Lets pause before we judge the 2017 slam dunk contestants as no-names, mediocre and boring.
The same was said about the last few slates of dunkers, but players like then-unknown Zach LaVine (2015, 2016), Damian Lillard (2014), Paul George (2012) and DeMar DeRozen (2010) became household names.
But for every Victor Oladipo(2015)— a player who turns out to be pretty good — there’s also a Shannon Brown (2010) or Jamario Moon (2008).
This year’s list looks more like one full of stinkers than future stars:
This year’s dunkers:
Aaron Gordon (Orlando): He returns after finishing a close second to LaVinelast season.
Derrick Jones Jr. (Phoenix): Jones is a Philly kid, but he currently plays in the NBA D-League. They are digging pretty deep.
DeAndre Jordan (L.A. Clippers): He is 6-foot-11 and 28 years old, so he’s sort of a throwaway pick. But who knows, maybe he will dunk on a 12-foot rim?
Glenn Robinson III (Indiana): The son of a former superstar, Robinson has averaged 3.1 points per game as a reserve over the last three seasons.
The format (via NBA.com):
Verizon Slam Dunk is a two-round event in which the four participants can perform any dunk they choose without time limits. The players have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round. Five judges score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30.
All four competitors get two dunks in the first round. The two players with the highest combined score for their two dunks advance to the head-to-head final round. The player with the highest combined score for his two dunks in the final round is crowned the champion.