Blogtable: Four players you want to see in 2017 Slam Dunk Contest?
Each week, we ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
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The four players you’d love to see in this year’s Slam Dunk contest?
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David Aldridge: If we are truly going to be deprived of the pleasure of Zach LaVine’s Hammer: Larry Nance, Jr (Los Angeles Lakers); Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic); Jonathon Simmons (San Antonio Spurs); Derrick Jones, Jr. (Phoenix Suns).
Steve Aschburner: Zach LaVine, Aaron Gordon, Larry Nance Jr., and Andrew Wiggins. This is a wish list, right, not limited to those actually willing to participate? Good. Then we definitely need LaVine, the two-time defending champion, who has taken dunking as an art form to a new level. His showdown opponent from last season, Gordon, was right there and if we can enjoy Golden State-Cleveland rematches, we certain could enjoy LaVine-Gordon. Nance simply jumps higher than almost anyone I’ve ever seen (since his Pop anyway), so all that hang time allows for extra creativity. As for Wiggins, his dunking ferocity needs to be on full display, and perhaps some of it could bleed into his overall game on 82 nights.
Fran Blinebury: Last year’s real winner Aaron Gordon, Zach LaVine, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the whining LeBron James, who has ducked out his entire career.
Scott Howard-Cooper: Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon in the rematch the public demands. Pick any two names after that. Giannis Antetokounmpo. Andrew Wiggins. As long as it’s LaVine-Gordon.
Shaun Powell: Zach LaVine, Aaron Gordon, Terrence Ross, LeBron James. The first two engaged in the best dunk contest I’ve ever seen. The third was the 2013 champ and still has hops. The fourth admittedly is a pipe dream in terms of his participation, but you did ask whom I’d love to see, right?
John Schuhmann: Start with Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon, of course. I still don’t believe what we saw last year in Toronto. I want to see from how far Giannis Antetokounmpo can dunk, so put him in there, too. Now give a spot to the winner of the NBA D-League dunk contest to have someone who will really be motivated to show out.
Sekou Smith: We can start with Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon. We owe them that much after the show they put on in Toronto last year. Some fresh blood is needed in the other two slots. And I want someone hungry enough to show up and believe in his heart of hearts that he can dethrone the champ and the other favorite. San Antonio Spurs swingman Jonathan Simmons has everything I’m looking for and is just crazy enough to show up and pull off the upset. My fourth candidate is Giannis Antetokounmpo. I’m intrigued by what he could deliver on that stage in New Orleans. That size and wicked length could come in handy during a dunk contest
Ian Thomsen: I tend to not be a fan of this contest. However, out of respect for your question, I nominate David Thompson, Maurice Stokes, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. These are the four players I would love to see. But I don’t think it’s going to happen
Lang Whitaker: Well, I want a reprise of last season’s incredible finale, so I’d force Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon to be in the contest, no matter if they want to do it or not. Then I’d want to raise the profile of the contest a little, so who better to add than Joel Embiid? He is wildly athletic, a genius with social media, and one of the most popular players in the entire league. Finally, we need a wild card. I don’t think there’s a Spud Webb out there in the NBA right now, a little man who could shock the world, so instead I’d go with someone relatively unknown but with untamed athleticism, like maybe Houston Rockets forward KJ McDaniels.
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