Ranking of the 4 players participating in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2022
The 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is right around the corner, and we finally know which players are taking part in the competition.
Sure, we’re not getting massive names like we used to (or hoped), but there are still a few notable stars in attendance: Jalen Green, Obi Toppin, Juan Toscano-Anderson, and Cole Anthony.
As we head into the event, we’ve decided to rank each of them, but not for their abilities as players. This is a ranking of their dunk skills and what they will eventually bring to this competition during NBA All-Star Weekend.
We based the criteria on their athleticism and the number of times they dived this season. We also took a look at their dunk resumes, whether at past slam dunk competitions or at various jams that have gone viral on the internet.
So, without further ado, here is a ranking of the players Shams Charania reportedly entered the 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
4. Jalen Green, Houston Rockets
Make no mistake about it; Just because Jalen Green is fourth here doesn’t mean he can’t dunk. The 6-foot-4 guard has the potential to win it all.
Green, the Houston Rockets rookie, is second among those stars (77th in the NBA) in dunks this season with 26. He’s also gone viral on Twitter since he was a teenager with unreal slams in play.
Green’s explosiveness can definitely help him win this year’s slam dunk contest. But the other stars either have better NBA dunk resumes or are just explosive in different ways.
3. Juan Toscano-Anderson, Golden State Warriors
Juan Toscano-Anderson is probably the least of these four players in terms of overall ability. But his dipping resume is quite impressive.
No, there aren’t many highlights from his high school years, but Toscano-Anderson, the 6-foot-6 Golden State Warriors winger, has nearly recorded nearly as many dunks as Green despite the fact that he has played fewer minutes. As mentioned earlier, Green has 26 dunks this season and he’s played in 1,054 total minutes (30.1 per game). Toscano-Anderson had 20 slams in 760 minutes (15.2 per game).
The Marquette product also has more experience when it comes to a viral dunk in an actual NBA game. Earlier this season, he had a monster jam on Phoenix Suns big man JaVale McGee that nearly broke the internet.
So the volume of dunking in Toscano-Anderson’s game and viral NBA slam give him the edge over Green. But he still fails to make it into the top two.
2. Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
OK, this one might be controversial. Anthony, the son of former NBA player Greg Anthony, has recorded the fewest dunks of all these players this season with 10. And he didn’t get video on everyone’s phones during his NBA days. like Toscano-Anderson.
But he has one attribute that will give him an advantage in this contest: his height.
Anthony is the shortest player in this competition, standing just 6ft 2in. His ability to stand up despite his size is unreal and, like Green, has had well-documented (and disrespectful) internet jams over the years, especially as a teenager.
We all know how well the smaller players performed in this competition. Nate Robinson has won the most slam dunk contests, winning it three times, and he’s just 5-foot-9. If Anthony can channel his inner Robinson and show how high he can go, the Orlando Magic guard has a chance to win it all.
1. Obi Toppin, New York Knicks
Obi Toppin is #1 because he pretty much checks all of the criteria boxes. He has the most dunks of each of those stars this season with 66, ranking 16th in the NBA, despite only playing in 728 total minutes (15.8 per game).
He also showed off his athleticism for years. You can find plenty of videos of his ridiculous dunks ranging from his time at the University of Dayton to now with the New York Knicks. In fact, Toppin even went between the legs in a real game this year.
But what really gives the 6-foot-9 forward the nod is his experience in the slam dunk contest. He competed in the event last year and finished second behind Anfernee Simons. It’s time for him to take revenge.
All in all, this should be a fun competition, even if no massive names are taking part. Toppin’s experience just might give him the edge over his fellow stars.
Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference and current as of February 2, 2022.
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