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.