58 All Star Weekend: Slam Dunk Contest

*Sound Effects*




(Point of View)

| Setting |


| Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas|

| Date: Saturday February 18, 2006 10:40 pm |

(1st Person - Javi)

Just a day after the Rising Rookie Challenge, the Slam Dunk contest took center stage. The lineup featured Nate Robinson, Andre Iguodala, Hakim Warrick, and defending champion Josh Smith from the 2005 contest.

The rules were straightforward:

* 1st round: 2 dunks. Two players with highest composite score advanced to Finals

* Final round: 2 dunks. Highest composite score determines winner- Lower score after 1st dunk goes first on 2nd dunk

* No penalties for missed dunks

* During 1st round: each player must use another NBA player for at least 1 dunk

The judging panel included basketball legends Clyde Drexler and Moses Malone, along with former Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich, and Elvin Hayes, who had served as assistant coach for the Rookie team in the previous night's challenge. Kenny Smith, who was sharing a joke with Charles Barkley, rounded out the judges' panel.

In the announcers' booth were Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Kevin Harlan.

"Magic Johnson joins us, the Hall of Famer, the five-time champion. Great to see you, Magic! What a wonderful night it's been," Harlan remarked, turning to Magic seated beside him.

"Thank you. You know what, you better watch out for these two rookies. The little man is going to be a crowd favorite. And if he can do anything like Spud did in Dallas to win the slam dunk..." Magic started, before Kenny Smith interjected with a joke.

"What's that? steal Dominique's trophy?" quipped Smith, who, though at the judges' table, still had a headset to join the announcers.

"Yeah, but what I'm saying is, he's going to be a fan favorite," concluded Magic, laughing along with the announcers and Kenny Smith.

"You've got to watch out for Hakim Warrick too. He's got some moves. But I've heard Nate Robinson has a dunk that, if he pulls it off, it's going to be a perfect 10," Magic added.

"I'm going with Iguodala, but Warrick's got a chance, especially since he's been resting up all season," Barkley chimed in with his prediction.

I chuckled at their banter, recalling that Nate had asked me earlier if I could help him with a dunk, though I wasn't sure if he would actually go through with it. Nevertheless, I was prepared in case he called upon me. Sitting courtside, I eagerly awaited the start of the first dunk.

I observed as Warrick took off from half-court, sprinting towards the basket along the right side of the court's boundary before curving towards the hoop.

With a leap from the right side, he executed a flawless reverse windmill dunk, finishing on the left side of the basket. The crowd erupted in cheers as all eyes turned to the judges.

Warrick received four 9's and a single 8, totaling 44 points. Next up was Andre Iguodala, who positioned himself on the left-hand side just beyond the arc. He tossed a lob to himself as he sprinted, catching the ball on the bounce before delivering a thunderous one-handed windmill dunk.

Joining the crowd's excitement, I watched as the judges awarded him a total of 45 points.

Then came Nate, and I cheered in anticipation, watching him wipe his sneakers before making his move towards the basket with the ball in tow. As he approached, he dribbled hard, leaping into the air to catch the ball while executing a full 180-degree spin before emphatically slamming it home with two hands and spinning off the rim.

The arena erupted with cheers as the judges displayed four 10's and one 9, resulting in a total of 49 points.

"Now, here's the defending champion, Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks," announced Harlan as Smith prepared for his turn. Suddenly, a staff member dashed onto the court, placing a white piece of tape a couple of feet behind the free throw line.

I watched in disbelief, doubting anyone could jump from that far. Similar reactions of incredulity followed from Kenny Smith and Barkley.

All eyes were on Smith as he started just behind half-court, gathering momentum. However, as he passed the mid-court line, he halted his dribble and paused.

Amidst Barkley and Kenny Smith's banter, Smith regrouped and attempted again.

The crowd observed intently as Smith accelerated once more. But instead of jumping from the marked line, he took off just above the free throw line, slamming the ball home with both hands.

While the crowd cheered, disappointment was evident, as many had anticipated a leap from the marked spot beyond the free throw line.

The announcers wasted no time in jesting about the situation.

"What was the tape for?" Kenny Smith quipped immediately after the dunk.

"Maybe he went cross-eyed, thinking he jumped from the white line," Barkley joked further.

I burst into laughter at their antics, and soon after, the judges scored the dunk, awarding a total of 41 points.

"He didn't not get very good marks, 41," remarked Harlan.

"And he shouldn't have, with that tape way over there," Barkley chimed in between chuckles.

"5'9, Nate Robinson takes the lead after the first round!" announced Harlan.

"Up next, the dunkers get a second shot to secure their spot in the finals!" Harlan added.


The dunks resumed with Warrick, who had a person seated in a chair holding the ball. As Warrick jumped, the person tossed the ball up to him, he then grabbed the ball before slamming down with one hand, but it hit off the rim on the first attempt. Undeterred, Warrick tried again, successfully throwing down a one-handed slam after jumping over the seated person. However, the miss on the initial attempt dampened the impact.

"Nice, would've been better if it was his first try," commented Kenny. The judges awarded Warrick a 42, bringing his total to 86 for both dunks.

Next was Iguodala, accompanied by Allen Iverson. AI stood behind the backboard out of bounds, while Iguodala positioned himself just behind Iverson to gain momentum.

As AI tossed the ball against the backboard, Iguodala prepared to catch it and complete the dunk. However, the ball slipped from his grasp on the first attempt, prompting a reset.

The anticipation in the crowd was palpable, knowing that if Iguodala succeeded, it would surely earn full marks.

Once again, AI threw the ball again, but it missed its mark once more, forcing Iguodala to adjust his catch and reset. This time, Iguodala slapped the back of the backboard, showing where he wanted the pass to be.

On the next attempt, amidst great anticipation, Iguodala leaped and caught the ball off the backboard. He then ducked slightly to avoid hitting the backboard with his head before reaching over and finishing with a one-handed slam on the other side.

The crowd erupted in response to the incredible dunk.

"OHHH!" exclaimed all the announcers.

"There it is!" Kenny Smith cheered

"Woke this crowd up!" Kenny continued.

As expected, the judges awarded Iguodala perfect 10s across the board, totaling 50 points and leaving him with 95 points overall.

"Yea, he's making it to the finals" stated Barkley.

Next up was Nate, and though I knew he likely couldn't hear me, I shouted words of encouragement.

Starting just beyond the 3-point line, Nate raced towards the basket. As he jumped, the ball was lobbed up to him, which he caught and slammed down with one hand.

Though it seemed he added something extra to the dunk, it was difficult to discern. Despite its seeming simplicity, Nate still earned a score of 44, bringing his total to 93.

Last was Josh Smith, sitting at 41 points. To advance and knock out Nate, he needed a minimum of 52 points, making it impossible for him to advance

Nevertheless, the crowd watched as Smith, lacking the same intensity knowing he was already out, executed a lob dunk over a person seated on the ground, similar to Warrick's. However, with the person on the ground instead of in a chair, Smith received a score of 40, totaling 81 points.


Finally, the main event commenced with Nate taking the floor. The crowd, even more electrified for the finals, watched eagerly to see what would unfold.

Nate began with the ball at half court, sprinting toward the basket. He sent the ball up with an underhand toss as he leaped, aiming for an impressive between-the-legs dunk. However, the ball was just slightly off, popping out of the rim.

Despite some celebrities rising in anticipation, each subsequent attempt unfolded similarly. Nate, frustrated but determined, simplified the dunk, settling for an in-between-the-legs finish. Though successful on the last attempt, he slammed the ball against the ground in visible frustration. Nonetheless, the crowd cheered as they awaited the judges' scores.

Nate ended with a score of 44, while Iguodala prepared for his turn. Positioned just beyond the free throw line, Iguodala shot the ball short to let it bounce back up. He then caught it mid-air with his left hand, bringing it around his back to his right hand for an attempted one-handed slam. Unfortunately, the ball rimmed out due to insufficient height. On the second attempt, he switched it up, bringing the ball between his legs from right to left before attempting a left-handed finish. Despite the height, he couldn't sink the ball. After a few more tries, he adjusted his pace and finally executed the dunk.

Looking at the scorers table, 10's were held up across the board, giving Iguodala 50 points. 

While Nate prepared for his dunk, a staff member signaled me to approach and clarify the plan. He instructed me to position myself a couple of feet from the basket with the ball in hand. My task was to toss the ball downward whenever Nate initiated his jump, allowing him to catch it mid-air while leaping over me.

I assured the staff member that I understood before crossing the court and giving Nate a fist bump as we exchanged some banter.

"You not gonna fuck my shit up right?" I asked jokingly.

"Nah, I've got this," he replied with a smile.

"Nate Robinson, teaming up with Morales, the MVP of last night's Rookie game!" exclaimed Harlan.

With the ball in hand, I positioned myself a few feet below the basket, just outside the restricted area. Across the court, Nate prepared near half court. We exchanged nods to signal that we were both ready.

As he sprinted towards me, I prepared to toss the ball, releasing it just as he leaped. I felt relieved as I didn't feel any contact, confirming that he cleared me successfully. The uproar from the crowd confirmed his successful dunk. I reached out to give him a high five and congratulate him on the impressive attempt before weaving my way back to my seat amidst the excited commotion.

"THAT'S A 50! THAT IS A 50!" Kenny's voice boomed with excitement, echoing the sentiment of the crowd.

Similar exclamations of awe resonated from the announcers.

Nate, unsurprisingly, garnered a perfect 50, bringing his total to 94 points.

"That's gonna be a nice 50 for second place," Barkley quipped, injecting humor into the moment.

Next up was Iguodala, who needed at least a 45 to secure victory in the slam dunk contest. All eyes were on him as he began his approach from the right side just beyond the arc. With a graceful arc, he charged towards the basket, his body pivoting away from the backboard as he ascended into the air. With a swift motion, he maneuvered the ball around his back, attempting to slam it down with one hand.

However, he didn't get high enough, and the ball collided with the front rim. Undeterred, he adjusted his approach for the next attempt, transitioning the ball between his legs from his right to his left hand before making another effort to dunk with his left hand.

Despite getting the height needed, the ball rimmed out once more. Determined, Iguodala persisted with the same speed and intensity, but the outcome remained unchanged. After one final attempt, he slightly slowed his pace, successfully executing the dunk.

The crowd held its breath in anticipation as the judges conferred, ultimately awarding Iguodala a total of 44 points.

"It's a tie!" Harlan's voice rang out through the arena.

"This is the first time we've ever seen this tie!" exclaimed Smith.

It appeared that a tiebreaker would be necessary, with only one dunk each.

Nate positioned himself just beyond the arc, deftly maneuvering the ball between his legs twice before lofting it off the glass. With lightning speed, he soared into the air, executing a flawless windmill dunk with both hands before emphatically slamming it home with his right hand.

The crowd erupted in cheers as the judges awarded Nate's dunk with a score of 47.

Iguodala, poised at the right corner, prepared to respond.

"47 is the score to beat," declared Harlan.

With determination in his eyes, Iguodala charged up the court from the right side, executing a between-the-legs move before delivering a powerful one-handed slam on the left side of the basket. However, the ball bounced out on his first attempt. Undeterred, he tried again, this time successfully flushing the ball through the net.

The crowd watched in anticipation as the judges deliberated.

"46!" announced Harlan.

"Well, how about that," remarked Harlan.

"Nah they brought down a 10" stated Harlan. 

"It seemed like they gave him a 10, then changed it to a 9," he continued.

While some may have been disappointed by the outcome, it was clear that the spirit of the All-Star Weekend prevailed. Iguodala appeared unfazed, recognizing the lighthearted nature of the event. Ultimately, it seemed that the judges leaned towards giving the edge to Robinson, the undersized "underdog" of the competition.

Shortly thereafter, the ceremony commenced, with Nate being crowned the winner of the Slam Dunk Contest.

In summary, the Slam Dunk Contest was a thrilling experience, and I'm eager to join again in the future now that I've gotten the ability to dunk. However, I wanted to win based on the quality of my dunks rather than any because of my stature or because it is a good selling story.



A/N: Hope you are enjoying the story so far! I didn't want this chap to be 2 since we still have another chapter being the all star game which will also be one chapter as Javi is only watching and not participating. 


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