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Our Definitive Wishlist for the NBA Slam Dunk Competition Team

Jonathan WassermanNBA Lead WriterDecember 15, 2016

Our Definitive Wishlist for the NBA Slam Dunk Competition Team

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    The NBA slam dunk contest is one of the great displays of athleticism entertainment has to offer.

    Imagine you're the commissioner and get to decide who will be dunking in the contest, instead of waiting for the stars to pass and the no-names to apply.

    With a ridiculous pool of talent to choose from, there's no wrong answer. Here's our list, let us know who you'd pick for a field of eight contestants.

Russell Westbrook

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    With room to run, nobody combines a more potent blend of speed, explosiveness and springs. It's a good thing the dunk contest's runway has unlimited room for takeoff.

    Imagine if we allowed Russell Westbrook to fully wind himself up? I'm afraid he'd fly over the backboard and crash-land into the stands.

    Westbrook dunks mean. He dunks like the rim just slept with his girlfriend or gave him a bad-beat at the poker table.

    At full speed, it appears that he's shot out of a cannon. And cannons are good. Cannons are fun.

DeAndre Jordan

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    When DeAndre Jordan dunks, he looks like an overgrown kid throwing down on an eight-foot Fisher-Price hoop. He's the equivalent of a Monstar from "Space Jam."

    We use the term "above the rim" to describe players like Blake Griffin and LeBron James. But at 6'11'', DeAndre Jordan plays above the backboard.

    I think he could top Dwight Howard's "Superman" dunk he pulled off in 2009. He's an incredible physical specimen who proves you don't need to know how to make a jump shot if you can play from 12 feet in the air.

LeBron James

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    Of course you want to see LeBron James in the dunk contest. Of course you do.

    He's the perfect athlete. Remember when he hopped over John Lucas as if he were a puddle of rain or dog poop on the sidewalk?

    LeBron's nickname should be "Effortless," because that's how he makes everything look.

    I want to know exactly what he's capable of doing when it's just him, the ball and a hoop. With James' unprecedented physical tools, he has the potential to be the craziest dunker that ever lived.

James White

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    Some guys come into the league as scorers. Some come in as rebounding specialists, three-point snipers or lockdown defenders. James "Flight" White is a dunker. That's what he does.

    It's probably why he's never had much of a career in the NBA, but it doesn't mean he can't entertain with no defense to stop him.

    White has been known for dunking ever since finishing runner up to David Lee in the McDonald's All-American dunk contest.

    White's specialty is taking off from really far away. He's even gone through the legs from behind the stripe.

    If players were judged on their dunking skills, White would be an NBA starter. He was brought back to the league after years abroad for one reason and one reason only: the 2013 dunk contest.

Derrick Rose

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    Is there anyone better suited for a dunk contest than Derrick Rose?

    He's got the athleticism to pull off anything and the explosiveness to make it look good. Plus he's only 6'3''. The smaller the dunker, the more space and time he has to strike a pose on the way up.

    Obviously with his knee injury, he won't be available. But it doesn't hurt to dream.

Eric Bledsoe

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    When Jamal Crawford nicknames you "Mini-LeBron," and the real LeBron confirms it, you're probably pretty good at something.

    In this case, it's athleticism.

    Bledsoe has joined Lob City, getting down on some of the action that takes place above the cylinder.

    Instead of hearing the rim rattle or the basket shake, when Bledsoe dunks you hear "cha-ching, cha-ching." Social media has made him the worst kept secret around, and it's going to cost the Clippers if they want to sign him long term.

    He's one of the rising studs in the league. A dunk contest appearance would be the perfect introduction.

Jeremy Evans

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    The champ is here.

    Of course Jeremy Evans gets a chance to defend his title after introducing himself, literally, to NBA fans and probably some NBA players during last year's All-Star weekend. 

    Evans has motivation here. It had to have felt good when he hoisted that trophy. For a good 24 hours people were actually speaking his name. Then they stopped. They stopped because real basketball started and Evans found himself back on the wrong side of relevant.

    But it's that time of year again. The time where he's eligible to trend on Twitter.

    Everybody wants to be remembered for something. One dunk contest trophy is something you vaguely recall as a fan. Two trophies you remember.

Blake Griffin

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    Blake Griffin might have already won a dunk contest, but we all know that it wasn't his most impressive work.

    Kendrick Perkins would have made for a better prop than a Kia.

    But Griffin is still the most mesmerizing dunker in our game today, and his jaw-dropping athleticism gives him a free VIP pass into any contest he wants to enter.

    He just needs a better game-plan. I vote bring out Kendrick.

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