The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest participants have finally been announced for the 2015 NBA All-Star weekend hosted in New York City. The dunk contest is arguably one of the most anticipated events of All-Star weekend, as it’s stacked with freakishly athletic players who fly high above the rim, finishing in emphatic and sometimes thunderous fashion.
Over the past few years, the contest has taken a slow decline due to the lack of star power, but last years winner John Wall added new life to the contest with an array of creative slams that helped him walk away with the championship trophy.
The NBA has finally decided to ditch the corny announcers and pre-dunk theatrics–the classic format is back! The participants can perform any dunk they want without any time limits applied. Each player will have a maximum of three dunk attempts to execute to completion in both the first and final round. As usual, a panel of judges will rank each dunk on a scale of 6 to 10– a high score will land a player 50 maximum points, while a minimum possible score can tally 30 points. All four competitors will get two dunks in the first round.
The two dunker’s with the highest combined score for their two dunks will advance to the final round in a head-to-head showdown. During the final round, the player with the highest combined score after his two dunks will be crowned the 2015 Slam Dunk Champion.
Enough of the small talk, time to meet the contestants.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks
- Leaping Ability: 7.0
- Style: 6.5
- Power: 6.5
- Predicted finish at the 2015 Slam Dunk contest: 3rd place
Zach LaVine – Minnesota Timberwolves
- Leaping Ability: 9.0
- Style: 8.5
- Power: 7.5
- Predicted finish at the 2015 Slam Dunk contest: 1st place
Victor Oladipo – Orlando Magic
- Leaping Ability: 7.9
- Style: 8.0
- Power: 7.9
- Predicted finish at the 2015 Slam Dunk contest: 4th place
Mason Plumlee – Brooklyn Nets
- Leaping Ability: 9.3
- Style: 8.0
- Power: 8.5
- Predicted finish at the 2015 Slam Dunk contest: 2nd place
Prediction: The final round should come down to Mason Plumlee versus Zach LaVine, but I have to go with Zach Lavine as the winner of the 2015 Dunk Contest– the kid is athletic, has a ton of style, and is a high flyer whom I expect to bring his “A-game” throughout the entire contest. Out of all the participants, I think the crowd and the judges will be more than satisfied with what he will deliver to the competition. When it comes to finishing above the rim, he’s by far the best dunker in this years contest.