Dennis Smith Jr. will compete in the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk contest at NBA All-Star Weekend, per report from Shams Charania.
Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. has accepted an invitation to participate in NBA's slam dunk contest at All-Star weekend, league sources tell Yahoo.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 23, 2018
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.
Sorry guys but I have NOT been officially invited to the slam dunk contest. As stated previously, i would be honored to be apart of it.— Dennis Smith Jr. (@Dennis1SmithJr) January 23, 2018
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.