We all expected James White or Gerald Green to hoist the trophy at the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, but it was Terrence Ross that took home the honors on Saturday night after a final-round win over Jeremy Evans.
White and Green got the publicity among the East field, but Terrence Ross moved on after an remarkable display in the first round. He put in an impressive behind-the-back, twisting dunk and then managed a 49 to oust his two East counterparts—both of whom failed to complete their dunk in the second round.
The West had a doozy of a first round, as Kenneth Faried and Eric Bledsoe had stinkers in Round 1 before both posting 50s. Evans managed to emerge after a more consistent round than both, and didn't fail to disappoint during his second appearance in the final round in straight seasons.
However, Ross' two dunks (both between the legs) in the final round impressed 58 percent of the fan voters more than Evans' painting-plaster dunk and one-handed toss, and he will be the newest entrant in the 2014 version of the event.
There was some strong reaction to this year's dunk contest—mixed between good and bad. We shouldn't expect anything less with the disconnect between traditional fans of the event from the Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins days and today's new-age dunk fans.
In case you didn't get a chance to see the field, here's the six contestants (prior to the event) lined up in a row (via All-Star 2013's official Twitter account):
After Green's first dunk of the night, White got things going with the full theatrics. Skip Bayless wasn't impressed:
Bill Simmons thought he was robbed (cue "Embrace Debate" for Monday morning):
In case you missed White's first dunk (that got just a 45?!?!) here it is, courtesy of Eye on Basketball:
Bill Oram was worried about Mark Eaton's safety after Evans pulled him out of the crowd for his first dunk:
WWE star Kofi Kingston thought Evans deserved a 50 after his Eaton-centric dunk:
After the first round was over, Joe Goodman had an interesting idea for the remaining format:
Total burnage by Charles Barkley after White was unable to get his second attempt to go down (via Alex Kennedy):
Tommy Beer joined in on the White jokes:
Eric Stangel wasn't impressed at all on Saturday night:
I hope you had the sound turned on during the event, as does Frank Caliendo, who got this jab in on Barkley after a night of speaking his mind (no filter):
Ben Golliver had a true "LOL" moment after Ross made the final round:
Tom Ziller, ladies and gentleman, with a sarcastic endorsement of Evans' first dunk in the final round:
One of the many people to question host Nick Cannon's place at the event was Zach Harper:
Our final two tweets of this reaction piece will be of the two best dunks in the final round. Here's the first from Evans, courtesy of The Score:
The final tweet of the night will come from Bleacher Report's own Twitter account, with Ross' final dunk over a ball boy as he flew through the air:
No matter your feeling on this year's dunk contest in Houston, one thing is for sure—everybody and their momma has an opinion.