The 2015 NBA Dunk Contest participants were recently announced, and just like the previous years, LeBron James‘ name was nowhere to be found. And although this year’s list doesn’t jump out at you like the 2014 participants list, don’t think you’ll be sold short on high-flying entertainment.
Leading the pack for these young high-risers is Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic. The 6’4 combo guard was a participant in the Skills Competition last year, but will be making his dunk contest debut in 2015. ‘Dipo will also enter the electrifying event as one of the favorites to take home the crown. And with Vic being the shortest player in the competition, he’ll undoubtedly have the upper-hand if he can pull off some amazing dunks.
Another exciting participant in the contest is one of the most intriguing prospects to hit the National Basketball Association, in Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Milwaukee Bucks Small Forward affectionately known as “Alaphabet” will have all eyes on him, as he’s taken the league by storm since his emergence as a rookie last season.
And the last two competitors are possibly the most eager of the bunch.
While Mason Plumlee may be the darkhorse in this race, Zach LaVine may be the last man standing in the end. The 6’5 Minnesota Timberwolves swingman has been wow-ing fans since his pre-draft workouts, so he’ll have all eyes on him on Saturday, February 14.
The contest will also be back to the original rules. There will be a panel of five judges scoring each dunk on a scale of six to 10. Each participant will get two dunks in the first round, with the two players receiving the highest combined score for their attempts moving on to the finals.
It sounds like the Dunk Contest is finally getting back to how it used to be. Maybe this will encourage more of the stars in the league to participate in the future. For now, take a look at the rising talent that’ll be attempting to blow fans away with their high-flying acrobatics.
NBA All-Star weekend opens February 13-15, with events at the Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden.