Here are some fast facts about Mac McClung, who just signed with the 76ers and is set to participate in this year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest:
His favorite TV show is Ted Lasso.
Musical artist? Harry Styles.
Movie? The rom-com Notting Hill.
And how about food?
“A nice caesar salad,” the right-handed shooting McClung penned with his left hand on a preseason questionnaire.
This season, the Gate City, Virginia native with 821K Instagram followers continued to turn heads as a member of the Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers’ G League affiliate.
McClung’s name appeared all over the monthly individual leaderboards (top-20 in the G League) for his play in January: points per game (21.2), assists per game (5.7), field goal percentage (.583), 3-point field goal percentage (.488), and free-throw percentage (.885).
The 6-foot-2 McClung made his NBA debut for the Chicago Bulls on Dec. 29, 2021. He later suited up for the Los Angeles Lakers in their season finale at Denver last April, a game in which he threw down one of his patented double-clutch, reverse dunks in transition.
Now, he’s back.
As a Sixer.
NBA All-Star Weekend is his next stage – a big one at that – and it will undoubtedly be a busy weekend in Salt Lake City for the bouncy 24-year-old.
McClung was named to the NBA’s Jordan Rising Stars Game set to be played Friday and then, of course, he’s got the Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night. Not to mention that the top G League players, including McClung, were voted into the NBA G League Next Up Game slated for Sunday afternoon.
But if anyone is accustomed to being in the spotlight, it’s Mac McClung.
We’re talking about the 2021-22 NBA G League Rookie of the Year with the South Bay Lakers, who excelled as a member of the Golden State Warriors during the 2022 NBA Summer League and preseason.
“I think we were interested in a more pass-first point guard,” Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr said in the fall. “Letting Mac go was tough. I love Mac, and I think he’s an NBA player.”
"You know, I think sometimes I forget people are paying attention to what I do,” McClung said in December. “I think I'm just in my own mode. It's funny, I noticed when I got cut from the Warriors, I just expected it to be the same thing – a couple of hate messages and all that – but it was so overwhelming, the support. You're right there. Don't quit. I'm like you've been paying attention to all of this? I watched this G League game, this G League season. I'm like oh my goodness, people are following me, that's incredible.”
McClung played collegiately at Georgetown and then Texas Tech, where he received 2020-21 All-Big 12 Second Team honors.
Patrick Mahomes, Ja Morant, and Donovan Mitchell were among the many tweeters calling out to McClung when he entered the transfer portal and ultimately chose Mahomes’ old stomping grounds.
He was a star player at Gate City High School, where he became the all-time leading scorer in Virginia High School League history and broke Allen Iverson’s Virginia single-season scoring record five years ago this month. McClung scored 2,801 points in his prep career – 1,153 as a senior.
McClung dropped 47 points to lead Gate City to the Class 2A state title, breaking JJ Redick’s state championship scoring record of 43 set in 2002.
Still, he was a three-star recruit.
Sort your YouTube search results for Mac McClung by view count and you will find 22 different videos with at least one million views.
The second-most popular video has been watched 3.5 million times on the “Ballislife” channel and features the blonde-haired McClung at their All-American dunk contest in 2018.
Fast forward five years and it’s 10 minutes from tipoff at Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware. The Blue Coats are hosting the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate, in an afternoon contest on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania tweeted about McClung’s dunk-contest participation three days prior and the news continued to make waves, amassing nearly 8 million views and 24.5K likes.
In between his must-see layup line moments, McClung relayed to the Blue Coats TV crew that he’s been in three official dunk contests to date and won two of them.
McClung even developed a dunk contest rivalry with now-Houston Rocket Kevin Porter Jr. a few years back. It was Porter Jr. who was crowned champion at the Iverson Classic in April 2018 at Souderton Area High School in the Philadelphia suburbs.
The Answer, himself, was one of the judges. Porter Jr. dunked over the Hall of Famer, McClung completed a between-the-legs reverse in an Iverson Georgetown jersey.
One month later, McClung’s revenge over Porter Jr. in a west coast event turned into the aforementioned viral upload with 3.5 million views.
Back to this year’s MLK Day game as a Blue Coat — minutes after reminiscing on those moments — McClung hurried out on the fast break and replicated the double-clutch reverse that he once pulled off in a Lakers uniform.
Two of his game-high 40 points for Delaware.
“Dunk contest?” McClung said with a perplexed look postgame when asked about Charania’s report.
"Nah, I'm just messing,” he said, immediately flipping to a smile. “I'm really excited… A lot of people deserve that light, and I appreciate that they're giving it to me. I'll try to make the most of it."
Even Kevin Durant weighed in.
“All the best players in the league or guys I like were in the dunk contest,” the thirteen-time NBA All-Star recently said on “The ETCs” podcast. “No disrespect to the guys that are in there now. Shaedon Sharpe is going to put on a show. Who else is in it?” (Note: Sharpe is no longer in the field).
“Mac McClung, which is – that’s crazy they’re doing that. Out of the G League. No shade, but come on, what are we doing?”
“And Mac is an outstanding athlete. But what are we doing? It used to be sacred to be part of All-Star Weekend.”
Not so fast, KD.
Mac McClung from Gate City is back in the NBA and very much a part of All-Star Weekend.
Listed below his favorite TV show, music, movie, and food this past preseason, there was another question and answer.
If we made a movie about your life, what is your story about?
A complicated, yet fascinating, underdog story at that.