Griffin Headlines Dunk Contest
Senior NBA Writer & College Basketball Editor
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There will be a new Sprite Slam Dunk champion crowned on Feb. 19, at STAPLES Center (8 p.m. ET on TNT) in Los Angeles as four first-time contestants vie for the title: the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Jennings, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Serge Ibaka and the Washington Wizards’ JaVale McGee.
As part of the NBA and Sprite’s continuing efforts to bring fans closer to the Sprite Slam Dunk, each of the four participants will be featured in a special online video series that will give fans an inside look at their preparations for the event. The series, "Sprite Slam Dunk: Countdown to the Contest," will feature each participant matched up with a dunk coach who will work with his respective player to create and practice some of the electrifying dunks that will take place during the event in Los Angeles.
Griffin will match up with TNT analyst and two-time Slam Dunk participant (1990, 1991) Kenny Smith; Jennings will practice with NBA Legend Darryl Dawkins; McGee will work with NBA TV/TNT analyst and five-time NBA All-Star Chris Webber; and Ibaka will prepare with Thunder teammate and 2009-10 NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant. Each episode also will feature a "dunk selection ceremony" where the participants will choose which dunks they want to keep and which they decide to send to "the bench." Fans will be able to keep up with the latest development in the series, which will tip off tomorrow and will run through the week of the event, by viewing the latest weekly episodes at NBA.com/Dunk.
Fans will again have the opportunity to determine the winner of the Sprite Slam Dunk as part of the "They Dunk. You Decide" campaign, which debuted as part of the event in 2008.
The two dunkers with the highest first round scores will advance to the final round. The dunker with the lowest total score from the first round will compete first in the final round. Dunks then will alternate until each player has completed two. Time limit rules still apply. In the final round, fan voting polls will open via SMS TXT message and at NBA.com. The combined results from SMS TXT voting and NBA.com will determine the champion.
The Sprite Slam Dunk is part of NBA All-Star 2011, which also includes the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm featuring the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, Haier Shooting Stars and Taco Bell Skills Challenge; NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas; and the 60th NBA All-Star Game.
Sprite, the world’s leading lemon-lime soft drink, has been the official soft drink of the NBA since 1994 and the title partner of the All-Star Slam Dunk competition since 2003.
SPRITE SLAM DUNK YEAR-BY-YEAR WINNERS
1984—Larry Nance, Phoenix
1985—Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1986—Spud Webb, Atlanta
1987—Michael Jordan, Chicago
1988—Michael Jordan, Chicago
1989—Kenny Walker, New York
1990—Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta
1991—Dee Brown, Boston
1992—Cedric Ceballos, Phoenix
1993—Harold Miner, Miami
1994—Isaiah Rider, Minnesota
1995—Harold Miner, Miami
1996—Brent Barry, L.A. Clippers
1997—Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
2000—Vince Carter, Toronto
2001—Desmond Mason, Seattle
2002—Jason Richardson, Golden State
2003—Jason Richardson, Golden State
2004—Fred Jones, Indiana
2005—Josh Smith, Atlanta
2006—Nate Robinson, New York
2007—Gerald Green, Boston
2008—Dwight Howard, Orlando
2009—Nate Robinson, New York
2010—Nate Robinson, New York
2011 SPRITE SLAM DUNK COMPETITORS
Participant, Team Pos. Ht. Wt.
Blake Griffin, L.A. Clippers F 6-10 251
Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee Bucks G 6-1 169
Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder F 6-10 235
JaVale McGee, Washington Wizards C 7-0 252