Victor Oladipo is set to compete in the 2015 Slam Dunk Contest according to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski.
Victor Oladipo will compete in the 2015 Slam Dunk Contest, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Oladipo and fellow sophomore Giannis Antetokounmpo are reportedly “committed” to competing in the NBA’s showcase event on it Saturday night, to be held at Barclays Center in Brooklyn this year as part of the All-Star festivities.
Oladipo spent at least a part of last season expressing his interest in competing in the dunk contest if the veterans would allow. Instead he was passed over for a dynamic group that included the dunk contest “winner” John Wall, Toronto’s Terrence Ross and Indiana’s Paul George. Hard to argue Oladipo over those more established names.
Oladipo has really come into his own this year as a player after missing the beginning of the season with a facial fracture.
But this is about dunking. And Oladipo has already proven this season and throughout his career he can be quite the athlete.
Oladipo was drafted largely on this athleticism and leaping ability as at Indiana he was known for his ability to get off the floor in a hurry and harass opposing players on defense. Everyone figured the offense would come later.
He has had two incredible dunks already this year. The first being the 360 above and the second being a one-handed jam that was partially blocked by LeBron James and then recovered midair by Oladipo.
It is still unclear at this point what format the Slam Dunk Contest will take. Last year, the NBA experimented with a conference-based competition with two teams of three players from each conference going head to head with a team winner. The East won the competition after sweeping the individual matchups following a free-style round that displayed lots of fun lobs between the players and few breaks. John Wall won the contest, but it was over before it got started as none of the East players dunked against each other in a third round.
Wojnarowski reports that in addition to Oladipo, Antetokounmpo is committed to participating with the Nets’ Mason Plumlee and the Timberwolves’ Zach LaVine tabbed for the contest. That would make one imagine they are dumping last year’s format.
Another part of the All-Star Weekend may undergo a change too. The NBA, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast, is considering bringing in a team of international superstars for an exhibition game against the league’s best rookies and sophomores as a twist to the Rising Stars Challenge. Typically this competition has been a game between players selected from a pool of rookies and sophomores.
UPDATE: The NBA announced the Rising Stars Challenge will pit the best American rookies and sophomores against the best international rookies and sophomores in this year’s game.
Both Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo are expected to compete in this competition no matter what format it uses. And there seems to be a fair chance Oladipo will team up with Michael Carter-Williams for a second go at the Skills Challenge that they narrowly lost last year in a relay.
The Rising Stars Game, in whatever form it takes, will take place Friday, February 13 at Barclays Center. The Dunk Contest would be Valentines’ Day, Saturday, February 14. The All-Star Game concludes the weekend on Sunday, February 15 at Madison Square Garden.
It should be a very busy weekend for Oladipo. We did not even get to mention his potential union responsibilities.