Third-year Houston Rockets forward KJ Martin is participating in the NBA’s 2023 dunk contest at All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, but second-year guard Jalen Green has declined. Sunday’s news was first reported by Shams Charania and Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
Martin, a high-flying forward drafted in the 2020 second round by the Rockets, was clearly disappointed after not being invited by the league to join the 2022 dunk contest. A year later, the 22-year-old finally gets his wish granted with an opportunity on the big stage.
Green didn’t win the 2022 contest, and in subsequent comments, he vowed to return in 2023 and perhaps avenge his loss. However, his thinking seems to have changed over the past 11 months.
Green, Martin, and the rest of the 2022-23 Rockets return to the court Sunday night versus Minnesota. Both players are likely to be asked about their decisions by local media members at Toyota Center.
Martin, the son of former NBA All-Star Kenyon Martin, is averaging 10.4 points (55.0% FG) and 4.8 rebounds in 24.0 minutes per game this season. Green is averaging 21.6 points (40.9% FG, 32.5% on 3-pointers), 4.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in 34.4 minutes.