Mac McClung Feb 18, 2023; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Mac McClung (9) reacts in the Dunk Contest during the 2023 All Star Saturday Night at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Having played in only two NBA games in his career, Mac McClung was not a household name before Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Contest. Things are different now.

McClung had been playing with the Delaware Blue Coats, the G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers. On Tuesday, he signed a two-way deal with the 76ers. Less than a week later, he made a big impression on one of the NBA’s biggest stages.

McClung’s dunking prowess has been known in the basketball world for a while, thanks to what he did in high school. On Saturday, he did the same thing in the pros, winning the Slam Dunk Competition, last defeating Trey Murphy III in the final round.

McClung’s performance was so impressive that TNT’s Reggie Miller proclaimed he “saved the dunk contest.”

That sentiment was shared by fellow Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players ever, Magic Johnson.

Miller and Magic weren’t the only ones heaping praise upon the 6-foot-2 McClung. Several NBA stars did the same thing in the aftermath of McClung’s dunk contest victory.

The dunk contest was much maligned when the contestants were announced. Even during the broadcast, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green asked for some of the NBA’s best players to participate in future events — specifically calling out both Ja Morant and Zion Williamson.

But McClung’s performance won him the admiration of players and fans alike.

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