Things didn’t go too well for Victor Oladipo in the Slam Dunk Contest, with him being eliminated in the first round.
Oladipo’s first dunk featured a 180 reverse where he didn’t look at the rim as he dunked it. Unfortunately, Oladipo missed all three attempts, leaving him at a disadvantage heading into the second dunk. The TNT crew was impressed with the degree of difficulty that went into the dunk, but the lack of execution kept him at just 31 points.
For his second dunk, Oladipo pulled out the props by putting on Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther mask. He again missed his first attempt, a tomahawk into a windmill, but did make the second dunk.
The TNT crew admired the difficulty in obscuring Oladipo’s vision, but would have preferred his first attempt (in which he never looked at the rim) to feature the mask. Oladipo received a 40 for the dunk, which set him up for a swift elimination as the rest of the field received high 40’s on their attempts.
The contest itself featured some nice dunks, but was so heavily steeped in homage to past dunk contests with Larry Nance Jr. taking on Larry Nance Sr.’s cradle dunk and Donovan Mitchell winning the contest on the familiar Vince Carter slam that it took away from some of the more recent ideas and concepts that have made some prior contests more interesting.
Oladipo didn’t defend the Dunk Contest crown for the Indiana Pacers, but he’ll have another opportunity to make amends in tomorrow night’s All-Star Game. Oladipo will be coming off the bench for Team LeBron in the new All-Star format.