Brooklyn Nets starting center Mason Plumlee has been chosen to compete in the 2015 Sprite Slam Dunk at NBA All-Star in New York City, held on Saturday, February 14 at Barclays Center, the NBA announced on Tuesday night.
Plumlee has definitely earned it, as he is becoming known as one of the better dunkers in the NBA and it gives the Nets some representation at this event in their building. This also is a year in which Plumlee has improved tremendously, and became the team’s starting center in early December.
The second-year pro out of Duke becomes the third Nets’ player to take part in Sprite Slam Dunk, joining Richard Jefferson in 2003 and Chris Morris in 1989.
Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, Minnesota guard Zach LaVine and Orlando guard Victor Oladipo will compete alongside Plumlee in this year’s competition. In 44 games this season, Plumlee is averaging 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 22.7 minutes per game and is third in the league in field goal percentage (59.4 percent). Plumlee’s averages have increased to 13.9 points and 8.0 rebounds in 27 starts this season.
The Sprite Slam Dunk will be a two-round event in which the four participants can perform any dunk they choose without time limits, in a return to a classic format. The players will have a maximum of three attempts to complete each dunk in both the first round and the final round. Five judges will score every dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a high score of 50 and a low score of 30. All four competitors will get two dunks in the first round. The two dunkers with the highest combined score for their two dunks will advance to the head-to-head final round. The player with the highest combined score for his two dunks in the final round will be the champion.
Plumlee will attempt to become the fourth player to claim the title at his home arena, an exclusive club comprised of the Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan in 1988, the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Isaiah Rider in 1994, and the Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin in 2011. He is also trying to become the first Nets’ player to win the Sprite Slam Dunk.