NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2013: Eric Bledsoe Set for Nate Robinson-Esque Performance

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent IFebruary 10, 2013

Jan 17, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe (12) against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. The Clippers defeated the Timberwolves 90-77. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It's always fun to see a little guy participate in the Slam Dunk Contest, and 6'1" Eric Bledsoe is no exception. A dynamic third-year point guard out of the University of Kentucky, who now plays for the Los Angeles Clippers, Bledsoe's performance at All-Star Weekend is sure to bring back memories of three-time winner and current Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson.

Then a member of the New York Knicks, Robinson slammed and powered his way to victory in 2006, 2009 and 2010. In 2009, the 5'9" guard managed to defeat 6'11" Dwight Howard with his famous "Krypto-Nate" dunk.

This season, Bledsoe is in a position to equal Robinson's performance, if not top it. He is an excellent athlete and for anyone who thinks he is incapable of turning heads in the Slam Dunk Contest, allow me to share some fun anecdotes about Bledsoe.

He may be on the small side, at least by NBA standards, but Bledsoe has already shown a great prowess for making leaps and bounds against larger opponents. When his Clippers faced the Miami Heat on Nov. 14, he made headlines when he blocked a dunk attempt by future Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade.

Bledsoe has also done some excellent work above the rim. Despite his small stature, he dunks with the ferocity of someone much bigger. Then again, he DOES play for Lob City.

The facts are simple. With his overall athleticism and experience playing in a system defined by how many dunks it features, Bledsoe has the rim vision and drive to put up a jaw-dropping performance at this year's Slam Dunk Contest, a la Nate Robinson.

The fans love him, his teammates love him, and so do rival GMs. If you think about it, his performance at All-Star Weekend could be an audition of sorts for the future of his career.

The former Wildcat can play, and his being in the Slam Dunk Contest will show that what we have seen from him thus far is just the tip of the iceberg.