Saturday night’s AT&T Slam Dunk Contest featured many special guests and high-flying finishes.
But ultimately, it was Oklahoma City rookie Hamidou Diallo rose above the rest, taking the 2019 crown.
Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins opened the competition up with a solid dunk from the baseline while grabbing the corner of the backboard and received a score of 40 from the judges. Diallo stepped on to the court next and also received a 40 after he caught an alley-oop off the backboard from his OKC teammate Russell Westbrook.
2018 Slam Dunk contest third place finisher Dennis Smith Jr. was next in line and took the lead with a solid 45 after completing a 360-dunk off of an alley-oop pass from himself. Charlotte’s own Miles Bridges closed out the first round with a disappointing 33 after failing to complete a dunk.
One fan wasn’t too pleased.
The Charlotte Hornets rookie was the first to receive a perfect score of 50 with his second round 360-slam, but it wouldn’t be enough to make it to the final round. Collins potentially had the most creative dunk of the night with a Wright Brothers-themed dunk attempt where he jumped over a plane, but it wouldn’t be enough to advance either.
DSJ followed up Collins’ interesting attempt by bringing out North Carolina rapper J. Cole for a little assistance. The New York Knicks guard took off his jersey to reveal he was wearing the multi-platinum rapper’s high school threads, then proceeded to jump over the rapper for the slam, propelling him to the finals.
After Smith finished his dunk attempt, J. Cole attempted a dunk of his own but wasn’t as successful.
OKC’s rookie guard stole the show in the second round when he brought out The Big Shamrock, Shaquille O’Neal. Diallo perched the Hall of Famer under the basket then split open his jersey to reveal a Superman shirt underneath as a sign of respect to the big man who used to bear the nickname. The 20-year-old cleared the former center in one attempt and paid respect to Dunk Contest great Vince Carter by hanging by his elbow from the rim and punched his ticket to the finals.
DSJ went first in the championship round, but missed his three attempts and posted a puny score of 35. Diallo followed up Smith’s failed attempt with an alley-oop to himself to take the lead with a score of 43. DSJ dug himself a large enough hole with his first attempt that even a perfect score following a little help from the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade wouldn’t be enough.
Diallo clinched the 2019 AT&T Slam Dunk crown by jumping over, and taking a ball off of Atlanta-based rapper Quavo’s head mid-air before finishing with a thunderous two-handed slam.
The Thunder’s twitter account posted a video after the contest of Diallo’s performance from all different angles.
Diallo is the first member of the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.