Kevin Durant wants LeBron James, other stars in the Dunk Contest

The Slam Dunk Contest won by Jazz forward Jeremy Evans Saturday lacked any buzz. No disrespect to participants Chase Budinger, Paul George, and Derrick Williams, but they don’t get people excited about the competition. Fans, execs, and even the players recognize that — just look at what Kevin Durant tweeted Saturday night.

“It’s time for @KingJames, Mr Westbrook, Mr.Rose, and @DwyaneWade to get in the dunk contest.”

Wade, who is now 30 and in his 9th season, replied “Not me but I agree w the others.”

LeBron James has flirted with entering the competition but he never participated. While having Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook involved would be awesome, it’s LeBron who we want. He’s had some of the sickest dunks in the NBA. He’s one of the league’s biggest stars and one of the best dunkers. We want to finally see him put on a show.

Participating in the contest allows a player the chance to enhance his profile and create memories. Why do you think people still talk about Vince Carter, Nate Robinson, and Jason Richardson? Part of their legacies are their spectacular dunks from the contest.

Michael Jordan participated as did Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. There’s no reason these guys shouldn’t participate. Come on fellas, give the fans a show.

H/T Eye on Basketball

Jeremy Evans dunks two balls, jumps over Kevin Hart to win contest (Video)

The man who was added to the NBA Slam Dunk Contest as an injury replacement turned out to be the one who won it. Jeremy Evans used some creativity and perfectly executed his dunks to beat fellow anonymous players Paul George, Chase Budinger, and Derrick Williams to win the competition. The second-year Jazz forward took a lob from teammate Gordon Hayward and dunked two balls at once. Then in the finals, he combined with actor Kevin Hart to do a mailman dunk. Both are below.

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NBA Press Release Crowned Blake Griffin Slam Dunk Champion Before Contest

Blake Griffin is without question the NBA’s best dunker. He throws down dunks like this one and this one on a nightly basis, and we have become so accustomed to seeing it that we tend to under-appreciate what the beast is capable of. The NBA, however, has plenty of respect for the Clippers star.

Remember how we (or, I) told you we thought the NBA had predetermined that Griffin was going to be the winner of the 2011 Dunk Contest at any cost? Thanks to Ben Maller, we now have that in writing. Have a look at this NBA press release, paying particular attention to the 1:20 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. time slot under “HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE.”

Griffin was indeed the winner of the contest after jumping over a car, but the issue lies in the timing of the press release.  It was sent out via email at 5:28 p.m. EST on Saturday Feb. 19. The competition began over an hour later.

The NBA sent out a corrected version of the press release later that evening, but the error has to leave fans wondering if calling Griffin the “winner” was a type-o or Freudian slip.  Those of us who weren’t impressed by the car dunk are going with the latter.

Video: Every Dunk from the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

If you weren’t watching the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night, I can’t say I blame you. Personally, the competition has become too much about gimmicks and less about actual skill to keep my interest. There were, however, a few sights worth seeing. Blake Griffin’s dunk over the car (even if it was only over the hood) was impressive, but the most difficult dunk of the night was JaVale McGee throwing down two slams at once on 13-foot hoops. McGee should have won the contest, but Blake Griffin was such a heavy favorite that the judges undoubtedly felt pressure to make him the winner.  Check out the video of all the dunks from the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, courtesy of YouTube user roengsakcartwright:

Anyone out there not think McGee got robbed?  Better yet, does anyone care?

NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Blake Griffin and DeMar DeRozan Are the Easy Favorites

Blake Griffin gave NBA fans a collective boner when he answered our prayers by saying he would join the Slam Dunk Contest. As if that wasn’t good enough, the NBA seemed to listen to our other request — to replace point guard Brandon Jennings in the event. Jennings actually was injured, but the league did well to name DeMar DeRozan the replacement because that kid can get up.

Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin is the easy favorite in the contest, checking in at 1:3 odds to win it. He had a spectacular alley-oop in the Rookie Challenge on Friday, and he’s been an individual nightly highlight show. There was his alley-oop over Kyle Korver, and then his reverse alley-oop during a game. But my favorite dunk of his this year was the one where he tea-bagged Timofey Mozgov:

DeMar DeRozan is a second-year forward for the Toronto Raptors. He was their first-round pick in 2009, selected 9th overall. Last year he won the first ever dunk-in for the contest, beating out Eric Gordon. He finished second to Nate Robinson last year, but he was the only player to record a perfect score in the contest. His odds to win it are 3:1. It’s easy to see why he’s in competition to win it — he took the 2008 McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk Contest with jams like this:

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Derrick Rose Should Be in the Dunk Contest, Not Brandon Jennings

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is listed at 6-foot-3 — not exactly short, but below average by NBA standards. What he lacks in height he more than makes up for with his vertical leap, which is reportedly in the neighborhood of 40 inches. On Monday night against the Pistons, Rose once again showed us why he should be in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest:

I’m assuming the reason Rose has not participated in a dunk contest has more to do with his not wanting to, rather than someone not asking him. Brandon Jennings is participating and he’s really shown nothing that would indicate he has any business being there. Rose on the other hand, has used plays like this, this, and this to prove that he can wow an audience by attacking the rim throughout his NBA career.  Thanks to Flockaball for the video

What Makes Brandon Jennings Qualified for the Slam Dunk Contest?

Maybe you’re a big fan of the Slam Dunk Contest.  Maybe you’re more like me and just can’t get excited about it.  Last year’s contest lacked creativity and was pretty boring as a result.  With Blake Griffin agreeing to participate in the 2011 Dunk Contest, expectations are high.  Everyone is hoping Blake will use his freakish athleticism to come up with something new, and it certainly wouldn’t surprise us if he did.  After all, he’s on his way to becoming one of the greatest dunkers of all-time.

Aside from Griffin, the other three contestants are Serge Ibaka of the Thunder, JaVale McGee of the Wizards, and Brandon Jennings of the Bucks.  Ibaka and McGee make sense, but why Jennings?  We’re a little over a third of the way through the NBA season, and here’s how many dunks each of the contestants have thrown down this year:

Griffin — 83
McGee — 57
Ibaka — 41
Jennings — 2

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