With two-time defending NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Zach LaVine sitting out this year’s edition, many are wondering who will fill the void in his absence?
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 3, 2017
The field this year does have the Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon — who was the runner up last-year with his amazing dunk over the Magic’s mascot — and the Los Angeles Clippers DeAndre Jordan, who offers the event a little bit of star power that it had been lacking the last few years.
Also in the field are the Indiana Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III, and Derrick Jones Jr., who until TNT announced the field I had no idea was even an NBA player (there’s a Derrick Jones in MLS I’m more familiar with, for the record). He plays for the Phoenix Suns, and apparently I should have been way more aware of his existence because he can do things like this:
If Derrick Jones Jr. joins this year's dunk contest, he's no doubt my favorite to win – he dunks this w/ ease. pic.twitter.com/IGGKhvjg3k
— Suns Nation (@SunsNationNBA) January 25, 2017
Not bad, but not many casual fans know his name. Maybe they will in a few weeks in New Orleans.