Thursday, January 6, 2011
Griffin, Jennings, Ibaka, McGee Slam Dunk duel
NEW YORK – Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings, Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka, Washington's JaVale McGee and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers were named Wednesday as entrants in February's NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
There will be a new champion in the event with four newcomers to the event set to take the stage on February 19 in Los Angeles on the eve of the NBA All-Star Game.
Nate Robinson, formerly of New York and now playing for Boston, won the past two years, a back-to-back feat that only NBA legend Michael Jordan and Jason Richardson had accomplished before.
Ibaka, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is averaging 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds a game for the Thunder in support of NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant.
Griffin, who will have a home-court edge, ranks 15th in the NBA in scoring and first among rookies with 21.7 points a game.
Jennings, a guard, is averaging 17.9 points a game for the Bucks, while McGee, a 7-footer, is averaging 9.2 points and 8.9 rebounds a game for the Wizards.
NBA supporters will have a chance to decide the winner as part of a format adopted in 2008 where the two dunkers to with top scores in round one advancing to the finals, where fan votes from the internet and text messages will determine a champion.