The highlight to Saturday’s (February 16) All-Star Weekend events of the day was the dunk contest — and the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard stole the show.
Beating out reigning champ Gerald Green, Howard churned out a series of dunks using props and even his Magic teammate Jameer Nelson — the first two of which scored perfect scores of 50s before the contest was turned over to fan voting for the first time in the final round.
His best dunk of the night came after he pulled off his jersey, revealing a Superman t-shirt and then tied a red cap around his shoulders, before performing a high flying lob dunk from right inside the free throw line, which sent the building’s noise level to ear-popping highs.
Other dunk highlights included the Green’s birthday cake dunk in which he blew out a the candle on a cupcake placed right above the rim before throwing it down, and two between the legs dunks; while Howard bounced the ball off the floor, tapped it left-handed off the backboard and dunked with his right hand.
But despite the acrobatics by Green, he was unable to outdo Howard who took home the trophy, receiving 78 percent of the fans’ vote.
“It’s really for the big men,” Howard told the Associated Press. “Everybody always says, big men can’t jump and big men don’t look good dunking. I just tried to add a little bit of my personality. With me being so tall, I knew it was going to be tough. I tried to play to the crowd and have fun.”
In the 3-point shootout, the Toronto Raptors’ Jason Kapono defended his crown, beating out the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Daniel Gibson and Rip Hamilton. In doing so, he tied a 22-year-old record with a final round of 25 points, set in 1986 by three-time winner Craig Hodges.
In the Skills Challenge, Utah’s Deron Williams won easily and also set a new time record. Williams ran through the obstacles and completed it in 25.5 seconds, beating out New Orleans’ point guard Chris Paul.
In the night’s first event, San Antonio’s Becky Hammon, David Robinson and Tim Duncan won the Shooting Stars competition, which featured three-person teams consisting of an NBA player, a WNBA player and a former NBA great from the same city. Contestants had to make six shots with the final one a heave from mid-court.