NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Blake Griffin Dunks Over A Car, Beats JaVale McGee In Finals

Griffin got 68% of the fan vote in the final round to defeat McGee.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Reaction To Blake Griffin & The Car

Years from now, the lasting image of the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest will be Blake Griffin jumping over a KIA car on his home floor of Staples Center. It might not have been the best dunk of the night, but it was the most memorable, and helped Griffin take home the trophy as the 2011 Slam Dunk champion. No matter what happens Sunday in the All-Star Game, this will be a memorable All-Star Weekend. In case you missed it last night on TNT...

The dunk understandably garnered reaction from just about everybody. SB Nation's own Steve Perrin and Dexter Fishmore were in the house last night, and offered their reactions. From Clips Nation, Perrin gave his assessment of the Clipper:

Now, when I first heard the idea, I wondered if he was 'just' going to jump over the hood, as opposed to the tallest part of the car. That's what he did in the end, and for me, it was a bit anticlimactic. I wonder if others got their hopes up for something more, and felt a little let down in the end. The "Baron throwing the lob pass from the sunroof" was a nice touch, and Baron was having so much fun that he definitely added to the show - he looked like jack-in-the-box with his head poking up. When the dunk actually happened, it was spectacular. He did it easily. In retrospect, one wonders why it took so long for someone to do this dunk - you know that both Kia and the NBA were absolutely thrilled with it, and I suspect that the idea might have come from the marketing department at one of those entities. It should be noted that, to his credit, Blake hit both of his final round dunks on the first attempt.

Over on Silver Screen and Roll, Fishmore offered his thoughts:

2011 will be remembered as the year of narrative complexity. There were more props than ever, it seemed. A choir was involved at one point. Ibaka constructed a whole one-act play, about a kid missing his toy and needing to Serge to rescue it for him, around one of his dunks. Some people were complaining about the excess of theatrics, but I don't mind it. As long as the show keeps moving at a reasonably brisk pace, I say crank up the goofiness.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Blake Griffin Dunks Over A Car, Wins On Home Floor

For most of the day, all everyone could talk about was the car that Blake Griffin was going to dunk over, in the 2011 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Griffin did in fact break out the car for his final dunk, a spectacular piece of showmanship with featured a pass from teammate Baron Davis through the car's sunroof and a boys choir singing "I Believe I Can Fly," which was good enough to beat out JaVale McGee in the final round to win the contest. However, in reality, it was probably Griffin's fourth-best dunk of the night.

Griffin's first dunk of the final round was a pass to himself off the backboard followed by dunking with his full arm in the rim, an homage to this Vince Carter dunk from 2000 (though Carter didn't pass the ball to himself):

There is something about the NBA relying on a secretive fans' vote in the final round which takes away from the luster of the event. Everyone in Staples Center wanted Blake Griffin to win, and in the end that's what they got. I'm not saying that was the wrong result, but why not let the judges continue to vote in the final round as they did in the first round.

Speaking of the first round, that was the true highlight of the night. Griffin, McGee, DeMar DeRozan, and Serge Ibaka (who really got screwed in the first round; I mean, a 45 for dunking from the free-throw line?) put on quite a show. Their creativity was on display and was the main event; not some automobile.

The excitement at the end of the contest shouldn't exceed the excitement at the end. That said, all in all, it was an eventful and entertaining slam dunk contest, and that's all we can really ask for.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: JaVale McGee, Blake Griffin Advance To Final Round (Now Bring Out The Car!)

It took nearly all of his two minutes, but Blake Griffin completed his second dunk for a score of 46, securing his spot in the final round. Griffin took seven attempts, but completed his dunk, a hard throw down after a windmill and a pass from teammate Baron Davis. With 95 points, Griffin advanced into the finals against JaVale McGee of the Wizards, who had 99 points.

2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest First Round
Player Team 1st Dunk 2nd Dunk Total Score
JaVale McGee Wizards 50 49 99
Blake Griffin Clippers 49 46 95
DeMar DeRozan Raptors 44 50 94
Serge Ibaka Thunder 45 45 90

McGee, who wowed everyone in round one, dunked a whopping three balls at once on his second attempt, good enough for a 49, to advance to the finals. DeRozan on his second dunk threw the ball to himself from beyond the three-point line, securing it with one hand and completing a reverse dunk, good enough for a score of 50.

Before Ibaka's second dunk, a small kid (with a terrible haircut, per Charles Barkley) ran on the court, asking Ibaka to rescue his toy, which was placed on the front of the rim. Ibaka dunked while securing the toy, with his teeth, and scored his second score of 45.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: JaVale McGee (Two Dunks At Once!), Blake Griffin (Two-Handed 360) Impress In First Attempts

The 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest opened with flair at Staples Center. JaVale McGee of the Wizards and Blake Griffin of the Clippers are the early favorites after all four contestants have each had one dunk. As Dwight Howard joined Kevin Harlan, Charles Barkley, and Reggie Miller on the TNT broadcast, the first round began with the crowd and television audience being introduced to the judges, a bevy of NBA greats (and the son of another). The judges are Clyde Drexler, James Worthy, Brent Barry, Dominique Wilkins, and Julius Erving.

DeMar DeRozan, who was coached by former NBA big man and dunking specialist Darryl Dawkins, tried a dunk called East Bay Funk Remix, an homage to Isaiah Rider's dunk in 1994:

However, DeRozan failed on four attempts before completing the dunk, and only got a score of 44.

Serge Ibaka, who had an MRI this morning after twisting his ankle a few days ago, dunked from behind the free throw line (well, his toe was touching, but it was better than Dr. J or Michael Jordan), but only got a 45.

JaVale McGee, coached by former Wizard Chris Webber, brought out an auxiliary rim, and dunked on not one, but two rims! Even though McGee failed on several attempts, his final attempt was successful, and has never been done before, with earned McGee a score of 50.

Blake Griffin, tutored by coach Kenny Smith, brought the house down with a two-handed 360-degree dunk with bringing the ball behind his head in doing so. That earned him a score of 49.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: The Blake Griffin Car Dunk Has Everyone Buzzing

Blake Griffin is already the talk of NBA All-Star Weekend. He already had seven dunks last night in the Rookie Challenge, and is slated to play in the All-Star Game on Sunday. But the event everyone is waiting for is the Slam Dunk Contest tonight. There was talk earlier today that Griffin would try to dunk over a car; that is looking more and more like a reality now, which would be the biggest prop dunk in contest history.

Griffin is already the heavy crowd favorite, playing on his home floor, but dunking over a car would take his profile to a whole new level. SB Nation's Rohan Cruyff of At The Hive is covering All-Star Weekend at Staples Center, and snapped a picture of the apparent car in question:

Blake-griffin-car-dunk_medium

As Tom Ziller noted on SB Nation, KIA is a title sponsor of Sunday's All-Star Game, so "the awestriking idea of Blake Griffin dunking over a car becomes Blake Griffin dunking over product placement." That makes Griffin dunking over a car that much more likely. Be prepared to set your faces to stunned.

NBA All-Star Saturday Night began it's telecast on TNT at 5 p.m. PST. The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will be the final event of the night, probably starting around 7:30 p.m., following Haier Shooting Stars, the Taco Bell Skills Competition, and the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: JaVale McGee Profile & Highlights

The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest is the premiere event of NBA All-Star Saturday Night, to be held tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles. One of the four dunkees in tonight's contest, to be broadcast on TNT, is JaVale McGee of the Washington Wizards. McGee is a heavy underdog tonight, at +600, according to the experts in Las Vegas.

The 23-year old McGee stands a full seven feet tall, making him the tallest competitor in this year's contest. Tall winners aren't unprecedented, as Dwight Howard in 2008 and Larry Nance in 1984 were a few of the big men to capture the attention of the crowd and take home the trophy. Here is a look at McGee's highlight reel:

If you want a taste of what McGee might have in store for tonight, check out some of his practice dunks:

NBA All-Star Saturday Night begins it's telecast on TNT at 5 p.m. PST. The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will be the final event of the night, following Haier Shooting Stars, the Taco Bell Skills Competition, and the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Serge Ibaka Profile & Highlights

The premiere event of NBA All-Star Saturday night is the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. One of the four contestants in tonight's contest at Staples Center, to be broadcast on TNT, is Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Like Blake Griffin of the Clippers, Ibaka is 6-foot-10, which along with 7-foot fellow competitor JaVale McGee of the Wizards makes tonight perhaps the tallest dunk contest ever.

The 21-year old Ibaka, a native of the Congo, is in his second year in the NBA. He is the energy guy on a high-energy team in Oklahoma City with All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Ibaka averages 9.4 points and 6.9 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game this season. Ibaka is the longshot of the night according to the fine folks in Las Vegas, at +750. Given the way he can jump, that might not be a bad investment.

Here is a taste of Ibaka's in-game dunk action this season:

To warm up for the event, Ibaka was teamed with his actual teammate, Durant. Ibaka narrowed down his final two choices for one of his dunks to "using a prop" and "something never seen."

NBA All-Star Saturday Night begins it's telecast on TNT at 5 p.m. PST. The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will be the final event of the night, following Haier Shooting Stars, the Taco Bell Skills Competition, and the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Time, Broadcast Info, Competitors, & More

The 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is the showcase event of All-Star Saturday Night. Hometown hero Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers is dunking on his home floor, and will undoubtedly be the crowd favorite. What are the details of tonight's event? Glad you asked...

  • Official Name: 2011 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
  • TV Broadcast: TNT, as part of the NBA All-Star Saturday Night broadcast
  • Time: Sometime after 7 p.m. PST; the TNT broadcast runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m., with three events in front of the dunk contest
  • Competitors: Griffin is the crowd favorite, but will have to battle fellow L.A. native DeMar DeRozan of the Raptors, and high-flying big men Serge Ibaka of the Thunder and JaVale McGee of the Wizards
  • Favorite: Griffin is a heavy favorite in Vegas, at -275. DeRozan, who made the finals in last year's contest, is +275. McGee is at +600, with Ibaka at +750.
  • History: Find out the past winners here, including local boys Brent Barry of the Clippers in 1996 and Kobe Bryant of the Lakers in 1997
  • Why You Should Watch: Well for one thing, Griffin might jump over a car. Or, he could simply recreate this alley-oop dunk from Friday night:

NBA All-Star Saturday Night begins it's telecast on TNT at 5 p.m. PST with a pregame show of sorts. The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will be the final event of the night, following Haier Shooting Stars, the Taco Bell Skills Competition, and the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Meet DeMar DeRozan, The Other Hometown Guy Tonight

The premiere event of NBA All-Star Saturday Night is the Sprite Slam Dunk contest, which this year might as well be called Blake Griffin and Three Other Guys. Griffin is playing on his home court at Staples Center and will be a prohibitive crowd favorite tonight, but Griffin isn't the only contestant with Los Angeles roots. DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors is from nearby Compton and played his one year of college ball down the street at USC.

DeRozan also is no stranger to the Slam Dunk Contest. This is his second season in the NBA, and his second appearance in the contest. This year, DeRozan was named as a replacement of Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks, who withdrew from the dunk contest last month. Last year, DeRozan made the finals of the dunk contest, using these dunks:

DeRozan ultimately lost in the finals to Nate Robinson, who won his record third dunk contest. At 6-foot-7, DeRozan is the shortest competitor in this year's contest, but he just might be the one to take home the hardware. Andy Hutchins of SB Nation suggests DeRozan could be the spoiler of the night.

NBA All-Star Saturday Night begins it's telecast on TNT at 5 p.m. PST. The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will be the final event of the night, following Haier Shooting Stars, the Taco Bell Skills Competition, and the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest.

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NBA Slam Dunk Contest History & Past Champions

The Slam Dunk Contest is always the highlight of the Saturday night of NBA All-Star Weekend, and this year is no different. Blake Griffin of the Clippers is the home favorite, but he will face stiff competition from Serge Ibaka, JaVale McGee, and former USC Trojan DeMar DeRozan. Griffin is trying to become the first Clipper to win the slam dunk contest since Brent Barry, who did so as a rookie in 1996.

Here is a look at all the past winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest:

Fred Jones of the Pacers won the dunk contest the last time the event was held in Los Angeles, in 2004. The NBA All-Star Saturday Night telecast starts at 5 p.m. PST on TNT. The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will be the final event of the night.

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2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Is Blake Griffin Going To Jump Over A Car?

The fans at Staples Center tonight already have a clear favorite tonight in the Sprite NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers is playing on his home floor, and will have everybody on his side anyway, but just in case anyone else needed reason to be more excited about Griffin in the dunk contest, he might try something unprecedented tonight. Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times tweeted this earlier today:

Dunk contest spoiler alert: Blake Griffin is planning to jump over a car tonight.

Who knows whether that is true, or even possible, but if Griffin can pull that off it would be one of the most memorable dunks in NBA Slam Dunk Contest history. Griffin has been teamed with former dunk contest participant Kenny Smith in determining one of his dunks tonight. From a series of possible dunks, Griffin narrowed down his choices to dunking "through the legs," or "something never seen before." Jumping over a car would certainly qualify as something never seen before:

Then again, Griffin has dunked in a game over 7-foot-1 Timofey Mozgov, so maybe a car won't be so hard for Griffin after all.

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NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Can Blake Griffin Top Friday Night?

The marquee event of NBA All-Star Saturday Night has always been the Slam Dunk Contest. This year is no different, as Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers gets to perform in front of his home crowd. Griffin highlights a group of four contestants in tonight's Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, the fourth and final event of the night on TNT.

The contestants:

  • Blake Griffin (Clippers): the All-Star and Rookie of the Year lock has made Clipper games must-see TV this year with his high-flying act.
  • DeMar DeRozan (Raptors): he has a Los Angeles connection, having went to USC, well for one season at least
  • Serge Ibaka (Thunder)
  • JaVale McGee (Wizards)

After mighty mite Nate Robinson won the last two contests, this year's event features the tallest slam dunk field ever. DeRozan is the shortest at 6'7", Griffin and Ibaka are 6'10", while McGee is a 7-footer. Griffin will be the crowd favorite, but he will be hard pressed to create a more memorable dunk than the one he and John Wall created last night in the NBA Rookie Challenge:

Brent Barry is the only Los Angeles Clipper to ever win the Slam Dunk Contest, taking home the honors in 1996.

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