New York Knicks shooting guard James White is averaging less than seven minutes per game this season, but he'll be the focus of the basketball world on Saturday night in Houston.
The 30-year-old Washington, D.C. native is the favorite to win Saturday's Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend 2013, according to the Vegas oddsmakers (via Bovada.lv). But White will have some stiff competition, including past event champions Jeremy Evans and Gerald Green.
Still, it's no surprise the experts have made "Flight White" the favorite. All it takes is a few seconds on YouTube to see that the 6'7" NBA journeyman was built for this competition.
Below we'll showcase some of White's best work above the rim.
Free-Throw Line Jam
Although it's a dunk that's been done time and again, the free-throw line jam is a sure way to earn a perfect 50 if you manage to lift off from the line rather than one step inside of it (which most competitors do).
Clearly, White has no problem taking off from the line. His top-end speed and his explosion combine to make this dunk look easy. If he can pull it off on Saturday night, he'll likely bring the house down in Houston.
What separates White from other competitors on this slam is his ability to power the ball through the rim at the end. While most are content to get the ball over the rim after leaping from such a distance, White understands the importance of a strong finish.
His versatility suits him well on this dunk. He can finish with one hand, two hands or even throw in a windmill for good measure.
What makes James White so fun to watch in competitions like this one is his ability to hang in the air. While some dunkers rely on their height and leaping ability to throw down, White seems to float in the air as if gravity doesn't apply to him.
With the serious amount of hang time he gets, White is able to do a lot of different things—none more impressive than switching hands with the ball (at 0:37 in above video).
Although a windmill is pretty to look at, and going through the legs with the ball shows great coordination and quickness, the act of switching hands can be mind-blowing considering how much longer it seems to take.
If White wants to bring back visions of Michael Jordan in the 1991 NBA Finals, this is the dunk he should look to.
Through the Legs
James White doesn't need Kevin Hart dressed up like a mailman or any other props for that matter. In addition to being able to dunk from the foul line and switch hands in the process, White can put the ball through his legs quickly enough to incorporate it into his free-throw line dunk.
This exhibition of coordination is sure to sit well with the judges.
If White can take off from the foul line, pass the ball through his legs and then throw down a windmill finish, it might qualify as the greatest dunk of all time.
After having witnessed what we have so far, it wouldn't be all that surprising.
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