SportsToppin Wins Lacklustre NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2022

Toppin Wins Lacklustre NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2022

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February 20, (THEWILL) – Obi Toppin is the new Slam Dunk champion after taking full advantage of a second shot at the title when all three of his slam dunk contest opponents failed to finish their routines.

Toppin, the New York Knicks’ second-year forward, won convincingly after finishing second last year in Atlanta in one of the most lacklustre, anticlimactic, and gaffe-filled bouts in NBA history.

Feb 19, 2022; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin (1) dunks during the Slam Dunk Contest during the 2022 NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Rocket Mortgage Field House. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 23-year old put up a solid event of unspectacular effort in the last round, defeating Golden state Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson 92-69.


Toppin, who is one of the season’s most prolific dunkers, sealed the victory by throwing an alley-oop to himself off the backboard to set up a clean windmill. He then tapped the ball off the backcourt before quickly redirecting it into the hoop for his final slam.

Those dunks, combined with a slick behind-the-back finish while hurdling over a human prop in the first round, propelled him to victory.

Toscano-Anderson, a long shot in the field, advanced to the finals by defeating Houston Rockets player Jalen Green and Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony, but he rapidly ran out of gas. His final round dunks were both duds: an apparent failed attempt to imitate Vince Carter’s elbow dunk and a three-attempt between-the-legs attempt from the baseline.

Meanwhile, Green and Anthony, who thought beyond the box but could not finish on time, also could not be saved by their eclectic props and costumes.

Green, the number two selection in the 2021 draught and the event’s main attraction, began his night by missing a sequence of dunks and never recovered. His attempt to gain attention by wearing a gold necklace and playing his own highlights on his phone was swiftly forgotten.

Anthony tried to energise the crowd with references to his New York background, donning Timberland boots and his father, Greg’s, old Knicks jersey for his first dunk, but his plan was derailed by a string of misses.

By the end of the night, most of the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse crowd had lost interest, and Toppin’s victory drew only a few applauses.

It did not dampen Toppin’s excitement, though, and he expressed that much in his post-contest remarks.

“There’s been a lot of legends to win the dunk contest,” said Toppin, who attended college at Dayton, a three-hour drive from Cleveland. “For my name to be part of that is something special, and I don’t take that for granted.…It means a lot to do it in Ohio. This is like my second home.”

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