FS: What do you remember most about that night? Wilkins…

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.”

More on All-Star Contests

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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.

http://twitter.com/anthonyVslater/status/827411703511998464
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
Michael Scotto: Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine won't compete in the 2017 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, sources told Basketball Insiders.
Chris Haynes: Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon will compete in 2017 NBA Slam Dunk Contest in New Orleans, league sources tell ESPN. Runner-up last year.
High-flying Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., the son of the league's first dunk champion, will not be competing at the dunk contest during the Feb. 17-19 NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, according to a league source. Nance Jr., who has been vocal about his excitement to participate, received an invite earlier this season, the source said, but Nance's plans were interrupted by a bone bruise in his left knee, which sidelined him for 16 games in December and January.
Nance, whose father, Larry Sr., won the inaugural slam dunk contest in 1984, has been itching to make an appearance. However, he is expected to play Sunday for the first time since since Dec. 20 after missing 16 games with a bone bruise in his left knee. Last season, he missed 10 games in January and February with a sore right knee. “The timing of it is obviously not ideal,” Nance said. “The same thing kind of happened last year, I don’t even know if I have that much time to prepare, I don’t even know if the other guys have accepted. But I’m kind of sitting, waiting on it, but I think this year might be out of the cards.”
Scott Souza: #Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown said still hasn't made decision on Slam Dunk contest. Said yesterday probably would need to this weekend.
Before practice Friday morning, Jaylen Brown said he plans to make up his mind sometime this weekend. Believe it or not, he's actually concerned about the impact the dunk contest would have on his body. "I'm not really worried about anybody (else who might be in the contest) or anything," Brown said. "I think I have a lot to offer. It's just with your rookie year, your body and everything, it's just a lot. It may seem foolish, all those dunks and stuff, they look cool, but it takes a toll on your body for sure. And I want to put myself in the best position to help this team. The dunk contest -- it may or may not take from it, but I don't think it's good or bad. It's just something you've got to decide about."
Brown does plan to play in the Rising Stars Challenge if invited. "I'll go to that," he said. "I think that's the first day (of All-Star weekend). I'll probably be in the gym over the break too, just trying to get prepared. I'm sure a lot of people take time off, which is good. I may take a day or two off, but I'll want to get on the court and work on some stuff too."
Jabari Young: Meanwhile, source tells me #NBA plans to invite Jonathon Simmons to participate in the Slam Dunk contest #Spurs. Simmons would be a great power dunker in the Dunk contest.. would be a solid invite #NBA #Spurs pic.twitter.com/4QjkKDEbwA
So how many Rockets will participate in All Star Weekend? "Two for sure," James Harden said. Harden named himself and Eric Gordon who should play in the All Star game in New Orleans next month. He also named Montrezl Harrell and Sam Dekker for the Rookie/Sophomore game, Pat Beverley in Skills Competition and Ryan Anderson and Gordon in the three-point contest.
After the two highest-flying Celtics chatted about the dunk contest Wednesday, Isaiah Thomas got "kind of excited," according to Brown, and tweeted that he wants to see Brown in the event. "I don't know, man," Brown said Thursday before a shootaround in Cleveland. "I haven't really thought about it. He's putting a little bit pressure on me, Isaiah. I don't know, man."
"Gerald, he said he's got some ideas for me," Brown said. "So we've got some time. We'll think about it, I guess. I've been in some but this is the NBA dunk contest. It's different. I've got some stuff but I've got to figure it out," Brown added. "It's all about preparation. If I put the game plan together I probably could do it, but at this point I don't know yet."
Storyline: All-Star Contests
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