David Thompson, Candace Parker among NBA dunk contest judges
MANILA, Philippines – The 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend is almost here, and one of the most anticipated events is the ATT Slam Dunk contest.
Known for explosive, high-flying action, the slam dunk contest never fails to have NBA fans at the edge of their seats every year.
With the exception of New York's Dennis Smith Jr., who finished in third place last year, all participants of the 2019 ATT Slam Dunk contest are first timers in the competition. OKC's Hamidou Diallo, Atlanta Hawk John Collins and Charlotte Hornet Miles Bridges join Smith Jr. to complete the contestants.
Bridges hopes to notch the win in front of his home crowd in North Carolina, which would mark the first home-court Slam Dunk contest win since Blake Griffin won the title in Los Angeles back in 2011.
But what the contestants may lack in experience, the star-studded panel of judges make up for.
Retired NBA players Alonzo 'Zo' Mourning, David Thompson and Dee Brown join WNBA's Candace Parker and A'ja Wilson in deciding the slam dunk king this coming All-Star weekend in Charlotte.
Thompson was a finalist, along with Julius Erving, in the first ever slam dunk contest in 1976 while Brown won the competition back in 1991 with a creative no-look slam.
Parker, for her part, was the first woman to dunk in an NCAA game and was also first to do it twice in a game. She was also only the second woman to ever dunk in a WNBA game when she threw it down back in June 2008.
The five-time WNBA All-Star also won the McDonald's All-American Game Slam Dunk Contest in 2004, besting the likes of NBA players Josh Smith and J.R. Smith.
With judges that have track records like these, Smith Jr. and the rest will have to do a lot if they want to impress.