He didn’t exactly have a ton of competition, but it was Hamidou Diallo who shined the brightest during the 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday.
The Oklahoma City Thunder guard won the event with a litany of guest stars beside him, with Russell Westbrook, Migos’ Quavo and Shaquille O’Neal all making appearances.
Hamidou Diallo’s big night at the Slam Dunk Contest
The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the dunk featuring Shaq, in which Diallo jumped over the seven-footer and landed an incredible elbow dunk.
Diallo’s three other dunks were solid enough, starting with a left-handed windmill alley-oop from teammate Russell Westbrook.
After his finals opponent, New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr., faltered in his first dunk attempt, the Thunder rookie put the competition away with a dunk that brought his eyes clean over the rim, which is something you can do when you have the second-best vertical in the history of the NBA combine.
Finally, there was Diallo’s safe but still fun attempt in which he took the ball from Quavo then jumped over the rapper and slammed it home.
The best of the rest
So Diallo was quite good. The rest of his competitors … not so much. Facing Diallo in the finals was Smith Jr., whose night will mostly be remembered for a) his pretty great dunk over J. Cole and b) just how many tries he needed to land that dunk and his others.
The hometown hero, Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, posted a 50 in the first round, but he couldn’t make up for his other ambitious dunk in which he ran out of attempts. And then, there was Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins. Oh, do we need to talk about Collins.
Collins’ first dunk, a reverse slam in which he was touching the other side of the backboard, was decent even if it required a replay to really understand why it was impressive. For his second dunk, Collins called in a group of what appeared to be Tuskegee Airmen … and a replica Wright brothers plane. Cute, as long you land the dunk with nothing going wrong.
Collins landed the dunk, but he also accidentally kicked the plane. That did not win him many points.
All in all, a pretty lackluster Slam Dunk Contest between the many tries some players needed and the sheer farce of some other attempts. But at least we had Diallo’s Shaq dunk, which is all we need to remember from this event.
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