The NBA Slam Dunk Contest use to be one of the highlights of the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Weekend. It was started by the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1976 at its All-Star Game in Denver. The winner was Julius Erving of the Nets. After the ABA-NBA merger later that year no other slam dunk contest was held on the professional level until 1984. The contest currently uses fan voting, via text-messaging, to determine the winner of the final round. Last years champion of the NBA Dunk Contest was Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz. This season's contest consists of Evans, New York Knicks' James White and other high fliers.
James White is a 6'7", 215 pound shooting guard/small forward who played at Florida from 2001-02 and Cincinnati from 2003-06. He was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 31st overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft.
After being drafted White was immediately traded from the Trail Blazers to the Indiana Pacers for the rights to the Pacers' pick for the 45th pick and second-round draft choices in 2007 and 2008. He played eight pre-season games with Indiana before being cut. White then signed a two-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs assigned White to their NBA Development League affiliated team the Austin Toros and he bounced back and forth from there to the main roster. He won an NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2007. White played for the Toros from 2006-07, the Spurs from 2006-07, for Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey from 2007-08, the Anaheim Arsenal of the NBA Development League from 2008-09, the Houston Rockets in 2009, for Spartak Saint Petersburg of Russia from 2009-10, Dinamo Sassari of Italy from 2010-11, Scavolini Pesaro of Italy from 2011-12 and the New York Knicks this season.
White is nicknamed Flight for his high flying ability. Quite frankly he's made Michael Jordan's free throw line dunk look like a joke. He can do multiple dunks from that distance including putting the ball through his legs in mid-air. This video is eight minutes long but is worth every moment. The guy can simply jump out of the building.
He's won multiple dunk contests including the Beko All-Star Slam Dunk Contest in Turkey against Curtis Withers, Quinton Hosley and Richard Chaney. He's been keeping fans in awe at contests like that one for over a decade. While White hasn't played much while on the Knicks and is known more for his defense and jump shot than his dunking highlights to American fans his teammates rave about him and the plays he makes in practice.
"A lot of people haven't seen James," his Knicks teammate Carmelo Anthony said. "He's the best-kept secret."
White took to Twitter confident he and the others could bring popularity back to the Dunk Contest.
All I know is Me , T Ross and G Green ate going bring the dunk contest back. This year will be classic.
Typo aside, there's a good chance these guys are going to bring a lot to the table. White and Green alone can pull off just about any dunk they can come up with. They are only limited by their imaginations.
K1X of SlamOnline had a Q&A with White who sounded like he really has fun in these contests and feels confident in his chances to win.
To be honest, I never practice dunks. I just do whatever comes to my mind.
I have about five dunks where I’m absolutely certain that I will get a 50 on those. So it’s just a matter of when to use which of those dunks.
The entire list of contestants consists of Gerald Green of the Indiana Pacers, Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors, Eric Bledsoe of the Los Angeles Clippers, Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets and of course White of your own New York Knicks.
To view dunk highlights from each contestant you can click on each of their names above. These guys might not bring as much excitement if say LeBron James decided to enter the contest but they can all do their things around the rim.
By those in the know White will easily be the most anticipated man in this years contest. His virtual win guarantee will only ratchet up the excitement of basketball junkies and internet GMs everywhere.
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