PORTLAND, OREGON – JANUARY 24: Obi Toppin #1 of the New York Knicks dunks the ball in the second … [+]
Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks, Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers and Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers will compete in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on March 7 in Atlanta.
League sources confirmed the Simons and Stanley news after it was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, while The Athletic first reported the Toppin news.
The Dunk Contest will be held at halftime of the All-Star Game.
“I would love to be in the dunk contest, but right now we’ve got a couple more games before the All-Star break,” Toppin, a Brooklyn native who was the No. 8 pick in last year’s NBA Draft, told reporters this week.
“So we got to focus on that right now, but I’d definitely love to be in the dunk contest when that time comes.”
The 6-foot-9 Toppin led NCAA Division 1 in dunks during the 2019-20 season at Dayton, and previously won a small Dunk Contest at Ossining (N.Y.) High School.
“It’s been a lot of guys in the dunk contest that I’ve been watching through my life that have really good dunks,” Toppin said. “If the time comes for me to be in it and they say I’m in the dunk contest, I’ll have to do a lot of studying and hopefully come up with something nobody’s seen.”
The 6-3 Simons is averaging 8.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists for the Blazers after coming out of IMG (FL) Academy. He wanted to participate in last year’s Dunk Contest, which was won by Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat.
“I think I’m trying to choose ones I know I can do, like for sure, I’ve done before,” Simons said a year ago. “It’s also bringing a couple different things that make it entertaining… A unique way of doing things.”
The 6-5 Stanley has played a limited role for the Pacers since coming out of Duke, where he was known for some high-flying acrobatics. He registered a 44-inch vertical leap at the NBA Draft Combine in 2020.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball and Tennis insider who contributes to The New York Times, NJ Advance Media and newspapers nationwide.He is the author of two books and an