Mac McClung establishes himself as the king of dunks after flying over Shaquille O’Neal |  Basketball |  Sports

Mac McClung establishes himself as the king of dunks after flying over Shaquille O’Neal | Basketball | Sports

Mac McClung establishes himself as the king of dunks after flying over Shaquille O’Neal |  Basketball |  Sports

Power, skill and imagination. With a perfect cocktail of these three ingredients, Osceola Magic shooter Mac McClung managed to win the NBA dunk contest for the second year in a row. Repeating such a victory is something that only five other players have achieved so far (among them, a certain Michael Jordan). Mac McClung’s feat reaches another dimension because he does not even play in the NBA, but in the G League, a bit like the second division, in which the affiliates participate. He won the trophy after a perfect score dunk (50 of 50) in which he jumped over former player Shaquille O’Neal.

In the three-point competition, the winner also repeated: Damian Lillard, in 2023 with the Portland Trail Blazers and now with the Milwaukee Bucks. However, the appearance of Stephen Curry on stage for a duel with Sabrina Ionescu, the best shooter in the NBA, clearly showed that he, who in 2021 managed to make 31 triples in a row, continues to be the king of the distance. shots, although out of competition. For its part, the skill competition was won by a trio of the Indiana Pacers, who were playing at home.

Mac McClung made a splash a year ago when he was a member of the Delaware Blue Coats of the NBA G League and received an invitation to participate. Despite his discreet career as a basketball player, he was already shining in high school and distinguished himself in college with his dunks. At 25, he failed to make his way into the elite. He signed a 10-day contract with the Chicago Bulls, trained with the Lakers and the Warriors, but had to resign himself to playing outside the NBA. He surprised with his dunks and became the second white player to win a competition in which the power of African Americans almost always prevailed.

This year he arrived with the label of favorite and he did not disappoint. Showmanship is highly valued in dunk contests and McClung once again stood out in this aspect. His final jump, over O’Neal, for a consecutive dunk, gave him the victory in the final against Jaylen Brown. Previously, Mexican Jaime Jáquez, of the Miami Heats, and Jacob Toppin, of the New York Knicks, had been excluded.

In the final, with two dunks, McClung finished with 98.8 points, one ahead of Boston Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown. The winner jumped over two people with his first dunk and over Shaquille O’Neal with the second. Jáquez had already dunk on O’Neal, but while the Mexican did it from the front and with one hand, McClung’s dunk was a two-handed dunk from his back.

For his part, in the three-point competition, Lillard became the eighth player to win the award twice and the first since Jason Kapono in 2007 and 2008 to do so in consecutive years, although he was close to be excluded from the competition. final and he entered thanks to a tie-break. In the final, Lillard had a score of 26 points, ahead of Trae Young and Karl Anthony-Towns, with 24. However, in the aforementioned out-of-competition charity challenge against Sabrina Ionescu, Stephen Curry scored 29 points, proving that even if he doesn’t participate, the true king of triples is still him.

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