Knicks' Obi Toppin Didn't Feel 'Robbed' in Dunk Contest Loss to Anfernee Simons

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2021

New York Knicks' Obi Toppin competes in the Slam Dunk contest during basketball's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin wasn't bitter after finishing second to Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons in the 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.   

"I didn't feel like I got robbed at all," Toppin told reporters Sunday night. "Anfernee is a great dunker and got all three of his dunks on the first try. The second and third, I had to do it a second time. If I got it on my first, it would've been a different result. I don't think I got robbed at all. He deserved that trophy."

The controversy—to the extent one could call it that—stemmed from Simons' final dunk. He tried to kiss the rim as he threw down a one-handed jam but was clearly short of achieving the trick while completing a right-handed jam.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Anfernee Simons tried the kiss the rim dunk 😘 https://t.co/hZYyQdPcTl

That was still enough for Simons to earn three votes from the five-judge panel.

Toppin certainly put on a show, at one point jumping over Knicks teammate Julius Randle and his father, Obadiah, and finishing a windmill dunk.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Obi Toppin windmill over his dad and Julius Randle 😱 https://t.co/KRsErC79mj

In general, Simons winning with a dunk he didn't fully pull off summed up the event as a whole. Even Hall of Famer Magic Johnson was underwhelmed by the whole thing:

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

TBH this wasn’t the most exciting Slam Dunk competition I’ve ever seen. 🤷🏾‍♂️

This year's edition was doomed from the start. Attempting to fit a compelling Slam Dunk Contest into halftime of the All-Star Game was next to impossible, and the stringent COVID-19 health and safety protocols might have dissuaded some otherwise interested players from taking part.

Compare the level of star power in the Dunk Contest to the Three-Point Contest, which had Stephen Curry, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Zach LaVine, Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley Jr.

With the NBA planning to stage the 2022 All-Star Game in Cleveland, perhaps Toppin and Simons can both return to show what they can do in a more normal competition.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.