Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Quotes

JASON RICHARDSON, Golden State Warriors

Q: Will you compete
in this contest again after placing second tonight?

Richardson: No. I’m done. This is my final year. No matter who’s in it, I’m done. It’s kind of hard coming up with new dunks and I couldn’t think up anything else to do. I just did the best job I could and tonight, Fred (Jones) did a little better than me. I think that’s the main thing that scares people away (from competing in the dunk contest) because it’s hard to consistently come up with new, good dunks.

Q: What do you think about both you and Peja (Stojakovic) coming in as two-time champions and both losing tonight?

Richardson: Yeah, the pressure was on him (Stojakovic) and me with both of us having won twice in a row. Everyone was coming after us tonight, but that’s what happens. His last money ball didn’t go in and I couldn’t get hold of the ball at the end when I needed to, but it happens like that sometimes. I’m just glad I got three good years in and now I’m going to retire and let someone else come up with something new.

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FRED JONES, Indiana Pacers

Q: How did it feel dethroning the two-time champion?

Jones: You know, it was great. I just told all of my boys last night that I was going to give it all I've got. They have more confidence in me than I did. It's a blessing to come out here and do this.

Q: Who threw you the ball?

Jones: Brandon Brooks. He was a teammate of mine from Portland. We grew up together. He played at USC but he got hurt so he's not playing anymore.

Q: Where did the idea for the dunk, where did it come from and what was it supposed to be?

Jones: Well, you know, Brandon is probably one of the most creative dudes I know. We was sitting in the hotel last night and right when I got into town, he told me, he was like, I got this for you that's going to kill them. You're going to win this thing." He put it on the money. I just didn't do my job.

Q: Were you getting a little concerned with the fact that they were giving Jason a bunch of opportunities to try to score on that one dunk?

Jones: Yeah, I was concerned but I knew the right thing would happen. He's a great dunker. He's a champion. He probably deserved to get a few more opportunities.

Q: You are probably out of the four contestants, maybe the lowest-profile player. Do you think this will give you recognition and does that mean anything to you?

Jones: You know, I'm not in it for that. I have fun out here. That's all I came out here to do, is to have fun and to make sure my family and friends have a good time. We are enjoying ourselves.

Q: Do you want to come back and defend next year?

Jones: If B (Brandon Brooks) is going to come back with me, we'll make that dunk next year.

Q: What did you think when you had your dunk and he went, basically, to do the same dunk but take it through his leg, the one that he wasn't able to finish, what were you thinking when you saw that he was trying it?

Jones: I knew it was going to be a great dunk. I knew that I just did the same dunk. He tried to take it between his legs. I just tried to cock it a little lower. It was pretty much the same thing. He didn't pull it off.

Q: What exactly were you trying to do with the long pass, what was going to be the final outcome on that, that it just didn't happen?

Jones: You know, I was just going to try to catch the ball wherever he threw it. He put it on the money. I just couldn't get a handle on it. I was just going to cock it to the side or do something after I caught it.

Q: Have you had a chance to work on that before?

Jones: We've never worked on it. We came in today. When we walked in the arena and just tried to see how we could do it. That's what we came up with.

Q: You've won six out of seven dunk contests you've been in; is that right?

Jones: Yeah.

Q: Was this your best dunk tonight or was this the best you've done or do you feel like you've had better dunks elsewhere?

Jones: I think I've had better. This one was just -- this was a preview of something I took from all of my previous dunk contests. I used something from every dunk contest.

Q: Did you plan on the ball being as far away from you as it was on your first dunk in the finals or did it happen to carry that far but your abilities got it back towards the rim for a dunk?

Jones: No. That's where I wanted it. I wasn't sure exactly where it was at, but I wanted it as far away as possible so I could extend all the way and then give it a little more flare.

Q: Brandon, could you talk about the idea that you had for that dunk, had you seen somebody try it before? Where did the idea come from?

Brooks: Well, the idea actually came from -- well, if y'all know, high school gyms there's usually a back wall and Freddie, one of his dunks is to throw it off the back wall in the high school gym. But in the pros, it's arenas, so you're not able to do that. So I was thinking, well, with the crowd and stuff like that, people take their shirt off and dance and stuff, so I mean, it wasn't really a spectacular dunk at the end, but it was just the thought of it and the pass from the stands. I thought it would be catchy for the NBA All-Star Game.

Q: You looked pretty frustrated with Fred afterwards. Were you hoping for the big splash there and he didn't quite get it?

Brooks: I mean, yeah, I was very disappointed. We never practiced it and it was there. I didn't throw a good one the first time, but I knew the second one, I was going to get it to him. It was just one of them things, it slipped out and it didn't go in. I was just happy my man won the contest.

Jones: He threw plenty of passes to me in regular games that I missed, so he knows me.

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