Jazz Rookie Mitchel wins NBA Dunk Contest

Jazz Rookie Mitchel wins NBA Dunk Contest

LOS ANGELES – On a night where tributes to past dunkers stole the show, Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell took home the win in the NBA dunk contest after paying homage to former dunk contest winners Darrell Griffith (AKA Dr. Dunkenstien) and Vince Carter Saturday night at Staples Center.

Mitchell put up a combined 98 points in the first round matchup against Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo to grab the easy win and followed it up with another 98 point performance to defeat Cleveland Cavalier center Larry Nance Jr. in the finals.

The night was also highlighted by two 50 point scores from Nance Jr. and Dallas Mavericks guard Dennis Smith Jr.

Nance’s came in the final round when he threw the ball off the backboard, caught it mid-air and threw it off the backboard again before eventually throwing down a two-handed slam.

Smith’s was also exciting in the first round when he between the legs and dunked with his left hand while traveling away from the basket to earn the 50.

For his first dunk, Mitchell brought out a second backboard set up to the right of the original goal. He threw the ball off the first backboard and finished with a windmill dunk to earn a score of 48.

He followed it up by bringing his own daughter, Kevin Hart and Hart’s son onto the court, jumping over all three of them and throwing down a monster one-handed slam while wearing short-shorts and a retro Griffith Jazz jersey to earn his first 50 of the contest.

In the finals, Mitchell began by throwing the ball off the side of the backboard and catching it behind his body before slamming it down to grab his second straight 50 point score.

For his final dunk of the night, Mitchell changed jerseys once again, this time donning a Toronto Raptors Vince Carter jersey to honor Carter’s win in the 2000 dunk contest. Much like Carter did in 2000, Mitchell threw the ball off the backboard and did a 360 spin before dunking while going away from the basket. Mitchell also imitated Carter’s signature “it’s over” statement following the dunk. The dunk earned him a 48 from the judges and the 2018 Dunk Contest championship.

Written by: Doug Waters

adam wagner

February 20th, 2018

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