All-Dunk Contest Team: How Adam Silver can save the All-Star’s showcase event
Terrence Ross, Raptors
The 22-year-old Ross is the defending champion, and in a dream world, defending champions would be mandatory participants in the Slam Dunk Contest (exceptions made for injuries, of course). There’s no small amount of intrigue in five competitors gunning for the reigning king’s throne, even if a return visit requires some extra creativity to come up with new material.
It appears that Ross is already practicing for this year’s contest, which is great. Anyone who can throw down like this over Kenneth Faried is a must-have.
Gerald Green, Suns
Green, 28, just might be the NBA’s most revered leaper. Like Ross, he is a previous champion (2007), and it’s a true shame that he told Suns.com back in October that he is “so sick” and “done with” the dunk contest after three appearances. Phoenix has had a truly amazing season, point guard Goran Dragic was among the leading All-Star snubs, and it would have been great for the franchise to have Green as a representative in New Orleans.
The Point Forward ranked the greatest Slam Dunk Contests of all time last year, and Green played a prominent role in the list’s pick for the No. 4 spot, the 2008 contest. Although Howard won, Green earned underdog/cult hero status for his famous cupcake dunk, as well as a between-the-legs windmill while wearing only socks and no shoes.
He almost stole the show again during the 2013 contest, but he wasn’t quite able to pull off a “double dunk,” wherein he removed the net and tried to dunk the ball with his right hand into his left hand and then finish a second dunk with his left hand before returning to earth.
This season has produced one highlight dunk after another for Green, and one wonders whether the possibility of a major cash prize — and/or some personalized arm-twisting from Silver — would help a Dunk Contest veteran like him put aside his past experiences and give it another go.