Dane Moore: Karl-Anthony Towns on 3-pt contest: "I ain’t just showing up to be a smiling face. I’m going to compete. I’m not showing up to Cleveland for anything less. I want to win the All-Star game. I want to win Saturday night. Hell, if I get a chance I’m trying to get that MVP on Sunday"
Cody Taylor: Jalen Green said today he once tried Aaron Gordon's under-the-legs dunk from the Slam Dunk Contest and got it. But, he has never tried it again. #NBAAllStar
Keith Pompey: #Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey will replace injured Kings guard Davion Mitchell in the Clorox Clutch Challenge, a team shooting competition that will take place tomorrow during the Rising Stars event at #NBAAllStar weekend.
Mark Haynes: Juan Toscano-Anderson talked about winning the dunk contest. "I really want to win a championship this year. That's the ultimate goal, but to win a slam dunk contest and add that to my resume of life, and things that I've accomplished. I'll be extremely happy."
Gerald Bourguet: “I don’t have the answers for that.” Cam Johnson knew his name wouldn’t be on the list for the 3-Point Contest before it was announced. He said he obviously wanted to do it, but the more important thing is to continue making those 3s in the games pic.twitter.com/9tXFSXrMnl
Cole Anthony hasn’t forgotten his first dunk. He was in the seventh grade — either 12 or 13 years old — when he threw down a left-handed slam for his first dunk. From there Anthony, who’s known to not lack confidence, proceeded to go for more challenging attempts. “Immediately after that, I was trying to windmill,” he said. “From there, I was just trying to do more and more dunks.”
Anthony will have the opportunity to show off his dunking ambition and creativity in the NBA’s Dunk Contest on Feb. 19 in Cleveland as part of All-Star Weekend. He described the opportunity as “a life-long dream of mine since before I could dunk.” “His creativity, charisma, excitement, passion, joy and love for the game is going to be fantastic,” said coach Jamahl Mosley. “Cole does a wonderful job of being that energy-bringer in so many cases. That’s going to stand out.”
Dane Moore: Chris Finch on Karl-Anthony Towns participating in the 3-point contest: "He's one of the best in the league irrespective of position on the floor. At workouts and in practice, he's easy to rebound for."
Under the new format for the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge, three teams of three players will participate in a four-round competition that tests shooting, passing and dribbling ability. The teams are as follows: • Antetokounmpos: Giannis will team up with his brothers Thanasis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee and Alex Antetokounmpo of the NBA G League’s Raptors 905. • Cavs: Garland will be joined by Cavaliers teammates Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley, a rookie who was selected to play in the Clorox Rising Stars during NBA All-Star 2022. • Rooks: Rising Stars selections Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors, Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons and Josh Giddey of the Oklahoma City Thunder will form a team with three NBA rookies.
Each of the three teams will compete in the first three rounds of the Taco Bell® Skills Challenge. The two teams with the most “Challenge Points” after the first three rounds will advance to the Final Round. Challenge Points are earned by winning each of the first three rounds.
Mark Medina: Giannis Antetokounmpo told me he and his brothers, Thanasis & Alex, "haven't decided yet" on whether they will compete in the Skills Challenge during All-Star weekend. Giannis: "We’ll see how we finish this last stretch. Then I’ll see what my brothers are doing."
Shams Charania: Toronto Raptors All-Star Fred VanVleet has committed to the Three-Point Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Rob Schafer: Ayo didn’t know he’d been drafted by Gary Payton for Rising Stars until @KCJHoop told him postgame. Payton coached Ayo during a Nike event his senior year of HS “We had a great relationship. I picked his brain already. Now that you told me he drafted me, that means a lot.”
Shams Charania: Sources: Three Antetokounmpo brothers – Giannis and Thanasis of the Milwaukee Bucks and Alex of the G League's Raptors 905 – are strongly considering participating together in the Skills Challenge at NBA All-Star. A revamped competition is expected to have teams of three players.
Tom Orsborn: Rising Stars roster does not include Spurs' Devin Vassell: Here's what he said at shootaround about the possibility of getting selected. “I try not to think about it. It’s one of my personal goals, but at the end of the day, I’m just trying to help the team get better."
Jason Quick: Blazers’ guard Anfernee Simons will not defend his Slam Dunk title, telling @The Athletic “I just wanted to focus on the season” while adding that the title was “more of a checklist accomplishment.” Simons is coming off a January when he averaged 23.1 points and 6.7 assists.
Shams Charania: Sources: Houston Rockets rookie Jalen Green will headline the NBA Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Cleveland. Expected participants:
Duane Rankin: "Most definitely." Cam Johnson when asked if he wants to be in 3-point contest on #NBAAllStar weekend. #Suns pic.twitter.com/opHgl1tK55
Shams Charania: Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony is committing to the NBA Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. At 6-foot-3, Anthony has had some explosive dunks and is having a breakout sophomore season (18 PPG, 6 RPG, 6 APG).
Shams Charania: Sources: The NBA has a new format for Rising Stars at All-Star Weekend, featuring four seven-player teams competing in a three-game tournament and each game having final target score. 28 players: 12 rookies, 12 sophomores – and for the first time, four G League Ignite players.
JD Shaw: The NBA has announced a new All-Star Rising Stars format for this year. Details: pic.twitter.com/4KqNXjLZTu
Chris Haynes: Sources: @NBAonTNT report on Trae Young’s intentions to participate in the 3-Point Contest if selected as an All-Star and the Atlanta Hawks’ plan to place a bid to host All-Star Weekend. pic.twitter.com/5RJ1ITFbQe
What goals did you have for yourself this season? Any accolades or participating in the three-point contest? Seth Curry: I don’t have any individual goals for statistics. I want to be efficient and shoot the ball at a high clip. You brought up the three-point contest. I feel like I’ve got to add one of those to the mantel to be a part of the (Curry) family. Hopefully, I can get one of those before my career is over. Steph (Curry) already has two of them. If I get the invite, I’m going to go to as many as possible, so I can add one to the trophy case.
It’s been 10 years since Griffin caught a Baron Davis lob and leaped over the hood of this car in the 2011 dunk contest, but neither the silver Sharpie ink on the horn nor the black ink of Griffin’s signature near the driver’s door has faded. Longa has been driving the car since roughly 2015 and says it’s still in good condition. It has just under 89,000 miles on it and gets about 26 miles per gallon in the city. Longa is sure the value of the car is substantial—a normal 2011 Optima that hasn’t had an NBA player dunk over it could fetch anywhere between $3,000 and $11,000 today. But he is content with never finding out what his is worth. “It’s kind of my dream car,” Longa said. “I’m crazy, I’m still in love with the car.”
Primeaux ultimately paid $35,220 (well above market value) for the car, which was promptly delivered to his dealership. There, he immediately began not just displaying it, but also marketing his business around it. Primeaux made posters and advertisements featuring the car and the dunk. He allowed people to come to the dealership just to see the vehicle and even created giveaways around the car and the legend of the dunk. Everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of the Optima, and the business, he says, more than benefited from it. “This is no BS, I would say it was invaluable,” Primeaux said. “I couldn’t measure it, but I got [the $35,220] 10 times from it.”
Ian Begley: Immanuel Quickley, in part, on not making Rising Stars game: "Yeah I definitely feel like I could have been selected. But it's not ever a reason to (stop) working hard or continue to come with energy every day & be positive for your teammates...Just use it as a motivating factor"
@Spursin9: 6-man Dunk Contest of players in their prime, who would you pick to be in that contest? Blake Griffin: Vince Carter, Michael Jordan, Aaron Gordon, Zach LaVine, Dominique Wilkins, Nate Robinson
Lillard said he told him the windmill dunk felt like a backup-type dunk. “I told him, ‘If you do the kiss dunk — I’ve never seen nobody do that,'” Lillard said. The finishing touches on the kiss dunk were also offered by Lillard. When Simons landed, he blew a kiss up toward the rim. “I have to take credit for that,” Lillard said. “That was my idea to blow a kiss at the rim so people know that’s what he was doing.”
“T-Mac was my hero growing up,” Simons said. “He was the first person I saw, and I fell in love with the game. He and LeBron (James) were the first jerseys I ever had. He was just a big impact on my life, especially him being from Florida as well.” Simons, who is shy by nature, said he still hasn’t met his idol. “I had a chance to meet him a couple times when I was younger, but I was too scared to meet him,” Simons said. “So hopefully one day I get to meet him.”
Scott Agness: Cassius Stanley: “Pretty much everyone around me thought I got a 50. Even someone who I looked up to, Zach LaVine, came out and was like ‘You got a 44 on that?’ "I get to be on the list of people who might’ve gotten robbed for a 50, so that’s a cool thing I guess."
On Sunday, Stephen Curry won the NBA All-Star 3-point contest for the second time, joining Larry Bird, Craig Hodges, Mark Price, Jeff Hornacek, Peja Stojakovic and Jason Kapono as multiple-time winners. Curry scored 28 points in the final round to edge Utah’s Mike Conley, who registered 27 points.
Curry started slow in the final round, missing four of his five shots on the first rack of basketballs from the corner. He started to heat up on his second rack, making four of five and then finished by making nine of his final 11 shots at Atlanta's State Farm Arena. He needed to make his final shot to win, and he swished it.
Marc J. Spears: Pacers All-Star Domantas Sabonis won the #NBAAllStar Skills Challenge.
Though he has more 50-point, perfect score dunks (eight) than any player in NBA history – more than Michael Jordan, more than Zach LaVine – Gordon stands alone as the league's best dunker without a crown. “Growing up as a little kid, that’s something I dreamed of – winning the NBA dunk contest trophy,” Gordon says in the opening to the documentary short "Mr. 50" that follows him through the 2020 event during All-Star Weekend in Chicago.
Gordon could be bitter about the results. “I don’t harbor any bad or negative feelings,” he said. He remains a fan of the event and is worried his experience – perfect scores, no trophy – may prevent others from participating. “I have some fears that I ruined the dunk contest, that people aren’t going to want to do it anymore,” Gordon said. “I hope that people see ‘Mr. 50’ and are inspired and continue to elevate that dunk contest because there are still dunks that haven’t been done. I’m not going to do them, but I hope somebody comes in and does them. It’s a great event. It’s beautiful for the game.”
The genesis of the documentary began with the idea to give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his weekend. “But it turned into something more,” Gordon said. “My friend and filmmaker Aaron Chapman chopped it up in a way that I had never seen before. It was much more artistic, much more poetic and raw. “The message I wanted to get across is to conquer your fears and be satisfied in your actions more than the outcome.”
Scott Agness: Pacers rookie Cassius Stanley, who will be competing in the @NBAAllStar slam dunk contest, has signed with @PUMAHoops and will wear PUMA shoes in the competition.
Mark Medina: NBA announced that Utah's Mike Conley is an All-Star injury replacement for Phoenix's Devin Booker (sprained left knee). Conley will also participate in the 3-point contest.
Tom Orsborn: Pop on Keldon Johnson's selection to Rising Stars roster: "It means a lot to Keldon. I’m happy as hell for him. He deserves it. It really makes him feel good that his efforts have been applauded and rewarded and noticed, so that’s great."
For the first time during his third NBA season, Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons is going to be participating in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. And needless to say, he's looking forward to it. "Super excited. I can't wait man," Simons said of the dunk contest on NBC Sports Northwest's Trail Blazers Courtside.
Derrick Jones Jr. also offered him a key piece of advice when choosing to go with a dunk: Make sure you make it on the first try. And just how many dunks will Simons have in his bag of tricks? He's working on four. And if the contest goes into a dunk-off as it did last year between Aaron Gordon and Jones Jr. did, Simons has a bold plan for how to compete. "Anything extra, and I'm just gonna wing it."
Covington, 30, is the only active player in the league who attended an H.B.C.U. — a distinction that he said was not lost on him. “Of course, I would love to have a break just to get away and reset,” he said, “but I feel like it’s a life-changing experience, and it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.”
Mike Vorkunov: Obi Toppin's dunk contest strategy after watching old contests: out with the new, in with the old "I was going to try to do stuff that hasn't been done yet in the dunk contest but I've seen a lot of great dunks so I might have to bring out one of the old dunks that someone did."
Marc Stein: U.S. Rising Stars roster as the NBA announced via @nba_topshot: LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Tyler Herro, De'Andre Hunter, Keldon Johnson, Ja Morant, Michael Porter Jr., Zion Williamson, James Wiseman.
Stefan Bondy: NBA announces that Julius Randle is in the Skills Competition. He’s facing Luka Doncic, Nikola Vucevic, Domantas Sabonis, Robert Covington and Chris Paul.
Bill Oram: Lakers guard Alex Caruso was among the players who declined a spot in the slam dunk contest, sources tell @TheAthletic.
Chris Haynes: Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard tells @YahooSports he has withdrawn from participating in the 3-Point Contest in Atlanta on Sunday for rest purposes.
Marc Stein: The Knicks' Julius Randle has been selected to participate in the Skills Challenge on Sunday in Atlanta before making his All-Star debut, @NYTSports has learned.
Chris Haynes: New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson will not participate in the Slam Dunk Contest in Atlanta this Sunday, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
The league tried to add high-profile names. Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Anthony Edwards — who recently had one of the most jaw-dropping dunks you’ll ever witness — turned down the league’s request to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, league sources told Yahoo Sports. A field with Williamson and Edwards would have certainly made for must-see TV. Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown and Charlotte Hornets high-flyer Miles Bridges declined as well, sources said.
But there’s one player who can provide the necessary jolt leading up to Sunday: New Orleans Pelicans young star Zion Williamson. If Williamson accepts the league’s invitation to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest, that event might be the highlight of the night. The second-year forward has yet to announce his decision.
Charlotte Hornets rookie sensation LaMelo Ball turned down an invitation to participate in the Skills Challenge, sources said. With no Rising Stars Game this year, Ball’s presence was a long shot.
That even goes for Buddy Hield, who has an NBA 3-point shootout title to defend, although he was non-committal about the even. "Do you think I should go defend it?" Hield asked reporters when talking about the event. "I don't know yet, to be honest, I've been having mixed emotions, you know, cover rules and especially I don't have no time with my family. Just trying to see how the COVID rules and the boundaries are set up. No clear cut yes yet, I'll just see in the next couple of days." According to Hield, he received an invitation from the league to join the festivities, but he is still mulling it over.
Steve Popper: Obi Toppin wouldn't confirm that he's in the slam dunk competition - it's not NBA official yet - but he said he's got some ideas, including maybe incorporating some of his dad's dunks, even though he said he's got better stuff than his father, Obadiah - "Dunkers Delight"
Mike Vorkunov: Obi Toppin says he's the best dunker in the family. But he adds: "My dad still got some." Obi Toppin might steal some tricks from his dad, though. "Maybe I'll pull out one of his dunks. We'll have to see but he definitely has some tricks back then. I think I have better ones."
Shams Charania: New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin is expected to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk contest on All-Star Sunday night in Atlanta, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Cody Taylor: NBA Rising Stars, the annual showcase of premier young talent during NBA All-Star, will not be played this year due to the limitation of having All-Star events all on one night. The NBA will still recognize deserving players by announcing Rising Stars rosters on March 3.
Ben Anderson: Donovan Mitchell said he will be in the three-point shooting contest
July 3, 2022 | 9:44 pm EDT Update
For the Nets, trading Kevin Durant correctly is a lot more important than doing it quickly. League personnel who spoke to The Post said Nets general manager Sean Marks — and by default team owner Joe Tsai as well — are adamant about getting back All-Star caliber talent in return for Durant. And with their disgruntled star having four years left on his contract, the Nets are in no rush to deal.
League executives who spoke with The Post said Toronto was not only well-positioned, but confident of being able to put together the best package. The Raptors have balked at the notion of putting Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes in any deal, although those same executives opined that could be a negotiating ploy by savvy Masai Ujiri, who has a history of pulling off huge trades.
Seemingly every contender has touched base on Durant, with some even showing tepid interest in Kyrie Irving. Philadelphia spoke with the Nets, although a source told The Post “nothing happened there.”
The 76ers — who are currently negotiating with James Harden — are keeping an eye on Irving, a source told The Post. And with former Nets point guard Goran Dragic spurning Dallas to ink a one-year deal with Chicago — according to Boardroom, which is owned by Durant — The Athletic reported that the Mavericks are also showing interest in Irving.
Kellan Olson: Suns have announced their Summer League roster. Ish Wainright is on the squad. Former Colorado guard McKinley Wright IV also in there. Same case as last year with a handful of guys from overseas.
Anthony Slater: James Wiseman played 5-on-5 full contact today for the first time in this reintegration. He remains on track for a likely summer league appearance in Las Vegas at some point. Jonathan Kuminga will meet team in Vegas, could get some action.
July 3, 2022 | 7:04 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Frank Ntilikina’s $2 million contract for next season becomes guaranteed tomorrow and the Mavericks’ intention, league sources say, is indeed to retain the former Knicks lottery pick. More NBA from me: marcstein.Substack.com