- Kenyon Martin Jr. (+175) is a slight favorite to win the 2023 NBA Slam Dunk Contest
- Mac McClung (+200) placed first in an All-American high school dunk contest in 2018
- The annual event from Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah will air on TNT on Saturday, February 18th at 8:30 pm ET
While you can usually ignore boomers who claim “things were better back in my day,” the Slam Dunk Contest certainly was. Once populated by legends such as Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Vince Carter, the annual event now has less star power than a late-night infomercial.
Slam Dunk Contest
|Kenyon Martin Jr.||+175||+175||+165|
|Trey Murphy III||+300||+300||+275|
Who the hell are these dudes?
Kenyon Martin Jr. (+175) is averaging 11.7 points per game for the Houston Rockets, but his claim to fame is being the son of former No. 1 pick Kenyon Martin. Until a couple of days ago, Mac McClung (+200) played for the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers’ G League affiliate. The 6-foot-2 guard is basically an Instagram celebrity (821K followers) who won an All-American high school dunk contest in 2018.
Jericho Sims (+225) is the tallest player in the field at 6-foot-10. To the dismay of many, the Knicks center replaced Shaedon Sharpe in this year’s Dunk Contest. Trey Murphy III (+300) is our final competitor. While the Pelicans forward says he didn’t slam a basketball until Grade 12, he’s seemingly a quick learner.
What do we always say?
DON'T JUMP WITH KJ MARTIN 🗣🗣 pic.twitter.com/NBIDTUJOE8
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 19, 2022
Dunk Contest Rules Recap
The five judges for this year’s Dunk Contest are Jamal Crawford, Harold Miner, Dominique Wilkins, Lisa Leslie and for the hometown Utah fans, Jazz legend Karl Malone. They’ll award the competitors’ two dunks a score from 40 to 50. And the two dunkers with the highest composite scores will advance to a head-to-head final consisting of two dunks.
In each round, the players will be given 1:30, plus one additional try, to complete one dunk. Mercifully, they will also be limited to three attempts.
Who will win?
Let’s face it, the Dunk Contest has stunk for a long time now. And this year’s event got even worse when Portland’s high-flying rookie Shaedon Sharpe dropped out “to focus on the second half of the Blazers’ season.” Truly, a terrible excuse by the 19-year-old Canadian.
Without Sharpe, the field is wide open. In addition to his clips going viral on the Internet, Mac McClung is averaging 21.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game in the G-League so he’s not a complete stiff. But, what he is, is a relatively short white guy. On the other end of things, Jericho Sims is probably too tall to win the contest.
Fresh off signing a two-way contract with the 76ers… Mac McClung shares why he’s honored to participate in the #ATTSlamDunk Contest!
— NBA (@NBA) February 15, 2023
Kenyon Martin Jr. is the favorite. But, there’s not much of a difference to discern between the 6-foot-7 Rocket and the 6-foot-8 Trey Murphy III, who is averaging over 15 points in his last 10 games.
We’ll take the underdog Murphy III at +300.
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