The NBA has cleared the runway for six participants in the 2013 NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. This year, 3 dunkers from the East will face off against 3 dunkers from the West in a 2-round competition. Yes, it’s a much improved format from last year’s debauchle but that’s not what’s gotten NBA fans so excited. It’s the dunkers.
No, you won’t find many household names in this year’s event (Kenneth Faried is probably the most well-known) but that doesn’t matter at all. These guys are real high-flyers.
So let’s give you a introduction to the field including their age, height, nicknames (because what’s a dunker without a nickname), and dunk highlights.
For the record, I think it’s fair to say that this will be the best dunk contest in years. One, there aren’t any especially tall dunkers (McGee, Howard, etc.). Two, these guys don’t need gimmicks to win (I love Griffin but that Kia dunk was retarded).
Eric “Baby Lebron” Bledsoe
Team: LA Clippers | Age: 23 | Height: 6’1″ | College: Kentucky
Eric Bledsoe’s numbers might be slowing down a little bit, but that doesn’t mean the little man has lost any explosiveness. As the littlest man in the comp, expect him to step his game up big time.
Kenneth “Manimal” Faried
Team: Denver Nuggets | Age: 23 | Height: 6’8″ | College: Morehead State
Don’t get me wrong, I love the intensity that Faried brings to the court each and every game. But (unlike all the other players in the contest), you’re not expecting to see a 360° from this guy on the fast break. All the same, you can’t deny the sheer athleticism and strength The Manimal possesses. If he’s able to focus just some of that talent come Houston, anything is possible.
Jeremy Evans aka “The Human Pogo Stick”
Team: Utah Jazz | Age: 25 | Height: 6’9″ | College: Western Kentucky
The 2012 Sprite NBA Slam Dunk champion returns to Houston to guard his throne. And considering that he was only a last-minute replacement for an injured Iman Shumpert, Evans is going to have a lot more time to prepare himself in 2013. Be excited.
Gerald “G Money” Green
Team: Indiana Pacers | Age: 27 | Height: 6’8″ | College: Gulf Shores Academy (HS)
Like Jeremy Evans, Gerald Green has already won an NBA Dunk Contest (2007). He’s also got experience facing off against James White in the 2010 Russian Cup aka what some basketball fans call the greatest slam dunk competition finals of all time (must-watch video here). Green might have been absent from the dunk contest for a few years, just don’t call it a comeback.
Terrence “#RossShallDunk” Ross
Team: Toronto Raptors | Age: 22 | Height: 6’6″ | College: Washington
Ross doesn’t get a lot of love because of the market he plays in, but the Air Canada Centre (gotta love the Canadian spelling) is the perfect setting for this kid’s game. He’s even got his own hashtag.
James “Flight” White
Team: New York Knicks | Age: 30 | Height: 6’7″ | College: Cincinatti
He might be the oldest player in the field, but don’t let that fool you. James White has been rocking rims since you were just a baby in the cradle. His previous dunk contest victories include the D-League (2009), the Turkish League (2008), the Russian League (2009) and two runners-up in the McDonald’s All-American (2001) and the NCAA Slam Dunk Contest (2006).