After a couple lackluster Slam Dunk Contests in the middle of the decade, the last few have breathed new life into the competition, showing off some of most gravity-defying slams we've seen in years.
Based on the participants for the 2019 contest, it looks like this one has legitimate potential. Two rookies, Charlotte's Miles Bridges and Oklahoma City's Hamidou Diallo, lead the pack alongside dunk contest veteran Dennis Smith Jr. and high-flying Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins.
The 2019 Slam Dunk participants:— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) February 6, 2019
•Dennis Smith Jr.
The 6-10 Collins has insane athletic ability, but big guys don't typically take home the title, so he looks like the least likely to come out on top. DSJ will likely be the favorite given his past experience in the contest and generally ridiculous above-the-rim ability.
Diallo, a rookie who had a vertical jump measured at 44 inches in college at Kentucky, has some serious potential to reign supreme as well.
Hamidou Diallo will compete in the Slam Dunk Contest during All Star Weekend according to Yahoo Sports. pic.twitter.com/dM0vleTOez— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) February 1, 2019
While Smith and Diallo are finesse guys who rely on graceful, gliding slams as opposed to overwhelming power, Bridges stuffs it with authority. He can awe a crowd with his thunderous jams.
These guys may not all be household names (yet), but each contestant should be backed to put on a show in Charlotte.