Monday, February 17, 2014

John Wall Wins 2014 Slam Dunk Contest

USA Today:
“It was only my second time doing it,” John Wall said after being voted Dunker of the Night by fans. “My first time was on Thursday. So I just felt comfortable with myself and I knew it was a dunk that hasn’t been done before. And I knew it was the main thing coming up with the creativity, and it worked out in my favor.”

Wall was a member of the winning Eastern Conference team, along with Indiana Pacers forward Paul George and 2013′s champion, Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross. Wall’s dunk sealed a victory for the East in the battle round over the West, which featured Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes and Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore.

The impetus for Wall’s dunk came from Twitter, during his brainstorming process for the contest. “Someone sent me a YouTube link on my Twitter that said, ’27 dunks that haven’t been done in the NBA dunk contest.’ And the first one was that one, and it seemed hard, but for me it came out to be easy. So it worked out in my favor tonight.”

Wall’s dunk was one of several that utilized other people. Ross received an assist from Drake for one of his dunks, and McLemore jumped over Shaquille O’Neal. But despite the prevalence of props and gimmicks, Wall doesn’t think the potential of the contest is exhausted.

“I think there’s some ideas out there,” he said. “It’s just that dunks are very hard to do. And there’s a lot of guys like the international people that are doing dunks in the Team Flight Brothers and all those guys. You look on YouTube, they do a lot of dunks that you haven’t seen in the NBA and it’s very hard to do and you’ve just got to trust yourself to go out there and master it.”

Washington Post:
Bradley Beal started the Wizards’ participation in the NBA’s Saturday night showcase by representing Washington in the three-point contest. And he did well for himself, posting the highest score of eight competitors in the first round and hitting all five shots from his last rack in the finals to force a tiebreaker before ultimately coming up well short of Marco Belinelli in that tiebreaker.

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