Among the NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2014 participants for this year's All-Star Saturday Night event will be high-flyers Paul George of the Indiana Pacers and John Wall of the Washington Wizards. They'll reportedly join the 2013 champion, Terrence Ross, as he defends his title against other dunkers during All-Star weekend. One of the competitors could also make history by competing in multiple All-Star events.
The ESPN.com website reported on Feb. 6 that Paul George, John Wall and Damian Lillard (Portland Trailblazers) were confirmed entrants for the contest, expected to be announced on TNT Thursday night. Sources also noted that Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors and Ben McLemore of the Sacramento Kings will be a part of the contest, along with defending champion Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors.
There's rumors going around that Lillard could become the first-ever All-Star player to compete in all five All-Star weekend events. He was recently asked to compete in the 3-point contest, but there's yet to be reports of him accepting the invite. However, he is scheduled to compete in the dunk contest, rookies vs. sophomores game, skills challenge and the All-Star Game itself.
Last year's dunk contest, part of the 2013 All-Star Saturday in in Houston, featured Terrence Ross defeating Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz by text message fan voting. Ross took the contest by a vote of 58% to 42% from the texting. In 2012, Paul George competed, and finished third behind Chase Budinger of the Rockets, and the 2012 champion, Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz. George and Ross are the only two former dunk contest competitors featured in this year's event, with the rest newcomers to the contest.
The 2014 Slam Dunk Contest will be presented by Sprite and takes place on All-Star Saturday night, arriving on Feb. 15 from New Orleans Arena. Of note, Paul George is winning a Sportsnation vote on ESPN's website over "Who will win the NBA Dunk contest?" with 47% of the vote so far, compared to 18% for John Wall and 15% for Terrence Ross.