In the final event of All-Star Saturday Night, the Slam Dunk Contest once again took center stage. As always, the fans were hoping to be blown away like they during the epic Aaron Gordon/ Zach LaVine duel in 2016, or if they would be let down from watching contestants miss dunks and fail to throw down something that would blow their mind.
The one thing that this contest brought that fans would remember is the footwear of a particular contestant that went back to hit NYC roots to attempt a dunk.
First Round: (Jalen Green and Cole Anthony get eliminated)
Cole Anthony pulled off a stunt that is difficult in any YMCA, much less an NBA arena. He put on some Timbs to bring the New York vibe to the contest. Then he put on his father, Greg Anthony’s, Knicks jersey to show homage. After two non-attempts, he put down a left-hand windmill for a score of 40.
However, Cole injured himself on the dunk and missed three times on his next dunk, and was eliminated. It was a shame considering that dunk brought a lot of energy to the crowd and the announcers. Even Toppin was pointing to his wrist, wondering when the clock would start.
While Cole Anthony provided the theater, Green probably had the most impressive dunk of the first round with an impressive between-the-legs 360 dunk finishing away from the basket.
What doomed this year’s pre-competition favorite was completing his first dunk. The plan was to get a pass off the backboard from Josh Christopher running out of bounds in the corner. But after two misses, Green had to settle with a windmill off an underhand lob that received the lowest score of any completed dunk in the first round.
Toppin and Toscano-Anderson made the final the old-fashioned way by not missing any dunk attempts.
Final round: (Juan Toscano-Anderson had some controversy on his first dunk)
In the finals, Toscano-Anderson tried to put his elbow in the rim ala Vince Carter but did not get enough lift to hang on the rim to finish. According to the rules, it was considered a dunk attempt, and he could not try again. The score of 39 basically doomed his chances.
He then tried to replicate Jason Richardson’s iconic dunk with a pass off the backboard into a left-hand windmill between the legs that went nowhere. He missed all three attempts, and for all practical purposes, the contest was over with a score of 30.
Obi Toppin went on to take the Slam Dunk Contest with some impressive dunks.
With the win, Obi Toppin became the third Knicks player to win the Slam Dunk Contest along with the three-time winner Nate Robinson and Kenny Walker.