Although many may not know who he is, Terrence Ross is bound for stardom in the NBA. He made his mark on Saturday night during All-Star weekend by winning the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk contest. Fans voted on the final round of the challenge, and after going up against reigning champion Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz, Ross garnered 58 percent of the fan votes to be crowned dunk champion.
The competition started off great for the Eastern Conference, as Gerald Green and Ross of the Toronto Raptors earned perfect scores on their first dunks. That netted the East 20 easy points in the East vs. West competition. James White, a favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the final round, brought out too much flair for his performance. Flight attendants created a runway for his first dunk attempt, but he couldn’t convert on the first try.
Ross, who went third for the East, missed his first five attempts, but still netted a perfect score of 50. On his second dunk he earned a score of 49 on a jam that really wasn’t that impressive. Green and White faltered on their second attempts and didn’t even finish within the restricted time limit. They both earned scores of 32 on their second tries, bringing the Eastern Conference’s total to 258 points.
The Western Conference had the exact opposite performance, as the struggled with their first attempts and flourished on their second tries. Kenneth Faried and Eric Bledsoe started off with safe dunks, as they both earned scores of 39. Evans then converted on a backward jam that added 47 points to his team’s total.
On the second go-around, Faried and Bledsoe didn’t disappoint with two 50-point dunks. Faried had one of the highlights of the night with a between-the-legs throw down. Not to mention that Faried grabbed the ball with one strong hand high up in the air. Bledsoe then followed suit with a backward windmill that had the crowd oohing and aahing. Evans then finished with a two-basketball dunk that seemed more like an attempt to earn him an appearance in the final round than as an all-out slam. He scored 43 points on his second try, netting him a total of 90 points. The Western Conference finished with 268 points, which gave the West 50 points in the competition.
So the stage was set for an Evans vs. Ross matchup that started with an interesting and original twist. Evans began with a high-rising slam over a veiled painting. After the dunk he unveiled the painting, which was of Evans making the said dunk. Evans is an artist, so he knows how important presentation is. Ross then tried to one-up him when he came out in a Vince Carter jersey. Carter is one of the most glorified dunkers of our time, and for the Raptor to honor him like that made it a special moment. For his dunk, Ross caught the ball off the side of the backboard backward at a high point and then slammed it with one hand.
It was a close match and there was no telling who would come away with the victory after the first round of dunks. Terrence’s final dunk was the selling point for fans, however, as he jumped over a ball boy, carried the ball between his legs and jammed it with authority. His two dunks were enough to earn Ross honors of winning the contest.
His winning performance added 55 points to the Eastern Conference’s total, but that wasn’t enough to overcome what the Western Conference had done all night long. The West came away with the title of State Farm All-Star Saturday Night champions, but Ross won’t let that spoil what he did in the dunk contest.
Final Score: Western Conference 140, Eastern Conference 125