Something new about Sprite Slam Dunk Contest contestants

VIDEO: NBA TV announces 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest participants

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Someone long, someone new, someone blue and someone true to New York City for All-Star 2015.

We’ll get it all during All-Star Saturday night, which will officially be showtime for Giannis Antetokounmpo, Zach LaVine, Victor Oladipo and Mason Plumlee, the four players who will vie for above-the-rim supremacy in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.

Antetokounmpo, the extremely long and ridiculously athletic Milwaukee Bucks swingman, brings his own brand of excitement to a contest that is always in search of a new wrinkle.

LaVine, the Minnesota Timberwolves rookie with the otherworldly bounce, was made for this contest.

Oladipo, who sports blue every night for the Orlando Magic, brings a 360-degree flair to the party, is a showman if ever there was one.

And Plumlee, the Nets’ big man who will have the luxury of battling on his own floor in Brooklyn, should know where all the sweet spots are on the floor at Barclays Center.

Whatever happens, we’ll have some fresh blood hoisting the trophy when it’s all over.

A closer look at the contestants …


VIDEO: The best of Giannis Antetokounmpo



VIDEO: The best of Zach LaVine



VIDEO: The best of Victor Oladipo



VIDEO: The best of Mason Plumlee


In addition to the fresh faces in the four-dunker field, we’ll also have some revised rules for the competition this year:

JUDGES – There will be five judges. For each dunk, a score from 6-10 will be given by each judge, resulting in a maximum score of 50 and a minimum score of 30.

* ATTEMPTS PER DUNK – For each scored dunk in both rounds (Dunks #1 and #2 in the first round and Dunks # 1 and #2 in the final round), each dunker will be limited to three attempts to complete a given dunk.

* ATTEMPT DEFINTION – An attempt is defined as the player controlling the basketball and moving it toward the rim.

* OFFICIATING – A referee will judge whether a dunk is considered a made dunk or a missed dunk. Made dunks cannot be “replaced”, even if the dunker has remaining attempts.

* PROPS – Use of any props or other people in any way during the slam dunk competition must be approved in advance of the competition by the NBA Basketball Operations department.

* INSTANT REPLAY – At the discretion of the referee, instant replay may be utilized for rules compliance.

TIEBREAKERS – In the event a tie in the first round needs to be broken in order to determine one or both of the top two finishers, a one-dunk “dunk-off” involving the tied players will take place to determine which player(s) will advance to the final round. In the event of a tie in the final round, a one-dunk dunk-off will take place to determine the champion. Any dunk-off will be repeated as necessary until the tie is broken. All dunk-offs (including a final round dunk-off) will be judged by the panel of five judges. Consistent with the rules applicable to the first round and the final round, each dunker will have three attempts to complete a dunk in the dunk-off.

There will be two dunks in the first round. And the first dunk will determine the order for the second dunk (player with the lowest score dunks first).  The two dunkers with the highest composite scores from the first round advance to the final round (with a maximum score of 100 and a minimum of 60).

The final round will consist of two dunks as well, with the dunker with the lowest composite score from the first round going first. The dunkers alternate until each of the finalists has completed two dunks. The dunker with the highest composite score from the final round takes the crown.


  1. Ceejay Parmentier says:

    Have you all seen Oladipo at Hoosier Insanity? The boy has got hops! Gianni and Plumlee are the ones I don’t like seeing! KJ, Lavine, Oladipo, and Deandre/Wiggins would have been my lineup for the players that WOULD participate. Lebron and KD? Come on people lets be real they don’t need to participate in the contest, they got enough prestige.

  2. anonymous1979 says:

    Why don’t they just turn it into a round robin game of let’s see if you can do what I can do. Kinda like a game of pig. One guy does his best dunk and everyone else tries to do it better. Judges cast their vote for who did it best. This repeats so that all 4 contestants perform their best dunk with everyone else trying to do it better. Total of 16 dunks, and 16 votes tallied. The best 2 will repeat this process in the final round with 2 dunks each contestant that the other must try to perform better than the original dunker. YES !

  3. Gone are the good ol days..... says:

    Remember when the nba superstars stepped up and put on a show for their loyal fans? Now everyone is too afraid too risk injury or just scard of not living up to their hype. Either way cowards! Dear NBA, If you haven’t asked Westbrook to dunk yet please do us all a favor and ask him. Westbrook would be amazing in a dunk contest. I could see him doing old school Jordan leaners and stuff. Tell KD and Lebron to grow a pair. Ask Blake why he won’t dunk again…and this time leave the car endorsement out of it and just dunk no props. How about DeAndre Jordan? Their are so many superstars that could make it worth our while but instead we get to watch guys we don’t know and with names we can’t even pronounce.

    • Alex says:

      If you don’t know these names then you obviously don’t know basketball. 3 of the 4 of the guys on this list are the Dunkers of the future. And Westbrook has already said that he gets the intensity on his dunks solely from in game hype, something that can’t be recreated in a dunk contest.

  4. badmove says:

    i forgot, hey slam dunk participants ! a lame dunk introduced by a super show of 7 minutes with cars, bikes, thrones, or golden shoes, IS STILL A LAME DUNK !

  5. badmove says:

    lavine and plumlee can do nice impressive things, oladipo is a generic dunker so be ready to see clichés dunk from 1990, ankokokakookookompo same thing but he is taller so it will be worse than oladipo. booorinnnng
    So plumlee or lavine can save it

  6. The Voice Of Reason says:

    Just watched the GAMETIME crew interview Mason Plumlee and they are talking about taking off from the freethrow line.
    They are paying ‘homage’ to the guys who have done it…

    Dear NBA please don’t EVER show the video of Michael Jordan’s free throw line dunk in the 1988 Dunk Contest EVER AGAIN! All this talk about where his foot is on the line.
    PLEASE use the footage from the 1986 contest…the one where he puts the white tape on the floor and you can clearly see his foot is BEHIND the line.

    I know this makes me sound like a die-hard MJ fan (as a 30+ year old I think I automatically qualify for that anyway). It’s just annoying when the NBA ONLY uses certain videos. Same with their archives of Magic, Bird, Hakeem etc. It’s not like we are scavenging for footage of Wilt or Jerry West or something, there’s so much footage available of these guys!

    Still don’t think Mason was a good choice – I agree with everyone below, this could potentially be the worst contest ever…

  7. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Indiana’s own Mason Plumlee. Indiana University’s Victor Oladipo.

  8. adam says:

    The dunk contest needs to go away for 5-8 years. Nobody cares. And its not because of lack of star participants. Its because we’ve seen it all. Its boring. Let it go away. Let people miss it. Give those ball park players who get paid to dunk some time to come up with something new that the pros who participate in the dunk contest can emulate. Over saturation is a real thing. Let it go. Replace it with something new. Like a 3 on 3 tourney tgat spands the whole weekend. Bring back the skills comp but with an updated course. A game of 21 could even be entertaining. But enough is enough with this friggin’ dunk contest.

  9. alexiscubit says:

    Reblogged this on I Love This Game and commented:
    Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo, Minnesota Timberwolves Zach LaVine, Orlando Magic Victor Oladipo and Brooklyn Nets Mason Plumlee will be participating in this year’s Sprite Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend. Though it would be more entertaining (in my opinion) to have players like LA Clippers DeAndre Jordan or Blake Griffin, this will give these younger guys their time to shine and show what they have.

  10. M-Dizzle says:

    Oladipo Oladipo Oladipo Oladipo Oladipo Oladipo all the way…. He commands the attention from the crowd. + he is not that tall in comparison and that will give him the automatic advantage.

  11. Tim says:

    i think giannis antentokoumpo will take this chalenge…..he is the best young player in nba this time… 😉

  12. impartial judge says:

    Zach Lavine should handle Business Easily. He has a bounce out of this World. Wiggins letting his Pal Zach get the shine. he already has the ROY on his mantle.

  13. Drew says:

    I like seeing the young players accept this. The players are asked if they want to participate and the NBA isn’t going to ask the big names because they already know the answer it’s going to be a no.

    LBJ had his shot and said he’d do it year after year, but every year he let down everyone and never participated. Most of today’s stars are only out for themselves they don’t care what we want. I see everyone saying Blake Griffin; no thanks that was literally the worst final dunk and most rigged and over hyped contest ever (other than Dwight Howards non dunk-dunk). Gerald Green said he isn’t going to do another contest. Everyone needs to stop interjecting their negative opinions on this because it isn’t going to change anything and most of you are all idiots who are clamoring for this guy or that guy. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS: THE SUPERSTARS WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN THIS! PERIOD! They do not want to, they only care about money.

  14. Michael Anthony says:

    Dunk Contest Format Suggestion:
    4 Dunk Contestants must qualify for contest by being able to perform below dunks in a video. Then actual event begins with 1st round:
    5 specific dunks each dunker must perform (2 attempts per dunk):
    1) Reverse double clutch to the knees
    (ala Dominique Wilkins)
    2) Windmill from beyond restricted circle
    (ala Dominique Wilkins)
    3) “Statue of Liberty” 360° from beyond restricted circle
    (ala Terrence Stansbury)
    4) While in the air, put ball between legs
    (ala Kobe Bryant)
    5) Take off from Foul line
    (ala Michael Jordan)

    Top 2 dunkers go to Round 2/final round
    3 dunks
    2 specific dunks each dunker must perform and 3rd/final dunk is dunker’s choice (2 attempts per dunk):
    1) Jump over at least two people lined up in front of basket.
    (ala Paul George)
    2) alley-oop from teammate on one side of the rim, catch it on the other side of the rim, and go into a side ways windmill
    (ala Gerald Green)
    3) Finalists choice

  15. DunkFunk says:

    Where the heck is KJ McDaniels? James Johnson?
    Maybe its time fans should also vote for players participating for the Dunk Contest.

  16. n says:

    We Want WIGGINS !

  17. Peter Boot says:

    Yes, K.J. McDaniels would have been great. I don’t like big men in this contest…

  18. Daequan says:

    Giannis is the fan favorite. This dude be the Meryl Streep of basketball, he can play any role.

  19. dabroff says:

    Great work NBA, you’ve gone back to the old format instead of that weird awful farce of a 6-man choreography from last year. I just hope you still rank the dunks out of 10, but I would not be surprised if for some mind-boggling reason you decide to give the players a grade point dunk average (GPDA) or some other “innovative” oddity.

    Really NBA? You have to do the trial-by-error approach to figure out what’s great and what’s going to be pure trash? Really? There’s about 20 dunkers other than these 4 role-players who would be more entertaining to watch. I would rather see Shaq throw gummy bears in Sir Charle’s mouth at centre court for 10 minutes than watch Mason Plumlee “battle it out for the home city”. I would prefer seeing Lebron and Kobe play Hungry Hungry Hippos for 2 minutes at the studio than be so utterly bored by Oladipo and the Greek Freak that I might actually leave the house Saturday night.

    I get it, Lebron and Durant probably don’t want to go through the pain of entertaining us by having a historic slam dunk duel like players did in the 90s. They have other stuff going on, sure, fine. But can’t we get at least a couple of volunteers above semi-notoriety who might just say “Yeah I get it, the fans wanna see ME rock the house, not Zach Lavine, and then after I can go eat a sandwhich and chill.”? DJ, Blake, AD, Green, Westbrook, Wiggins, Barnes, Ross, Lillard, Wall…the list goes on. Hell, bring back Little Nate!

    Maybe you really want to stick it to us for allowing us to vote for the all star game “You idiots really think Kobe should be starting in the all star game over Harden? Really? But…look at the stats! Idiots! We’ll show you!” Well newsflash NBA, the public pays you a whole lotta dough to see the players they love the most, not what works well on paper.

    It used to be amazing, why has the dunk contest gone so downhill? The last 3 years have been progressively worse, with an obvious public disappointment by the fans. Is it really that hard to turn around?

    No, it’s not. But you gotta commit, NBA, don’t wait any longer. You can do it. Although frustrated, we still watch, hoping that maybe someday it will be as good as it used to be.

    Unfortunately, everyone knows that’s not going to happen this year. Can’t wait for the all-star game!

  20. Missing AI says:

    If anything NBA should learn, don’t make this into a theater play. It is all that out of context showcase that ruins the excitement of dunk contest. It should be about athleticism and motion in the air not about a choir singing while you dunk, jumping off a Kia, wearing a superman costume, saving a child’s toy from the rim or being introduced like a boxer.

  21. Jonathan says:

    I’ve been watching the dunk contest for years and just have to say – it keeps getting less interesting. Fans want to see the worlds BEST dunks – not the newest guys in the NBA who can dunk. Nothing against these four guys – but there are at least 20 other guys that should/could out dunk these guys if not more… How much better would this be with Griffin, Westbrook, Green, Jordan, Durant, Lebron, Wiggins – and some of the other great leapers/dunkers in the league…

  22. escalated quickly says:

    No wiggings??? Westbrook? ? Green?

  23. DaTroof says:

    Zach was probably a more entertaining dunker than 95% of the players in the NBA like 4 years ago. And he’s 19 now.

    Sure the other three haven’t really shown anything amazing, but at least there is one amazing talent in there lol

  24. Laz says:

    I guess they picked the top 4 weirdest last names to announce on contest instead of top 4 dunkers in the NBA

  25. NubCakes says:

    Green already participated b4…

  26. The Voice Of Reason says:

    Hmmmm…Mr Silver, how did you allow someone to approve this list? With so many entertaining dunks this season so far, how the hell to end up with Plumlee on the list? If they are SO desperate for a big man, why not ask Griffin again? At least he can pull off a half decent windmill (in game mind you). Oladipo is not too bad a choice – he has potential. But the Greek Freak has not shown any flare – he could probably take off from the free throw line like Serge Ibaka did a couple of years ago, but he hasn’t shown that he can be creative in the air.
    Why the hell is Wiggins not on this list? the guy went #1 in the draft cause of his out-of-this-world athleticism alone.

    I understand people wanting Gerald Green, but, despite his practice court heroics (and they are epic) and his beautiful windmills in-game, in the 2013 contest he choked BIG TIME so not sure…

    Oh and talking about creativity, KJ McDaniels DEFFINITELY should be in it.

    Then there’s Westbrook, Galloway (NYK), Wesley Johnson, Terence Ross, Harrison Barnes etc.
    Oh and shouldn’t you invite John Wall back to defend his title???

    Nothing but respect for Plumlee and Antetokounmpo – they are developing into beasts and certainly have power in their dunks, but in a contest that’s all about artistry and flare whilst exciting the crowd in the air (Magic Johnson reference)…


    …I’m gonna say no.

  27. JSTEELE22 says:

    Where are the stars?? No offense to the dunkers… but I didn’t vote for them to be at All-Star Weekend… I think I speak for everyone when I say we want: LeBron, Durant, Westbrook, Griffin, Jordan, Wall, etc… If you play in the All-Star Game you should be required to compete in the Slam-Dunk competition or the 3-pt competition… Make it 15 Players representing East & West, but only the stars should compete… Just my opinion as a devoted fan who pays salaries…

  28. Jared Rasmussen says:

    So two of the participants will only get to dunk twice? I know that they’ve had that rule before, but think how bad that is for a guy to fly all the way out to Brooklyn just to dunk the ball twice. I’m sure these guys will be in other events, but still. More content, please, on All-Star Saturday Night. Right now it’s all filler and commercials.

  29. IrieChat says:

    Where is Andrew Wiggins????????????

  30. BBBBALLLL says:

    NO VINCE CARTER!!!!!!!???

  31. Dfresh says:

    no gerald green? what a farce. glad they got back to the regular slam dunk contest format though. hopefully lavine doesn’t disappoint.

  32. Byrd says:

    Not the highest flyers in the NBA but lets see what they have to offer

  33. Lebron Fan says:

    Thats Terrible. Gunna be the worst dunk content in nba history up to this date.

  34. r.i.p.DunkContest says:

    plumlee? … bruh!

  35. What???? says:

    This has got to be the most boring dunk contest ever. Plumlee? Oladipo? Really? The dunks they showed were decent but certainly not dunk contest worthy. Why not Gerald Green, Russell Westbrook, and the other two? And why does the number of dunks count? Shouldn’t it be the quality of dunks? Im sure Dwight Howard is getting a bunch of dunks, so why is it relevant? Another thing, who got to put these guys in? Shouldn’t the fans vote for this as well? These picks for the dunk contest are horrible! Its not even interesting! Bad decisions that have ruined the dunk contest, year after year after year. This is definitely going to be the thing I avoid when all star weekend rolls around. Hopefully they don’t botch the 3-point contest too. If Steph Curry and Klay Thompson aren’t going to be in it then there is no reason for me to even tune into the NBA come all star weekend.

  36. I8A4RE says:


  37. harriethehawk says:


  38. GameTime says:

    Might just bet he worst selection every.

  39. roger says:

    aren’t there supposed to me more dunkers in the competitions?

  40. Abdullah says:

    the dunk contest has offically..if not already, become a JOKE…Levine is the only one who should be on here. oladipo seems like an in game dunker like harrision barnes was. what happenned? wheres John wall to defend his crown? wheres andrew wiggins? bring back gereld green. wheres Lebron? wheres all the other high flyers? Levine is gonna win for sure. im not taking anything away from the other guys…it might just be a way for the nba to showcase new faces, but were long gone from the time when actual nba superstars would participate

  41. 23jumpmang says:

    there should be a wildcard where the fans get to vote one in. Id vote for … doesn’t matter LaVine will take it

  42. Water says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t even know who these players are….smh

  43. PJ says:

    i’m still hoping for a “posterize” version of the dunk contest, where a team is composed of a dunker and a blocker and will pit them against other team’s dunker and blocker

  44. Thomas says:

    LaVine and Antetokounmpo were instant favorites for the contest. But I would prefer DeAndre Jordan instead of Mason Plumlee. Well, it will be nice for him to participate in his town. Hopefully there are more made dunks on the first attempt this year.

  45. gambler says:

    those are the dunk contestants? just kill me now

  46. jamescarman says:

    Glad to see they went back to the old format. Last year was just terrible and disappointing to watch.

  47. Rapsnation says:

    Whys ross not in this?

  48. verkleyalex says:

    Thank God they got rid of the awful format from last year. But where is Wiggins? How could he not be in this? He even said he would do it. Oh well, maybe he’s saving it for next year when he’ll be in his hometown

  49. Yannidepp says:

    its sad you have to watch a 30 sec ad on all these 30 sec vidoes

  50. TheTruth says:


  51. Charles says:

    This dunk contest is going to be Turrible.

  52. DaTroof says:

    This is already over.

    Somebody mail Zach his trophy please.

  53. alex english says:

    kj mcdaniels?

  54. ..... says:

    No K.J. McDaniels?