It has been announced that Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross will defend his slam dunk crown at this year's all-star weekend in New Orleans. Ross, who won last year's contest by showcasing his high-flying ability and by wearing a throwback Vince Carter jersey, will have a tough time repeating as there are a lot of impressive dunkers in this year's competition.
Among those competing against Ross are:
Harrison Barnes, Paul George, Damian Lillard, Ben McLemore, John Wall
Any of those players has the ability to win and Paul George could be the early favourite due to his size, wingspan and vertical. Nonetheless, it will hopefully be a fun competition with original dunks and less props.
Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, who is playing in Sunday's all-star game, is also headed to "The Big Easy" to participate in the skills challenge. The skills challenge involves a combination of dribbling, passing and shooting and DeRozan will have his hands full against faster players.
Here is a list of the rest of the participants in the skills challenge:
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, Goran Dragic, Reggie Jackson, Damian Lillard, Victor Oladipo
Lillard is the defending champion, but he may be tired as he is entered into five events during all-star weekend (slam dunk contest, three point contest, skills challenge, rising stars challenge and NBA All-Star Game).
Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas will also be in New Orleans as he will be participating in the Rising Stars Challenge featuring the best rookies and sophomores in the NBA. Terrence Ross did not get the invite to play in this game. This game will take place on Friday, February 14.
The Taco Bell Skills Challenge and the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest will take place on Saturday, February 15.
Be sure to watch all the events and cheer on your favourite Raptors.
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