“New York, NY – Zach LaVine made a name for himself in a contest that lacked star punch, putting on a spectacular aerial display to take home the dunk competition during All-Star Saturday night.
“It was a rare year when the 3-point competition had as much if not more, intrigue heading into it as the dunk contest because of the notable names who were – and weren’t – participating in each. But LaVine left a lasting impression few will forget.
“The 19-year-old Timberwolves rookie scored a perfect 100 in the opening round. He highlighted his scintillating start with a through-the-legs, one-handed reverse slam. He wore a white No. 23 Jordan jersey for what he dubbed the “Space Jam” dunk.
“For his second dunk of the first round, he tossed the ball up, put it behind his back in the air and threw down a powerful one-handed slam for another 50 from Hall of Fame judges Julius Erving, Walt Frazier, Nate Archibald, Bernard King and Chris Mullin.
“LaVine had a final-round 94 to overtake Orlando’s Victor Oladipo, who struggled to convert his first attempt and finished with a 72 in the championship round. LaVine became the first Timberwolves player to win the dunk contest since Isaiah Rider in 1994. He also became the first player with multiple dunks with perfect scores in the same contest since Dwight Howard in 2009.
“LaVine said: “I’m still on cloud nine. I feel like I’m dreaming. Seeing all the dunk contests and people hoisting the trophy, I just saw myself do it and lived it, so it’s a dream come true. I’m glad my family is here to witness it and go through it.”
“I know everybody loves to joke about how white people can’t jump. I mean, there was even a movie made with the exact same name. But, now that we’re welcoming a new champion, I’d just like to say to all those who agree with the aforementioned phrase – well, maybe white people can’t jump, but Jews can sure dunk,” said Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner. “Jews can and will do a whole lot more for this sport.”