The NBA All-Star Dunk Contest is organized annually at the All-Star Weekend by the National Basketball Association (NBA). The competition opened in Denver in 1976 by the American Basketball Association (ABA), when NCAA allowed the slam dunk.
Following the fusion of ABA and NBA, a further slam dunk competition did not take place until 1984. In the course of the years, the competition has taken various formats, as fans used to vote for the winner of the final round by text message until 2014.
Larry Nance Sr. of the Phoenix Suns won the very first slam dunk contest in 1984 at the NBA All-Star Game. Derrick Jones Jr. of the Portland Trail Blazers is the NBA All-Star Dunk Contest reigning champion. Let's take a look at the three participants of the 2021 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest:
Anfernee Simons (Portland Trail Blazers)
Born on June 8, 1999, Anfernee Simons is an American basketball professional who is playing for the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA. After graduating from high school, he has becomes the first American to participate and be chosen in an NBA draft since the league introduced age restraint laws in 2005. The Blazers picked Simons in the 2018 NBA draft as he was the 24th pick.
Cassius Stanley (Indiana Pacers)
Cassius Stanley, who was born on August 18, 1999, has a two-way contract with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA G League and the Indiana Pacers in the NBA. At the 2020 NBA Draft, the 21-year-old was picked with the 54th selection by the Indiana Pacers, and he managed a max vertical jump of 44 inches at the 2020 NBA Draft Combine, which is a record third since 2000.
Obi Toppin (New York Knicks)
New York Knicks player Toppin was born on March 4, 1998. He featured for the Dayton Flyers in college. He was the 8th pick at the 2020 NBA Draft of 2020 and was picked by the New York Knicks. During his NBA debut, Toppin suffered an injury and thus, he missed ten games, prior to returning to action on January 13, 2021.