Picking A Dunk Dark Horse

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – In what is sure to be one of the most futile experiments we have undertaken here at the hideout, we’ve been charged with selecting a dark horse candidate for the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest (or the Blake Griffin Invitational Slam and Jam or whatever you want to call it).

Since HT’s candidate (Indiana Pacers forward Josh “McBob” McRoberts) was flat-out ignored by the powers that be, we’ll do our best to muster some semi-genuine excitement for one of these three other dunkers to actually knock off BG, who will have the home court advantage during All-Star Weekend.

Of the three other contestants, Thunder big man Serge Ibaka intrigues us the most. There’s no question he’s a power dunker. But he’s not even our favorite dunker on his own team (Russell Westbrook gets the nod with James Harden right behind him). Still, the big fella has a mysterious quality that could serve him well on All-Star Saturday night (and rumor has it he won a dunk contest in Spain in 2008).

We know JaVale McGee will bring the funk that night. He’s got all the right stuff for a contest like this. Brandon Jennings was easily the most surprising pick, and not because we don’t believe he’s capable of bringing it in a dunk contest (so what if he’s only dunked five times since he’s been in the league). But he’ll be coming off that foot injury that required surgery. We’d argue that the Bucks need him healthy more than he needs to prove to anyone that he can compete in a dunk contest with the big boys.

Right now, we’re going with Ibaka as our upset pick. What about you?

40 Comments

  1. ariel says:

    Commitment is needed to be in that contest.
    Some guys have promised to be there but when the time comes they all disappeared. LBJ like for example. .
    but as He said ring is better than this one. .
    BOTTOM LINE IS DONT COMMIT IF YOU CANT BE THERE. . . . .

  2. Tenki says:

    I’d rather watch the three point shootout than this almost-guaranteed win for Blake Griffin.

  3. Manu says:

    Thanks for that link, Denis hawk – I liked the guy who dunked two balls! So Ibaka can ideed dunk from the free throw line, but it was just about the least impressive free throw line dunk I’ve seen – and that’s because of his reach. It just doesn’t look as impressive as when a 6-6 guy does it. Dwight Howard was the same – he dunked from the ft line against Nate Robinson and again didn’t really look like he was flying like Jordan, Vince Carter or James White.,

  4. besarion says:

    lebron the number 1 dunker world.

  5. Jazz says:

    Jack Nicholson will upset him!!

  6. taker says:

    IF IT WERE UP TO ME,I WOULD PIT BG & DEANDRE JORDAN AGAINST D. ROSE & WESTBROOK. NBA SLAM DUNK CONTEST SURE IS GETTING BORING EVERY YEAR… ITS MORE ENTERTAINING TO WATCH H.O.R.S.E

  7. Gman says:

    This contest seems like its setup to make sure Blake wins, look at all the other guys. Just horrible. Why isnt DeMar DeRozan in this? Such a diss to not invite the 2nd round player.

  8. native coach says:

    or why not make it a d-league versus nba dunk contest….seen that the d-league dunkers were better than last years…or past champions that are still playing today versus new school flyers…something more interesting that we wait up and look forward to on saturday nights of all star weekend./..(?)

  9. denis_hawk says:

    Blake Griffin is going to win this dunk contest unless a great upset comes. He’s a real beast, he has a great vertical an amazing body control and dunks with a fury few times saw.
    About the other contestants I think Ibaka could be the main guy to beat. Yes, Serge Ibaka won the Spanish Dunk Contest in 2008. I’m a spaniard and I can say he left great dunks here such as he’s doing in the NBA. I know the level in the NBA dunk contest is the greatest in the world, I can’t compare the spanish one, so I can’t calibrate Ibaka’s chances to be a real contender in this one. But I give him a lot of credit because of his strength, explosiveness and creativity.
    You can check two dunks he did in 2008 in the ACB’s contest.

  10. native coach says:

    dang why did they pick jennings? I mean he is coming off a foot injury….should’ve had the more exciting d.rose…go bulls! or even the nuggets dude…j. smith….or someone like lebron or derozen to make the show better than last year…or to give griffin a challenge….miss the good ol days when all the big name allstars that could jam stepped in and competed at everything…like mj dominique kemp kobe on and on….they didn’t care bout reputation but just wanted to win…

  11. chicago97 says:

    OR MAYBE SONY WEEMS OR DEMAR DEREZON YU CAN PUT IN THE MIX

  12. chicago97 says:

    THIS DUNK COMPETITION SUCKS………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 WATEVER HAPPEN TO TH GREAT DUNKERS DUNKING ON ALL-STAR WEEKED?????THE JORDANS, HUMAN HIGHLIGHT FILM, KOBE,VINCE CARTER,JASON RICHARDSON, NOW THEY GOT GOT ALL THESE PLAYERS THE LAST COUPLE YEARS WHO PPL DONT WANNA SEE, WE WANNA C LEBRON, WADE, I THINK D.ROSE WOULD B GOOOD, OF COURSE GRIFFIN, AND IN BETWEEN J.R.SMITH OR JOSH SMITH.. NOW THAT WOULD B A GOOD DUNK CONTEST…

  13. Henry says:

    Bring back Desmond Mason or J-Rich and then maybe we’ll see BG go down. Ibaka stands the best chance against him, but again, that chance is just too slim.

  14. mezstah says:

    I am also not happy dunking contests is nothing for the real big man. It’s to easy for them.
    They have to jump like 1 foot to dunk a ball. Most ideal size is between 6-6 and 6-8.
    Blake can seriously jump but his average wingspan prevents him from doing real difficult dunks.
    I think it will be a dissapointment

  15. Marshall says:

    For some reason, this year, i’m just not happy with the guys selected for the dunk off. Brandon Jennings? they shouldve just done it all 4 big men if they were gonna throw in an injured pg who rarely jams. I hope the guys that make the decisions this year get some better jumpers for next years contest. I was thinking something like 3 guards and a big guy that doesnt jump and has a bum knee or something, maybe Andrea Bargnani? Just sayin, this years picks suck.

  16. Miami Heat says:

    NATE ROBINSON IS STILL THE MAN! HE CAN FLY…

  17. George says:

    McGee is the closest thing to BG as vertical leap, plus he’s long plus how many players in the history of the NBA have tried a FT line dunk in a game !!! I don;t care that he missed it , he lost the ball on the way up … but that says a lot about the confidence he has in making dunks like that, not to mention the fact that he loves to entertain . So imagine what he can pull off , when he rested and can gather his steps perfectly. If there’s anyone that can beat BG it’s McGee… Ibaka is ok , and BJ can’t do anything spectacular.

  18. Manu says:

    I’m looking forward to see what Ibaka can do. But I’m really disappointed DeAndre Jordan isn’t in it – he’s really the best big man dunker above McGee and Ibaka. He had by far the best dunk (off alley-oop from Davis) in the last Clippers game, better than Griffin.

    Plus, Jennings isn’t even the best little guy dunker either – what about Rose and Westbrook? They’re both more explosive than him. A line-up of Griffin, Rose, one of DeAndre and Ibaka and a swingman (Gay, DeRozan or Iguodala) would’ve been far better. Anyone disagree?

  19. Tom says:

    Yet another weird selection by the league.
    Ibaka is tall and has long arms but he is no jumper. AT ALL.
    McRoberts on the other hand is, but mysteriously he’s ignored.
    This all seems to be a bunch of political bogus to me.

    There are so many better contestants, how the hell did they come up with this selection?
    Where’s McRoberts?What about Paul George? (He jumped over Hibbert for crying out loud!

  20. BigPermInvader says:

    I think you all are trippin a little bit – JaVale McGee is a lot better than you think. Let’s just hope Griffin’s kneecap holds up and he doesn’t get an owwie.

    • LB6 says:

      Griffin knees are good. For me him being sidelined last year for the whole season is a bit too much but maybe that is for the best. Have you seen the replays about McGee trying to dunk it on the free throw line and failed? that made me laugh so much. and the thing i dont like about C’s or over 7ft players being in the dunk contest is that they are not that Athletic to pull off a flashy dunk. on Griffins case he is a big man who dunks like a guard thats why his dunk is mixed with power and finesse.

      • Nick says:

        McGee is hugely athletic and jumps like most guards and so does Ibaka. I would ike to see their verticals compared with Blake Griffin. Jennings is just the token short guy, nothing more.

  21. LB6 says:

    very disappointed w/ upcoming dunk contest. why not just put blake griffin there throw in some dunks and give him the trophy. why not just name it sprite blake griffin’s dunk showcase. and why put in jennings?? he is not a dunker, he is coming out of an injured foot. and even i saw him dunking in youtube he tries so hard to dunk the ball. while those other dunkers dunks effortlessly. why not instead of jennings put in derozan or budinger. back in the days they really put in the best dunkers in the nba. I’d like to see Lebron vs Griffin vs Howard vs Nate or will bynum (another small wtf dunker), that will be a great slam dunk competition to watch.

  22. Berlin4life says:

    I’d be interested, if Blake is able to Wilt Chamberlane, means dunking from the free-throw-line while starting within the circle.

  23. Maci says:

    Interesting, I thought Jennings had no real dunking skills, but he did some pretty impressive jams in warm-ups.

    Well, here’s a video of Ibaka in Spain: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlxuwqFpvSo&feature=related not bad!

    And two years ago I saw McGee in Berlin.. He slammed down some 360′s and huge windmills in the warm up, so I think they all have a chance to poke Blake…

    Just sad to see there’s no Rose, LeBron, DeAndre Jordan, Ronnie Price…

  24. what the ish says:

    what is going on!? okay blake griffin was a must after his performance throughout this seaosn, but the rest?…mcgee been doing those same alley oop all season, can’t see much he can bring to the table in terms of the dunk contest.

    I think my ideal line up would have been, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, and then given JR Smith and Andre Iguodala (robbed from the dunk crown) second chances…

  25. Bullsareoverrated says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEssOVP6TcQ
    that is why brandon jennings is in the dunk contests. 2:21 says it all

  26. Jeffery says:

    where is the heck is Deandre Jordan? He is third in the league in dunks. Blake griffin’s side kick. Did you see the reverse dunk he did on nuggets last night?

  27. goceltics says:

    What’s with the option “other” in the poll… and how have 81 people voted for it?

  28. shallehalle says:

    you hater first check Ibakas dunk contest in 2008 in Spain, then complain.

    then go watch jennings do a between the legs dunk in warm up on youtube.

    check mcgee warm up dunks.

    I really hate when people talk trash before even checking out i that’s true.

  29. DBBJ says:

    COULD SOMEBODY EXPLAIN TO ME HOW IN THE WORLD THOSE 3 GUYS GOT PICKED? WHAT TYPE OF ISHHH IS THIS? IBAKA? BJ? JAVALE??? REALLY??? OH MAN. I DONT EVEN WANNA WATCH THAT DUNK CONTEST.
    IBAKA AND JAVALE ARE JUST POWER DUNKERS CUZ THEY ARE TALL AS SH***, THEY DONT DO NO FANCY DUNKS… AND BRANDON JENNINGS, U GOTTA BE KIDIN’ ME.
    WHATS WRONG WITH THE NBA MAN? THE LAST DUNK CONTEST THAT WAS EXCITING WAS WHEN D-HOWARD WON, AFTER THAT ALL OF THEM HAVE BEEN TERRIBLE.
    WHAT HAPPEN TO GUYS LIKE: RUDY GAY, IGUADALA, DERRICK ROSE, RUSSEL WESTBROOK, DEROZAN, DWADE, LBJ, JR SMITH, JOSH SMITH, EVEN HAKIM WARRICK??? THOSE ARE GUYS THAT MAKE YOU SAY “OH SH***” WHEN THEY DUNK.

  30. 136bis says:

    blake griffin will dominate every body on the list thats why i picked other lebron james please be in the dunk contest

  31. dude says:

    tell me again why didn’t they invite demar derozan? since he lost only by 2% and it was against nate robinson, which makes the legitemacy of the vote questionably; and would be one of the few repeats worse watching(howard ok,he deserved it(so does derozan).but nate and g. green?come on..)

  32. unimpressed says:

    Griffin could do a layup and still win the contest. Dunk contest has gone down since the early 2000s… No finesse dunkers, what’s with the power dunkers!? Too many props/gimmicks and players just don’t care anymore(last year when Shannon and Crash should’ve come with something crazy). I’ll probably rewatch some old videos of T-Mac, Francis, and Carter throw down just to get my dunk fix.

  33. Desi says:

    The only person that will beat BG IMHO is BG himself. whilst Ibaka has the ingredients and McGee wants to represent, everytime BG touches the ball you can feel that moment of expectation, like something crazy will happen above the rim.

    The question is can BG bring that in game dunking to a contest. Different adrenalin levels and your just not as loose. I’m pretty sure BG will bring his A game; so an upset, no, not this year.

  34. Sammy says:

    BLAKE ALL THE WAY!!

  35. Sea Pea says:

    What was the first year that the dunk contest didn’t have the best dunkers represented. Had to be in the early or mid 90′s. Basically what was the last year the best dunkers were in the contest? What is the point if the best dunkers are not in it. I’d rather watch a WNBA dunk contest over that. Even an old timers dunk contest would be better. Bring Jordan and nique back and Barkley for laughs. This current contest is as lame as an NIT or the Tampax Bowl.

  36. Gazza_24 says:

    Lol sorry but Blake could win this dunk contest with a blindfold on, the only person Blake will be trying to beat in the dunk contest is himself! Would have been nice to see one of his teamates like EG or Deandre Jordan in the contest with him as well. As for McGee, lets hope he doesn’t miss any wide open dunks when the dunk contest comes around!

  37. First one to vote!

    Count it on Ibaka – He did won the contest in Spain when he was only 18!!
    :)