This post was made before the final two dunks were complete by either participant. After the first round dunks were complete, there was no doubt who was going to win this. James White and Gerald Green, the biggest threats to Ross in my opinion, were a huge disappointment, especially the former. Ross started off with a behind the back 360 where he brought the ball around his waist and slammed it home. The judges were kind enough to overlook the five whiffs he had leading up to it, and rightfully so, you have to judge it on the dunk’s merits, not what transpired before or after. 50.
Green initial’s dunk was good, off the sideboard-type stuff, but he messed his second one up by trying to dunk it twice by hanging on the rim (actually had them cut the net which took a while to put back on, the judges must’ve hated that). It didn’t work as he couldn’t even get it off in two minutes, and with White a whitewash (the guy ran the full-length of the court each time and missed), all Ross had to do was perform his throwaway dunk to advanced (49). His original plan might have been to bust-out the classic Vince Carter jersey in his second dunk, but given Green and White’s failings, he kept it for the final round. Nice touch, paying homage to the master.
While the West muddied away the first round, Bledsoe and Faried recovered well in the second round, but it was Jeremy Evans vanilla dunks that were good enough to advance, setting up a Evans/Ross final. One of his dunks had him dunk over a 7’4” guy who was…get this…sitting down! WTF?
In the final, Evans had a between-the-legs jam off a painting of the dunk he was doing, but Ross’s dunk off the sideboard with a VC jersey was the type of stuff that gets you out of your chair. The TNT guys didn’t notice the jersey till late and didn’t hype it up much (at the time you thought this would affect fan-voting), but it didn’t matter. For his second, Ross jumped over a little ballboy, did a between-the-legs and jammed it home to take the fan voting 58% to 42%.
First Dunk of First Round
First Dunk in Final
Second Dunk In Final
What made Ross win this contest? I’d say it’s his power. The guy had deceptive power in his dunks which makes the technically same dunk as Evans look better.
All in all, really enjoyed watching it and seeing the Raptors do well. I didn’t really get into the whole East/West competition that was going on all night, but in the end our guy won. It’s something.
The judges were: Clyde Drexler, Dikembe Mutombo, Hakeem Olajuwon, Rudy Tomjanovich, and Yao Ming.
I’m not sure why Barkley was moaning about this contest after it was over. Leaving aside James White, this was a better contest than most with less focus on props and more on ability. I’d say this was a step in the right direction for this contest.
[Related: Ross Press Conference]
[Related: A History of Raptors in the Dunk Contest]