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Knicks’ Jacob Toppin snubbed in bid to win Slam Dunk contest

A somewhat controversial and almost underwhelming slam dunk contest ended with Jacob Toppin watching from the outside.

The Knicks rookie threw down two beautiful dunks, the second of which was a 360-degree work of art from between his legs. But the judges were more impressed with Jaylen Brown’s slam at Saturday’s event in Indianapolis.

Neither won — essentially ringer Mac McClung defeated a standing Shaquille O’Neal to take home the trophy for the second year in a row — but Brown won his brother the 2022 champion. He advanced to the finals by defeating Toppin, who was trying to surpass Obi.


Jacob Toppin makes an impressive slam in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. AP

Jacob, an undrafted forward who has appeared in five games for the Knicks this season, pulled the first dunk from Obi, clearing the 6-foot-9 Pacer for a 47.8 score.

His next dunk was even more impressive. He dribbled in from the 3-point arc, jumped with his back to the hoop and started passing the ball through his legs. He completed transfers, completed spins, and made two-handed dunks.

But the judges may have penalized Toppin, who needed two attempts to complete the dunk. After seeing the total score of 47.2, Toppin looked away in obvious disbelief.

“Jacob probably had to jump the shot clock to get over 46 points,” Jalen Brunson, who participated in the 3-point contest, tweeted on X (formerly Twitter).

Brown, on the other hand, was a rare breed, an established star willing to step onto the contest stage. On his second dunk, the Celtics All-Star pulled his arm over his face and threw in a brutal dunk with his eyes closed, trying to pay homage to Dee Brown, who made the 1991 contest a success. .


Jacob Toppin (right) high-fives his brother Obi during the slam dunk contest.
Jacob Toppin (right) high-fives his brother Obi during the slam dunk contest. Kyle Terrada

Thirty-three years later, Jaylin Brown brought out Jayson Tatum and the All-Star threw an alley-oop over chaired Twitch star Kai Senato. Brown also extended his arm over his eyes, but that was until he had already dunked.

Brown was booed by the crowd, but he scored 47.6 points and helped advance.

It’s worth noting that in the finals, Brown leapt over Donovan Mitchell for a left-handed windmill dunk. The 6-foot-2 McClung nearly brushed his head against the rim against the 7-foot-1 Shaq, but he hurdled and threw down a reverse dunk to earn a perfect score.

Joel Embiid tweeted: “As much as I hate being a pro, I don’t hate saying that you could win the dunk contest with this score but you don’t know if you’ll win because of your knee, lol.”

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