G-Leaguer Mac McClung STUNS NBA stars by soaring to Dunk Contest victory with jaw-dropping two-handed 540 slam to become the first non-league player to win the event
G-League star Mac McClung might have single-handedly restored the shine on a dunk contest that has been widely panned in recent years.
McClung, the 6-foot-2 Philadelphia guard on a two-way contract, defeated New Orleans’ Trey Murphy III in the finals of the dunk contest, culminating an NBA All-Star Saturday that may have finally resurrected the evening’s marquee event.
‘I’m truly blessed and grateful for the NBA giving me this opportunity,’ McClung said.
A 540-degree dunk — not a 360, but a 540, him doing one-and-a-half rotations in the air, a move more reserved for figure skaters and skateboarders than basketball players — was his third perfect score of the night out of four dunks. By the time the judges’ scores came up it was already decided. Everyone in the building knew he’d already won.
G Leaguer Mac McClung became the first non NBA player ever to win the slam dunk contest
McClung hit an outstanding and incredibly difficult 540 dunk to solidify his shocking victory
He was presented the trophy by Basketball Hall of Famer and trophy namesake Julius Irving
‘It’s over,’ McClung said.
It was. And he immediately committed to defending his title at Indianapolis at All-Star Saturday next year.
‘If you guys will have me, I’ll be back,’ McClung said.
The final score, not that it mattered, was McClung 100.0, Murphy 98.0.
His is an unbelievable story: McClung has played mostly in the G League, where he ranks 36th in scoring this season at 19 points per game. He was undrafted in 2021 after spending three college seasons at Georgetown and Texas Tech. He was signed by Golden State last year but never played in a regular-season game for the Warriors, and spent a little time on USA Basketball’s World Cup qualifying team last year as well.
McClung has been well known amongst hardcore basketball fans for a number of years due to his outstanding dunking ability, although that has not translated to NBA success.
Before his time with the 76ers organization he played in one game last season for the Chicago Bulls, one other game for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has three NBA baskets throughout his short-lived stints in the league.
He had four dunks on Saturday night.
‘Give this man his flowers, man,’ TNT commentator Kenny Smith said.
New York Knicks center Jericho Sims and Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. also participated in the event.
After his 540 dunk the countless NBA stars courtside reacted emphatically to the dunk
McClung also completed a dunk over two-people on each others shoulders during the contest
McClung has spent the season with Philadelphia’s G league affiliate, the Delaware Blue Coats
He was one of the several G league players chosen to play in the NBA rising stars game
McClung set the tone for the night with a dunk that had NBA superstars in disbelief – he leaped over two people, took the ball out of the hands of one of them, tapped it on the backboard and then threw down a reverse slam. And that was just for starters.
Riding the momentum of that perfect dunk, he wound up hoisting the trophy that was newly renamed for dunking legend – and former 76ers star – Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving.
McClung was nearly perfect on his second dunk as well; four judges gave him a perfect 50, Lisa Leslie gave him a 49 as the only dissenter, but it didn’t matter – he was already assured a spot in the final round against Murphy.
Sims gave himself a 50 on his second dunk, where he attached an envelope to the net, pulled it down after the dunk and displayed ’50’ to the world. No judge agreed, and his two-dunk score of 95.4 wasn’t good enough to make the final round.
Also eliminated after Round one was Martin Jr., with a score of 93.2.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk