It was announced today that the 2014 Slam Dunk Contest participants will include Paul George, Damian Lillard, John Wall, and defending champion Terrence Ross, according to ESPN. Ben McLemore and Harrison Barnes are mentioned as the two others who are expected to round out the six-man field.
All are firmly in BMF territory as dunkers. But who’s the best?
The point of this post isn’t to pontificate about who’s the best dunker. That’s a matter of personal aesthetic preference: The dunk, like other special types of basketball shots, is more an art than a science.
That said, it’s fun to see what each participant has in his arsenal – and then to watch the contest to see if they have anything new up their sleeves.
Without further ado, here’s a video compilation of each participant. Enjoy.
John Wall – Wizards – 6’4” point guard
Wall is my personal favorite. It’s easy to root for the little guys in these competitions, but I like the way he dunks with his left hand. And it cannot be denied that the dude has a flair for the dramatic, albeit a somewhat quiet one.
That only adds to the intrigue.
Damian Lillard – Blazers – 6′ 3″ point guard
Of the group listed above, Lillard was the surprise selection. I’ve never thought of him as a supreme skywalker. But Dame can dunk, as the video attests – he has a little bit of Stevie Franchise flair. (Eds. Note: Before Francis went whack on crack, of course.)
I’d rate Lillard as a dark horse in this year’s competition. But that only makes him more interesting.
Paul George – Pacers – 6′ 8″ small forward
George is the best player participating in this year’s contest. Not only can he defend like Scottie Pippen, but he can dunk like, well – he’s a really damn good dunker. His style sort of reminds of Kenny “Sky” Walker from way back when. I won’t be surprised if George claims the title from last year’s winner, Terrence Ross.
PG also gets bonus points for having perhaps the best in-game dunk I’ve ever seen. That’s Vince Carter material, there. (Eds. Note: We don’t take Vince Carter’s name in vain lightly, when it comes to dunking ability.
Harrison Barnes – Warriors, 6’8” small forward
Harrison Barnes has dispensed some nasty facials in his time. He’s lucky to believe after what he did to the Wolves’ Nikola Pekovic.
(Eds. Note: Bonus points if Barnes manages to fish Pek out of his Lake Minnetonka ice house and use him as a prop in the Dunk Contest.)
Ben McLemore – Kings, 6’5” shooting guard
Is it bad when you google “Ben McLemore dunk” and get almost as many results of guys dunking ON Ben McLemore as you do of Ben McLemore dunking?
Methinks it is. But still, the kid has some ups and some style.
Like Lillard, McLemore has to be viewed as a dark horse in this competition, but I’m curious to see what he can do.
Terrence Ross – Raptors, 6’6” small forward
Ross is ridiculous, and I think he deserved to win the competition last year.
Still, it’ll be kind of a snooze if he wins it again, unless he unveils something *real* sick. (Eds. Note: Humans like variety. Just sayin’.)
Who do you like to win the 2014 Slam Dunk Contest?
And does anyone else kind of wish they’d have let Gerald Green compete?