Monta Ellis

Rick Carlisle says Monta Ellis is fastest player in NBA. That seems high.

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Who is the fastest player dribbling the ball end to end in the NBA?

These are the guys who are one-man fast breaks and can get your team points in transition, plus are quick in the half court

But who is the fastest? There is no easy metric for this; it’s a bit of an eyeball test. (There are a few numbers out of the draft combine, but it is incomplete and marks the guys at one time early in their career).

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said Monta Ellis is the fastest, speaking with the Dallas Morning News.

Rick Carlisle has called newcomer Monta Ellis the fastest player in basketball, and Mark Cuban echoed that sentiment. “I never thought I’d see somebody make J.J. [Barea] look slow,” Cuban said. “Monta’s a blur. Monta truly is a one-man fast-break.”

Ellis is fast, but he’s not the fastest. This would be my Top 5 (a list that assumes everyone is healthy):

1. John Wall
2. Russell Westbrook
3. Derrick Rose
4. Ty Lawson
5. Monta Ellis

Honorable mention: Jrue Holiday, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Jennings, Tony Parker (very quick in the half court, not usually a one-man break), Jeff Teague, Nate Robinson.

I think a healthy Wall is flat out the fastest, but Westbrook wouldn’t be that far behind. To me they are the fastest, then it gets interesting (and I could be leaving guys off this list). Is Ellis faster than former backcourt mate Jennings? How fast is Bledsoe? I think we’ll see more of him having to be a one-man break this year than he was with the Clippers.

But that’s my list. Sorry Carlisle, we can agree to disagree on this. (Thanks to D.J. Foster for helping come up with that list.)

Aaron Gordon both legs over the mascot, ball-under-the-legs dunk (VIDEO)

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TORONTO — Zach LaVine won the NBA All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest, but in an epic night for my money this was the single best dunk.

Orlando’s Aaron Gordon broke ground with this one — guys have jumped over mascots and other players before (and a Kia hood), but by splitting their legs apart. Gordon just put both legs over Stuff (that’s the mascot’s name, Stuff the Magic Dragon, I don’t make this up) — and took the ball off the mascot’s head, went under his legs, and threw it down.

Insane.

Gordon deserved a trophy for his performance in this dunk contest.

Zach LaVine edges Aaron Gordon in epic, insane Dunk Contest

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TORONTO — That. Was. Amazing.

In a dunk contest that will go down with the all-time greats — Jordan vs. Dominique, Dr. J from the free throw line — Minnesota’s Zach LaVine defended his dunk contest title. Barely. Because Orlando’s Aaron Gordon was doing dunks nobody had ever seen before.

And LaVine was bringing it just as hard.

The two men advanced to the finals — dismissing Will Barton and Andre Drummond, each of whom had good dunks — and that was when it got wild.

There were four second-round dunks, and four perfect scores of 50. (That was in spite of Shaq, who wanted to give nines for second attempts.)

“I was prepared for four (second round dunks),” LaVine said. “To tell the truth, he came with something that no one else has done. He did two dunks that were just crazy with the mascots, jumping over them. We just kept pushing each other until the last dunk. I’ve got to give it up to my boy Will “The Thrill” Barton. It’s because of him I think I won. Because he said try to go from the free-throw line. I’d never done that before, and I just tried it. So I guess it was a great dunk. I think it was the best one ever.”

The Air Canada Centre crowd was exploding with every dunk. The two men went to a dunk-off — and got two more 50s.

“If I knew it was going to be like that, I would have prepared better and we would have been here dunking all night, going back 50 after 50 after 50 after 50,” Gordon said. “We would have been here all night. I didn’t know it was going to be like that. I was just hoping Zach was going to miss, and it wasn’t going to happen. You could see as my facial expressions when Zach dunks it, it’s like okay, that’s a 50. Like I know we’re going to have to dunk again.”

So they went to a second-round of overtime, where LaVine put up another 50 and won the contest.

Gordon was close to perfect.

Zach LaVine can flat-out fly.

Magic’s Aaron Gordon with the over-the-mascot mad dunk

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TORONTO — Aaron Gordon was giving Zach LaVine all he could handle in the Dunk Contest.

He blew the lid off the Air Canada Centre with this dunk in the first round — and it wasn’t even his best dunk of the night. Never seen this before.

This dunk contest was awesome, so much more video to come.

Zach LaVine opens Slam Dunk Contest title defense with spectacular behind-the-back slam (VIDEO)

during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2016 at Air Canada Centre on February 12, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
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TORONTO — Zach LaVine clearly heard all the talk that Aaron Gordon or Will Barton had a chance to upset him in the Slam Dunk Contest. He came out ready to prove his superiority right off the bat. This behind-the-back slam was his first attempt of the night:

Even better was the reaction, both from Andre Drummond and from LaVine’s Minnesota teammates: