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Glenn Robinson III isn’t the only Indiana Pacers player to win the NBA dunk contest. In fact, Fred Jones won in 2004, and Darnell Hillman won in 1977. But something was different about the 1977 contest. Hillman never received his trophy … not until Wednesday night, at least. While Hillman and Fred Jones were on hand to celebrate Robinson’s recent win, the Pacers made sure Hillman got his trophy as well. The best part is Hillman was completely surprised by the gesture from the Pacers.
Indiana Pacers: Dr. Dunk never received a Dunk Contest trophy… Until tonight.
Gary Washburn: Isaiah Thomas on Jaylen Brown:. “His young ass should have been in the dunk contest.” #Celtics
These days, Gordon drives a Tesla, backs a mental awareness app called Lucid, and collects gadgets like they’re stamps or baseball cards. “Aaron and Drew discovered those full-wall projectors,” Davis quipped. “I’d come home and these grown people are doing blanket pillow forts in the family room watching the full projector set up.” The idea for a “Drone Dunk” came to Gordon this past year as he puzzled over how to top his 2016 performance in Toronto, which featured the Magic’s mascot spinning on a hoverboard. While surfing the Internet, Gordon had his “Aha” moment when he stumbled on a video of a drone delivering packages. “I thought, ‘Why not?’ Why couldn’t it just deliver a basketball? What if it just dropped an alley-oop?” No question, a drone is a clear step up from a hoverboard.
But then his biggest fear, the dunk’s timing, spoiled the show. Gordon’s first effort at the alley-oop finish, which involved passing the ball through his legs to dunk with his right hand, wasn’t particularly close. The drone team quickly reloaded the basketball and the pilots quickly repositioned the drone for a second effort, and then a third. The contest organizers then allowed him a fourth try, which he converted to earn 38 points out of a possible 50. Instead of celebrating, he shook his head with a somewhat disgusted smile, and his score reflected the judges’ intolerance for the missed attempts. “You can’t [recover],” he told SI.com by telephone, still sounding clearly disappointed more than an hour after the contest’s end. “After I didn’t get the first one down, I knew I was eliminated. I knew it was pretty much over after that.”
After years of campaigning to be in the Skills Challenge, Kings’ All-Star DeMarcus Cousins likes what he’s seen from the big men as they’ve now won it for the second consecutive season. New York’s Kristaps Porzingis knocked off Cousins on his way to winning the Skills Challenge, beating Utah small forward Gordon Hayward in the final. “He knocked my ball out man,” Cousins said after Porzingis eliminating him. “He knocked my shot out. I’m just glad one of the bigs won. It’s bigger than one individual in this; it’s about the bigs winning. We have to defend our crown.”
The Indiana Pacers shooting guard ran from the right and soared up and over his teammate, Paul George, grabbing the ball on the way and floating long enough to clear the Pacers mascot and a dancer too. His reverse slam, with his head grazing the rim along the way, was enough to win the event that, while entertaining, was nowhere near electric as last year’s legendary affair. And to think, Robinson is really a novice at this whole dunk thing. “It’s crazy. Like I said, I couldn’t dunk until my sophomore year in high school, and now not even a decade later, I won an NBA dunk contest,” he said. “Going into this, I hadn’t really practiced any trick dunks. I hadn’t really got time. I focused on playing. I focused on starting and playing to the best of my ability. When they gave me this chance, it took me a week to come up with some things that nobody’s ever seen in the NBA dunk contest. It was tough.”
Ben Golliver: Aaron Gordon tells me he won’t compete in 2018 Dunk Contest. “This event takes a lot out of you when you approach it as seriously as I do.”
He attempted to innovate again Saturday, beginning with the drone dunk. “I had two drone dunks,” Gordon said. “That was just supposed to be the one that was just going to get me going. I like to do creative things. I like to do over-the-top things. I guess I did a little too much.” Gordon was asked to describe the second drone dunk he had planned. He declined to do so. He said he might save it for a future competition. “This is very disappointing,” Gordon said.
Zach LaVine: My Boi @Glenn Robinson III congratulations my guy happy for you! pic.twitter.com/C6uoNmRge5
George Hill: Congrats To The Lil Bro @Glenn Robinson III 2017 NBA AllStar Dunk Champ!!!Congrats #OverlyDedicated #Indy… instagram.com/p/BQrZnD1gRvf/
Jason Terry: The Big Dog has baaaaaarked!!!! @NBAAllStar #SlamDunkContest
Gordon, who has made 184 three-pointers and is shooting 38.5% from that distance this season, got the best of Irving – the 2013 champion – in the tiebreaker, outscoring him 21-19. “Towards the end, you get a little tired,” said Gordon, a first-time Three-Point Contest participant. “I wasn’t really concentrating on how many I made. It’s all about just focusing on just knocking down the shot. I never count it in my head or anything. You just go out there and shoot the ball. That last rack, it was just mostly fatigue.”
Alexis Ajinca: Congrats brother well deserved @Eric Gordon #EricGordon #Best3PtsShooter #ASG2017
Nenê: Yes siirrrrrrr!!!!! @Eric Gordon 🏀🏀💰💰💰 Ball 🔒🔒🚀🚀
Austin Rivers: Happy for the bro @Eric Gordon for winning the 3 point contest! Way to shoot Homie!
Scott Kushner: Eric Gordon said he heard the boos.
Troy Daniels: I would love to be in the 3 point contest next year.. I think we should start campaigning now haha #GnG
They call him “The Unicorn” because his size, speed, athleticism, fluidity and skills are those of a mythical creature. Now the Knicks forward is a Skills Challenge champion, winning the All-Star Saturday Night contest that seems almost built for him. “It’s a good feeling that I’m able to showcase my skill with my size and show to the kids that you’re capable of doing that even if you’re tall and lanky like me,” Porzingis said after beating Gordon Hayward in the final. “I think a lot of kids now growing up will improve those perimeter skills just seeing guys like – I don’t want to mention myself, but big guys with perimeter skills that can do it.”
Kristaps Porzingis: Skills challenge W!!! pic.twitter.com/vmaDFnwySY
Gary Washburn: Isaiah announced his retirement from the Skills Challenge #Celtics
Aaron Gordon stopped short of guaranteeing a win for himself. “I’m going to make all my dunks. Whatever happens after that is out of my control,” Gordon said. “People are going to have to do something pretty special. To me, that’s just as exciting as participating, watching the other guys to see what they’re going to do. (Robinson) is a really cool guy, very athletic. I like how his game is coming along.
Glenn Robinson III predicted a win over competitors Aaron Gordon (Magic), DeAndre Jordan (Clippers) and Derrick Jones Jr. (Suns) ahead of Saturday’s event in New Orleans (8 p.m., TNT). “You’ll see (Saturday) night,” Robinson said Friday. “That’s what we came here for, right? Came here to win.”
FS: What do you remember most about that night? Wilkins: “It was hot. It was hot in that building. It was standing room only! It was standing room only. I knew it was going to be a show. I knew it was going to come down to me and Michael before the contest. It was just his weekend. It came down to being probably the most epic ever.” FS: A lot of people think you should have won. Wilkins: “Probably. [Laughs] You know, I hear that every day. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear about that dunk contest at least once. It’s amazing. You’re talking 25, 27 years later and we’re still talking about it. It was just a lot of fun for us.”
Before Jordan competes in his first All-Star Game Sunday night, he’ll take part for the first time in Saturday’s Verizon Slam Dunk contest, joining Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, Phoenix’s Derrick Jones Jr. and Indiana’s Glenn Robinson III at the Smoothie King Center. “As you get older, now having an opportunity to do it, I think it’s really special,” Jordan said. “I’m excited about it.”
Nick Young will become the third Lakers player to participate in the event after Byron Scott (1987, 1988) and Michael Cooper (1987). Young didn’t miss an opportunity to take a jab at the former Lakers coach, who he frequently clashed with over playing time and public criticisms. “I might pick Cooper’s brain,” Young said of his contest preparation. “But I don’t know if Byron would tell me the right thing to do.”
DeAndre Jordan considers the showcase event more stressful than appearing in his first NBA All-Star game, which he’ll do Sunday as a Western Conference reserve. “I just think the worst,” Jordan said on Friday. “Getting hung out there, my shorts falling down, trying to do a dunk 20 times. I don’t want the crowd giving me a pity cheer.”
Jordan recalled trying to dunk a lob from teammate Chris Paul that got stuck on the rim in a game against Boston during the 2013-14 season. Jordan also reported feeling uneasy when teammate Blake Griffin informed him of his plans to leap over a car for the 2011 contest at Staples Center. “This could go either this way or some people could get fired,” Jordan remembers thinking.
Austin Anderson: I have to ask. Did you choose not to play in the 3-point contest? Or were you not selected? – Joe Ingles: They never asked me!
Mark Medina: DeAndre Jordan said he tried 70 different dunk combinations yesterday. He said none of them involved Blake or a car pic.twitter.com/LjP7sIXhDY
Eric Smith: crowd around Aaron Gordon. said last yr’s dunk comp ranks up there w/ @Vince Carter’s. told me new teammate Terrence Ross is ORL’s best dunker pic.twitter.com/92nZje7vBA
Ben Golliver: Aaron Gordon teases his Dunk Contest show: “I’m looking to one-up myself. I’m not looking to play it safe. I want to do ’10 on 10s.'” pic.twitter.com/GfS3lRRDs5
The NBA announced today that Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokić has been selected to replace injured Joel Embiid in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans during NBA All-Star 2017. Jokić, 21, has appeared in 48 games (34 starts) for Denver this season, averaging 16.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 26.8 minutes per game, making him one of just five players to average 16.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists this season (Antetokounmpo, Cousins, Griffin, Westbrook,). Among second year players, Jokić ranks second in rebounding, third in assists and fourth in scoring. He also ranks fourth in the NBA among all centers in assists per game and has registered at least five helpers in 19 games.
Royce Young: Alex Abrines will replace Joel Embiid on the World Team for the Rising Stars game on Friday.
Q: Is part of you a little disappointed Steph won’t be back in the Three-Point Contest to try and take your crown from you? Klay Thompson: I wish he was there, but I’m not disappointed. I know he’s done it a lot. He needs his rest, man. … We want him fresh come May and June. I’m not too hurt he’s not doing it. It makes my life a little bit easier, get that crown again. The fans want to see it, but I mean, (I’ll do it) at least one or two more times before my career’s over.
Bill Herenda: “That’s one of my goals” – DeMarcusCousins on joining #AllStar 3-point shooting contest on @GottliebShow #Kings
Oliver Maroney: According to a source, the NBA is putting in calls to find potential replacement for Aaron Gordon if he cannot go.
Aaron Gordon’s right-foot bone bruise will prevent him from playing tonight against the Philadelphia 76ers and could force him to withdraw from the All-Star dunk contest on Feb. 18 if the injury doesn’t heal as quickly as Gordon and team officials hope it will heal. Asked if he’s concerned that the bone bruise will keep him out of the dunk contest, Gordon answered, “Maybe. I’m not sure. It’s day-to-day. If I can get back and play one of these games before the All-Star break, I’ll probably go ahead and just do the dunk contest, too.”
Cuban has been chosen to play in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game during All-Star Weekend, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m. in New Orleans. Cuban will be on a team that includes WNBA player Candace Parker, singer Master P, recording artist Andy Grammer and celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez.
Chris Haynes: Orlando forward Aaron Gordon (bone bruise in foot) still committed to Dunk Contest but to know definitively by week’s end, source told ESPN.
Hassan Whiteside: Name a starting PG shooting a better % from 3 this season than @Goran_Dragic 🤔 put him in the 3 point contest 👀 he had 7-9 from 3 tonight!
Goran Dragic: I’ll go if @youngwhiteside is in the dunk contest!! Lol 😂 #HeatIsOn
When the season began, Kristaps Porzingis hoped to complete the All-Star weekend triple crown — the Rookie-Sophomore game, the Skills Challenge and the main event. He will have to settle for two of the three after being passed over for the All-Star Game. Nevertheless, Porzingis said he is “excited” about being one of the eight guys named to the Skills competition, which will take place during the Saturday night festivities Feb. 18 in New Orleans. “Big guy like me — 7-3 — participating in the skills challenge, it should be fun,” Porzingis said Saturday before his foul-plagued performance in the Knicks’ 111-104 loss to the Cavaliers in which he scored just nine points and finished with more personal fouls than field goals. “I believe [I can win it]. I think I have a shot.”
LeBron James, an exalted high flyer, has teased fans in the past with the possibility of participating in the Slam Dunk contest. He even expressed some regret about not being involved in 2015. But he’s never participated. And this year won’t be a first. “I had opportunities,” James said Friday, one day after the participants were officially announced. “I just didn’t do it for my own reasons.”
Love, who won the event while with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2012, turned down the opportunity in part because of his sore lower back. “Maybe it was the last straw,” Love said. “I thought Kyrie and (Kyle) Lowry and Klay Thompson and Steph (Curry), all those guys were in it, so I thought maybe I’ll be the lone big guy, but it was tough to say no. I know a lot of people at the league, a lot of people I’d been talking back and forth with. I had a good laugh with about it, but, I’ll never say never in terms of going back and competing in it.”
Bradley Beal rejected an invitation from the league when he didn’t make the cut as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, the shooting guard told CSNmidatlantic.com on Friday. “I feel like if I’m going to be part of the weekend, I want to be an All-Star,” said Beal who is averaging a career-high 22 points and shooting 39% from three-point range.
Shams Charania: Vertical Sources: Golden State All-Star Stephen Curry won’t participate in 3-point contest at All-Star weekend. Toronto’s Kyle Lowry is in.
Shams Charania: Vertical Sources: New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis has committed to the NBA Skills Competition at All-Star weekend.
Calvin Watkins: Eric Gordon said he would like to participate in 3-point shootout.
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will defend his championship and compete in the NBA 3-point contest during All-Star Weekend in New Orleans on Feb. 18, league sources informed ESPN. His backcourt teammate and 2015 long-distance champ Stephen Curry received an invite from the league, but sources tell ESPN the two-time MVP is still mulling it over.
Lately, Nick Young has been excited about something else. He likes his chances of being asked to compete in the NBA’s 3-point shooting contest during NBA All-Star Weekend on Feb. 18 in New Orleans. “Start my campaign for me,” Young said.
Will this prompt Young to hunt for more shots during upcoming games? “I’m not trying to focus on that,” he said, though he acknowledged he has a strategy if the NBA selects him to compete. “For the money ball, I’ll leave it for the top of the key or the last rack,” Young said. “The time might mess me up, so I might save it for the middle rack.”
If the NBA has its way, they could see Jordan in the dunk contest for the first time, as well. “I’m interested,” Jordan said. “They’ve reached out to me about it. I have yet to say anything, because I’m trying to negotiate something with them right now.”
Jordan couldn’t help but offer a humorous explanation, squirming out of answering firmly whether or not he’ll be participating in this year’s dunk contest. “Like, if I do the dunk contest, then they got to let me do the 3-point competition, something like that – or the skills challenge,” Jordan said. “It’s crazy, because they don’t know, like, I’m a pretty good passer. I got dimes. I’m pretty sure I could make that layup. I don’t know about that free-throw you got to shoot.”
Candace Buckner: #Wizards point guard John Wall, former Slam Dunk champ, will participate in the 2017 NBA All-Star Skills Challenge, The Post has learned.
Damian Lillard may not be able to represent the Portland Trail Blazers in the All-Star Game, but Portland will have at least one representative in New Orleans for All-Star weekend as his backcourt mate C.J. McCollum will compete again in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest. “I will [compete],” McCollum said at practice on Saturday. “At first, I was against it, I didn’t really want to go but seeing as how I performed last year, and my girl can’t go on vacation because she has a test on Monday, it kind of changed my view on it.”
A shrug of the shoulders. That’s how Aaron Gordon reacted when he was asked Friday about Zach LaVine’s decision not to participate in the 2017 All-Star dunk contest. “No reaction,” Gordon said. “I don’t doubt that Zach will be in the dunk contest in the future.” Last February in Toronto, Gordon and LaVine staged one of the most epic duels in the contest’s history. After two tiebreakers, LaVine was crowned the winner in a controversial decision by the judges — a decision so controversial that Indiana Pacers’ superstar Paul George has said Gordon was “robbed.”
Gary Washburn: Aaron Gordon said he’s still undecided about entering the Slam Dunk Contest. Said he’s focused on improving #Magic.
Oliver Maroney: Phoenix Suns rookie Derrick Jones Jr. will accept an invitation and participate in the Slam Dunk contest, sources tell me.
Chris Haynes: Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum will participate in NBA 3-Point Contest, league sources tell ESPN. Shooting 42 percent from deep.
Jazz wing Joe Ingles did not get an invitation to the 3-point shooting contest despite ranking second in the league in long-range percentage.
Adam Zagoria: Former UNLV guard Derrick Jones of the Suns is leaning toward participating in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, per source. Fun to watch.
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March 26, 2017 | 9:28 pm EDT Update
The team has lost three games in a row, six of their last seven and appeared lifeless, again, Friday in a 115-87 blowout loss to the Orlando Magic. Van Gundy chose not to address his team after. “I mean, his message is to win,” Pistons forward Tobias Harris said. “So, to be honest, if that’s not getting through — that’s an issue. Coach wants to win. We all to want to win. But if that message isn’t getting through, especially with the position we’re at right now and what’s at stake, I mean, it’s disappointing.”
Asked Wednesday after a blowout loss at Chicago, Van Gundy said he was unsure whether players had stopped listening to him. Then Friday, when asked if his players had given up, he replied: “I don’t know, you’d have to ask them.”
“Everybody’s really, really frustrated,” Van Gundy said. “We’re struggling with the mental part of it right now. We’re just trying to free up their minds a little bit, and get them to playing basketball, and enjoy playing basketball again.”
“The energy has been zapped. … The frustration of not playing well – of the ball not going in the basket, of taking some losses and things like that – can get you to lose your energy. Lose your intensity. Lose your fight a little bit, and that’s what we’ve been going through.”