The 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest finally has some star-power.
NBA Dunk Contest field: Paul George John Wall Damian Lillard Terrence Ross Harrison Barnes Ben McLemore (via @ESPNSteinLine & media reports)— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 6, 2014
At age 23, George is enjoying the best season of his brief career as he has led his Pacers to a 38-10 record through just over one-half of the season. He is averaging 22.7 points and better than six rebounds per game and received more All-Star Game votes than any player not named LeBron James or Kevin Durant.
While he somewhat-quietly puts together a legitimate MVP campaign, George shares the spotlight with a field of NBA superstars during the regular season. On February 15, however, all eyes will be on George as he captures the 2014 Slam Dunk Contest title.
Who is the biggest threat to Paul George in this year's Sprite Slam Dunk Contest?
This is not his first go-round. Though he was not a superstar at the time, George participated in the event in 2012. He was impressive in the event, as he threw down a vicious one-handed slam over 7'2" Roy Hibbert and former teammate Dahntay Jones. He turned the lights out (literally) with an incredible 360-degree windmill slam.
At 6'8" and 225 pounds, George is one of the biggest players competing in this year's event. But, as Ben Golliver at The Point Forward wrote, he "can absolutely slay the rim." Expect George to impress. His arsenal is seemingly endless and, based on the 2012 event, his creativity is certainly up to par.
Maybe George will use New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis to reenact his flush over Hibbert while adding a tomahawk elbow-hang to the delivery; or perhaps we will see him go between-the-legs off a vertical leap at the rim; or maybe the NBA’s most under-marketed superstar will leap over a Mardi Gras parade float in tribute to the host city.
Maybe even something bigger. Something better.
At the end of the night, however, George will prevail and dominate the competition. If George can throw down dunks that top even some of the best Dunk Contest material during games, there is no telling what he is capable of pulling off.
All we can do is kick back, relax and enjoy the Paul George show.