You remember Sonny Weems, right? Spent the couple seasons before this in Toronto, played for Denver before that. Like a lot of guys on the NBA fringe, he had a hard decision to make during the lockout and he decided to get paid and signed to play in Lithuania.
Where he was part of their All-Star festivities and won the dunk contest with a performance that likely would have won him the NBA dunk contest. If he comes back to the NBA next year, put this guy in it.
Thanks to Ball Don’t Lie for finding this, and for telling us that as the winner of the Most Impressive Player award during the games he won a refrigerator. Seriously.
Kevin Durant wants LeBron, Westbrook, star power in Dunk Contest
We can all admit it — Saturday night’s NBA Dunk Contest was sad. It was scripted and felt stiff. Jeremy Evans deserved the win for a legitimately impressive dunk, and a lot of people liked Paul George’s black-light dunk (more than I did). But overall, not good.
Kevin Durant is thinking exactly what you are — the Dunk Contest needs some star power. He tweeted this:
KD wants to see LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose or Dwyane Wade. So would we. We don’t even need all of them in a dream matchup, just one or two.
We know what it’s going to get to take LeBron to do the contest — $1 million. Not sure Westbrook and Rose would do it, but they would be interesting. So would Wade, but he said over the weekend that he is not going to do it.
You have to love the way KD didn’t nominate himself to do it, just others.
Chase Budinger dunks over Yao Ming (well, a cut out of him)
Clearly this is a staged video, with the Rockets’ Chandler Parsons “talking to the media” while Chase Budinger just happens to do a dunk over a cardboard cutout of Yao Ming in the background. Coincidentally.
Still, pretty cool. And this is why I hold out some hope for this year’s All-Star Dunk Contest — Budinger is very athletic and can throw it down. Just-added Jeremy Evans is a human pogo stick. Paul George is the favorite and threw down a big dunk in-game last night. There may not be star power but there is potential with this group. We’ll see what comes of it Saturday night.
UPDATE 12:31 pm: The league has announced this as official — Iman Shumpert has pulled out of the All-Star Weekend dunk contest and Jeremy Evans is in.
While Knicks fans are going to be bummed, the contest itself is not going to suffer — Evans is a great dunker. This should be fun (you can watch it Saturday night on TNT). The other contestants are Chase Budinger, Derrick Williams and Paul George. Not a big-name lineup, but some guys who can throw it down. So we’ll see.
10:40 am: Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert had been playing through knee pain for a couple weeks, but with the arrival of J.R. Smith and Baron Davis finally getting healthy, Shumpert was scratched Monday, is not expected to play Wednesday. He will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.
But what about the All-Star Saturday Dunk Contest? Shumpert is scheduled to be one of the contestants.
If you haven’t seen Evans — which is possible, he’s only been in 16 games for Utah and is averaging 5.6 minutes per contest — he is a human pogo stick who can leap out of the building. Honestly, I didn’t know much about him until I saw him at the Impact Series of workouts/games this past summer in Las Vegas, and in that free-flowing setting his athleticism caught your eye.
Evans was a snub — there had been a campaign for him from Utah, so if Shumpert has to be out this is the right call.