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.