With “Black Panther” dominating theaters, you had to assume someone would try to somehow incorporate the movie into NBA All-Star Weekend.
Pacers star Victor Oladipo got there first, participating in Saturday night’s Verizon Slam Dunk championship while wearing a Black Panther mask. Better yet, he got the mask from Chadwick Boseman, the actual Black Panther himself who was sitting courtside at Staples Center.
After a quick Wakanda handshake, Oladipo headed toward the basket.
No, it wasn’t the best dunk. It was some sort of weird tomahawk/windmill thing that likely caused Dominique Wilkins (who picked Oladipo to win the dunk contest!) to shake his head.
But he was wearing a mask. Anyone who ever dressed up as Batman for Halloween and tried to collect candy knows how hard that can be, let alone performing in a dunk contest as half the world watches.
Still, the judges didn’t agree, awarding him a 40 (out of 50).
One social media user agreed, issuing this comic-centered burn:
Love Victor Oladipo bring out the Black Panther mask, shame the dunk was more Batman vs Superman level though. pic.twitter.com/TQSzHmHsHk
— Japari Parker aka Minoru-kun aka Rin and You besto (@Minoru79) February 18, 2018
Another, though, appreciated what Oladipo was trying to do.
— AMB (@LouieBaby_23) February 18, 2018
The stunt was the highlight of an otherwise poor dunk contest for Oladipo. Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell ended up the winner, defeating Larry Nance Jr. in the finals.
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• LeBron to Fox News: ‘Thank you, whatever her name is’