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It’s official! Dennis Smith Jr. to participate in the 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

For the first time in 20 years, the Mavericks will have someone in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Smith Jr. will compete in the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk contest at NBA All-Star Weekend, per report from Shams Charania.

It’s no surprise he was invited, and head coach Rick Carlisle lobbied heavily on his behalf after last night’s game against the Wizards.

“I don’t know who’s doing the invitations to the Dunk Contest but if [Dennis Smith Jr.] doesn’t get an invitation, somebody’s not doing their job right,” said Carlisle. In fact, earlier today our own Josh Bowe wrote about the one fun moment in last night’s game: DSJ’s 360 dunk. Was it a pseudo-audition for the contest?

When the rookie was asked if he would compete, he gave a pretty clear answer.

“I’d be willing to do it,” Smith said after the Washington win. “Something I’ve been watching my whole life. If I’m invited, I’m more than willing.”

It sounds like the right people heard (and saw) his message loud and clear.

DSJ will be the first Maverick in the dunk contest in 20 years, and only the third in the contest’s history after Michael Finley and Tony Dumas.

As Mavericks fans well know, Smith Jr. is a highlight machine and every time he gets a fast break down the floor you’re just waiting for him to soar through the air. Now the rest of the world gets to see the Mavs rookie’s skills at All-Star Weekend.

Update: Per Dennis Smith Jr., he has not yet been extended an invitation to compete. More to come as the story develops.

UPDATE 2/1: It’s official! Per the NBA and Mavericks PR, Dennis Smith Jr. will in fact participate in this year’s slam dunk contest, as well as in the Rising Stars game. All-Star Weekend just got LIT YO.