NBA

Anfernee Simons and Cassius Stanley Joining Obi Toppin at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Feb 12, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) warms up before the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Dunk Contest is finally taking shape. Scheduled for March 7th during the All-Star Game’s halftime, the contest added two additional players to the fray.

First reported by NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Stanley and Simons join as the second and third players choosing to participate. Simons is in his second year as a pro on the Blazers while Stanley is still a rookie with Indiana.

Questions arose from fans questioning the choice to have Simons and Stanley as the newest round of dunkers. Fans criticized Simons’s lack of actual in-game dunks. They similarly critiqued Stanley, even wondering who he was.

Although harsh, the criticism comes with a grain of truth behind it. Simons is a solid guard averaging 8.5 ppg on 39% shooting and known mostly for perimeter shooting. However, he isn’t known even amongst Blazers fans as a high flyer by any means. Even on Twitter, the most the Blazers showed was this impressive warm-up dunk.

On the other hand, Stanley barely features for the Pacers. He averages just 3 minutes over just 8 games played so far.

This choice largely depended on players’ willingness, with more established players likely opting out, as seen in years past.

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