from these four that I would want in my Slam Dunk Contest. Mitchell, the rookie guard from the Utah Jazz has been putting on a show this season; averaging 19.5 points per game and putting up monstrous dunk highlight after highlight. There’s nothing that I want more than to see the ‘rook’ make his debut this year during All-Star Weekend.
Now granted, I would love to add Aaron Gordon to this contest as well. Having the opportunity to see LaVine vs. Gordon again AND Vince Carter make his return in the same contest would be a dream come true. But since Gordon is injured, Dennis Smith Jr. is the perfect replacement for him. Smith has got the Mavs rocking, and I feel like he has some tricks up his sleeve come Saturday.
2. One of the greatest, if not THE greatest dunker of all time Vince Carter is 41 this season. He is the oldest active player in the NBA right now, and he NEEDS to make one more appearance in a Slam Dunk Contest before he retires. I mean just look up some highlights of him dunking this season; he’s still got life in those legs.
Granted, we will probably not see the “cookie jar” again, but he would still be able to put on a show. And just the name itself, Vince Carter, in the Slam Dunk contest would be a viewership draw.
3. If you’re going to bring the “old school” of Vince Carter back one more time, then you have to bring the “new school” of Zach LaVine back as well. Seeing LaVine and Carter going back and forth for one contest would be just a dream in itself. It would be like the “passing of the torch” in some respects.
I understand that all of this is a major “what if” scenario, but it is truly possible. I mean, anything is possible in sports, right?
Do you agree with my selections? Or do you have a better Slam Dunk contest in mind? Let me know in the comments below, or on one of The Midwestern Barfly Gazette’s various social media accounts;
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