Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
Victor Oladipo will compete in this year’s dunk contest. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports – who else? – first reported on January 21 that Oladipo committed to participate in the contest alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Zach LaVine (Timberwolves), and Mason Plumlee (Nets). The contest will be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The NBA officially announced the news yesterday.
LaVine is widely regarded as the prohibitive favorite to win the contest. He generated a lot of buzz in the offseason with his 46-inch vertical (which set a Lakers pre-draft workout record), and his dunks at the Seattle Pro-Am and rookie photo shoot went viral. “Jumping out of the gym” can be an overused basketball term, but it’s an apt description for Lavine.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Oladipo, who is a darkhorse candidate. His signature dunk is the 360 (which he has executed against the Nets last season and against the Rockets this season), but that’s all he’s known for. He isn’t regarded as a creative dunker like LaVine.
But you better believe that Oladipo is ready to show everyone what he can do. He wanted to participate in the dunk contest in his rookie year, but didn’t get invited — though he did compete in the Rising Stars Challenge and Skills Challenge at All-Star weekend in New Orleans.
Now that he’s gotten a dunk contest invite, it’ll be interesting to see if Oladipo has any tricks in his bag and can beat not only LaVine, but Antetokounmpo, and Plumlee as well.