Champions dethroned in NBA All-Star events
January 20, 2020
PRIMARY INFLUENCES NEW ORLEANS (AP): Glenn Robinson III is the NBA’s new dunk king, with an assist to Indiana teammate Paul George, the Pacers’ mascot and a Pacers cheerleader. Robinson leaped over all three, snagging the ball from George along the way before finishing with an emphatic, two-hand, reverse jam, giving him a perfect score – and the title – on his final dunk. “I know I’m a jumper. Like I said, I’m a guy that stays out of the way, but when it’s time to shine, that’s my thing,” Robinson said. “I knew all along I had some things planned and I just wanted to show the world.” Robinson edged out Phoenix’s Derrick Jones Jr, who was done in by his failure to complete his difficult first dunk of two in the final round. Jones still managed a perfect score on his second dunk, when he received a bounce-pass in the paint, put it between his legs and threw down a left-handed jam. But Robinson made sure it wasn’t enough. In the three-point contest, Houston’s Eric Gordon dethroned Golden State splash brother Klay Thompson. Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks won the Skills Challenge. Both dunk finalists delighted the crowd with soaring slams over teammates and others that showcased the explosive spring in their vertical leaps. “I thought I would go up against Derrick in the finals,” Robinson said. “I’ve seen the things that he can do. That guy can jump.” Robinson’s first dunk was one of his best. He leap-frogged one man sitting on another’s shoulders, grabbed the ball from the elevated man’s hands and slammed it home. He said 2000 dunk champ Vince Carter was one of his primary influences, along with Michael Jordan, of course. “Vince Carter did one of his best dunks first, and it kind of intimidated people. That’s what I wanted to go out and do,” Robinson said. “Who knows if it worked, but they missed some of their dunks and it gave me a little more room.” DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Aaron Gordon of Orlando were unable to emerge from the first round. Jordan dunked over DJ turn tables and Gordon dunked after receiving a bounce pass from a drone that had flown over the court with the Star Wars theme music playing.