HOUSTON — Jeremy Evans didn’t win this year’s dunk contest, but it certainly wasn’t due to a lack of creativity or effort on his part.
Terrence Ross took home the trophy as the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk champion, and was definitely deserving of the honor. But Evans wins at least in terms of creativity, based on the thought, planning, and personal effort he had to put into at least one of his dunks to ensure it came off successfully.
In his first dunk attempt of the final round, Evans brought out an easel that had resting on it a large picture covered in black cloth. It was placed inside the restricted area, and Evans got a running start before leaping over it and throwing down a left-handed windmill jam on his very first try.
Evans then removed the cloth to reveal a painting which, in hindsight, had predicted the future.
The painting was an image of the exact dunk that Evans had just pulled off, showing him in midair readying to dunk over the covered canvas.
Evans said he got the idea for this one from one of his coaches.
“Actually, a player development coach helped me out with that,” he said. “He knew I was a painter, so why not do that?”
I then asked Evans if he painted it himself.
“Yeah, I painted it,” he said. “It took about a week and a half. I tried to rush it.”
The painting wasn’t even finished until the night before the contest. Evans wanted to make sure he knew what the actual ball he was going to use would like like before painting it, so he added it in at the last minute.
This may not have been the best dunk of the night, and as evidenced by the fact that Ross ultimately won as a result of getting 58 percent of the vote from the fans, that must have been the consensus.
But after hearing how long it took Evans to personally paint the picture, not to mention the time he put in practicing the actual dunk itself, it’s hard to argue with the combination of creativity and execution that Evans was able to display.
[Photo credit: Utah Jazz, via Instagram]