NEW ORLEANS --
|This dunk, reminiscent of Nets star Vince Carter,
earned eventual Dunk Contest winner Brent Petway a first-round score of
Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images
Idaho may be known for its potatoes, but it will now
be known for its dunking as well, as Brent
topped Idaho Stampede teammate Mike
for the Dunk Contest title at the D-League Dream Factory Friday night.
Petway's final dunk -- a majestic jam in which he threw the ball up in the
air, let it bounce, caught it with his right hand, brought it back between his
legs and stuffed it down hard with his left -- earned a perfect score of 50
from the judges.
That meant the shorter Taylor would need a perfect 50, himself, to tie Petway,
the consensus favorite entering the competition. While Taylor had three attempts
at what would have been a downright impressive 360 dunk, he couldn't put the
ball through the hoop and Petway was declared the winner.
I had that!" Taylor said afterwards, with a slight
grimace on his face. "My hands were a little sweaty and the ball just slipped
"But we kind of knew it was going to end up with the two of us at the
end," Taylor continued, "and tonight, he deserved to win."
"Yep, that's how we planned it," said Petway of his showdown with
his Stampede teammate. "We have a little competition every day in practice
and sometimes even in games. We've dunked on a lot of people."
And that was evident Friday night as both Petway and Taylor received perfect
scores on dunks. Taylor's was earned on a first-round throwdown that saw the
6-3 guard catch a bouncing ball, windmill it around and spastically drop it
home with his right hand.
Fellow competitors Eric
Smith (Fort Wayne Mad Ants) and Doug
Thomas (Iowa Energy) both performed well, Smith even earning a 50 for a
ridiculous 360 in Round 1, but their first-round scores didn't stack up to those
of the teammates from Idaho.
And it was Petway and Taylor's creativity that set them apart. Petway even
thanked his online fans for some of his dunking inspiration.
"I got some ideas from my
blog on D-League.com. And sometimes I play video games and get ideas off
of that too."
One particularly original jam was an innocuous-looking dunk in the final round
in which he stood beneath the basket with the ball at his feet. In one motion,
he bent down, picked the ball up off of the floor, did a windmill, then threw
it down hard. With no running start and no preparation.
"Yeah, that was pretty creative," he said afterwards, "but the
judges didn't seem to like that one as much. Honestly, the high-flying stuff
is more up my alley. I can do that stuff all day long. I like getting as high
as I can and bringing it down hard."
And that he did, slamming home two first-round rim-rockers named after two
of the greats: the "Dominique Special" and the "A la Carter,"
the latter of which left him hanging on the rim for a good five seconds with
his entire arm through the cylinder.
After claiming his trophy from D-League President Dan Reed, Petway was excited
to take home the crown that launched the superstardom of players like Jordan,
Dominique and Vince. But as a D-League player hoping to someday earn that call-up
to the Association, it's always nice to get some more exposure for the scouts.
"Yeah, I love winning an event like this. Since I won, I know I'm gonna
get some TV time. Hopefully this'll get my face out there a little more."