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FutureStarrDid you see Mac McClung Compete in All-Star Dunk Contest?
Mac McClung, the 2021-22 G League Rookie of the Year, will be the first-ever NBA player to participate in this weekend's dunk contest. He'll face off against Portland Trail Blazers Shaedon Sharpe and Houston Rockets KJ Martin for this honor.
Mac McClung made a name for himself in high school with his daring above-the-rim playstyle. His dunks went viral, and his senior year mixtape now boasts 2.9 million YouTube views.
The NBA Dunk Contest is an annual event held during All-Star Weekend that serves to measure a player's athletic ability and popularity with viewers.
Since 1984, it has been an iconic part of All-Star weekend. Through the years, it has produced some memorable moments and inspired legendary players - but also seen its fair share of duds.
This year's dunk contest is set to include several high-flying leapers that promise to get the crowd going. Participants include Kenyon Martin Jr. (Rockets), Mac McClung (Delaware Blue Coats, G League), Trey Murphy III (Pelicans) and Jericho Sims (Knicks).
The dunk is one of basketball's most beloved moves. As it boasts the highest percentage shot and always draws a huge crowd, it's no wonder why it has been showcased in so many dunk contests over time.
In a dunk contest, participants attempt to hit an opponent with their slam dunk. They have only three attempts and must finish within their given time limit; judges score each attempt from 40-50 and use that average score as the basis for determining who will go home victorious.
Before the dunk contest, athletes and judges will practice on a practice court. The format of the competition consists of two rounds with two dunks per player; scores are kept for each round and the top two players advance to the final. In case of a tie, there will be one additional 1-dunk shoot-out to decide who takes home the trophy.
Five judges -- Jamal Crawford, Lisa Leslie, Karl Malone, Harold Miner and Dominique Wilkins -- evaluate each dunk on a scale of 40-50 and assign scores accordingly. The average of all these scores will determine the winner of the dunk contest.
The dunk contest is an integral part of All-Star Weekend, but it has come under heavy criticism in recent years due to its overreliance on gimmicky moves.
Fans of basketball will surely recognize Mac McClung's amazing dunks over the years. Since his days at Gate City High School in Virginia, he's made quite an impression and gained notoriety online.
McClung has long been praised for his dunking skills, but he's also proven to be a capable scorer and leader of his team to victory. This season alone, he's scored more than 50 points in two different games for the Delaware Blue Coats.
This year, he's averaging 19 points, 2.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game in the G League - where he signed with Philadelphia 76ers' affiliate. He currently ranks fifth in points per game for the league and has been an important factor in Delaware's recent winning streak.
He's a major social media influencer, with thousands of fans following his Instagram and YouTube accounts. In total, 22 videos have amassed at least one million views - the second-most popular video having garnered 3.5 million views.
In 2021, he launched his own fitness program that helps athletes improve their explosiveness and vertical leap. Additionally, he's collaborated with luxury jewelry brand Jaxxson and apparel company ReAthlete.
McClung went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft and then played some games for South Bay Lakers and Windy City Bulls of the G League before signing with Philadelphia 76ers. Now on a two-way contract with them, he spends time playing for their affiliate team, the Delaware Blue Coats.
Over the last five days, McClung has amassed enough betting support to move up to +125 odds for winning the dunk contest at DraftKings Sportsbook. That puts him ahead of other participants like Jericho Sims of the New York Knicks, Kenyon Martin Jr. of Houston Rockets and Trey Murphy III of New Orleans Pelicans in terms of odds-on favorites.
McClung's first dunk contest should be an exciting sight to behold. If he can pull off an impressive feat, it could become an instant classic. While McClung may not be the strongest or fastest dunker in the competition, he should still put on a show for those in attendance.
McClung is one of four high flyers competing in this year's dunk contest on All-Star Saturday, the third and final event on the night which also includes the Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest.
In years past, this event stirred conversation and boosted the egos of NBA stars; however, in recent times it has become almost an afterthought. Nowadays, viewers prefer gimmicky dunks over truly impressive ones - a trend which has been further compounded by social media backlash in recent months.
This year's dunk competition features four players: 76ers guard Mac McClung and Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr.; Pelicans guard Trey Murphy III and Knicks center Jericho Sims. Each will attempt to replicate the dunks that propelled Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter into superstardom with their signature moves.
On All-Star Saturday Night at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, McClung will compete in a dunk contest that has become an Internet phenomenon since his days at high school. His impressive dunks have already amassed millions of views on YouTube.
McClung, who is on a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers, is an impressive 6'2" point guard who boasts an impressive portfolio of high-flying dunks. In the G League for Delaware Blue Coats this season he's averaging 17.4 points, 5.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game.
He is the clear favorite in the dunk contest, according to oddsmakers. He is followed by Houston Rockets forward K.J. Martin (+200), New Orleans Pelicans' Trey Murphy III (+250) and former Texas Longhorn Jericho Sims (+1300).
McClung has a winning record in the dunk contest, giving him some momentum going into the event. But he will have to contend with three players who have been dunking in the NBA all season long.
It will be interesting to see how McClung performs in the dunk competition, as he has been the betting favorite at FanDuel since Tuesday. His opening line opened at +400 but has since been bet down as low as -105.
McClung has made an impression this week, offering odds of +100 as a favorite at minus-money. Additionally, he teased two dunks that will likely be talked about for years to come.
Mac McClung may not be the type of player most fans expect to compete in the dunk contest, but his G-League career has earned him enough fame that will allow him to make his first NBA appearance Saturday night. After earning internet fame with viral dunks since high school, McClung has finally secured a two-way contract with Philadelphia 76ers that allows him to capitalize on this moment.
McClung has become a sensation with social media users, garnering 820,000 followers on Instagram and 47,000 on TikTok. He's one of the most eye-catching athletes in the game and will certainly be an attraction when he visits Vivint Arena this Saturday.
On All-Star weekend, the main event is the dunk contest - featuring four players who are not currently part of an NBA team: Kenyon Martin Jr., Trey Murphy III, Jericho Sims and Mac McClung.
Martin, who has been a star in the NBA for years, is considered the favorite to win this year's dunk contest. As his father was an accomplished player himself, Martin has demonstrated his ability to dunk from long distances during games. Additionally, his size and leaping ability make him even more formidable opponents.
Murphy, a sharpshooter for the Pelicans, is another potential contender to win this year's title. His style of dunk differs from other players in the field; it takes longer but is just as effective.
Sims, a former Texas Longhorn, has earned notoriety for his nightly dunks on the court. Although he stands taller than his teammates and has been dunking for some time, this will be his first time competing in a dunk contest.
For this year's dunk contest, judges include Jamal Crawford, Lisa Leslie, Harold Miner and Karl Malone. Each dunk will receive a score from 40-50; these scores will then be averaged together to determine the victor.
At the end of the day, it will come down to who can best impress both judges and spectators. It will be a battle of athleticism and flair that determines who takes home the 2023 dunk contest title.