Today at Penn Station in Manhattan, the NBA announced the participants in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest that will take place on All-Star Saturday Night on February 13. Rather than just naming the participants, the league took a creative and innovative approach to their announcement. They hired speed-painter Dan Dunn to sketch out the chosen dunkers in front of a curious crowd of around 100 in the crowded train station right under Madison Square Garden.
I got to admit, it was a pretty entertaining show. Starting at 11 a.m. ET, Dunn started painting like a mad man on the first canvas. With his paint splashing technique and the same fast-tempo background music you’d hear at a gymnastics competition, it took him roughly 8 minutes to sketch out the first painting which turned out to be the Lakers’ high-riser, Shannon Brown. The second contestant, was drawn as a charcoal sketch instead. That took only 5 minutes and the drawing ended up being Gerald Wallace – who has a chance to be an All-Star as well.
Before the artist painted the final participant, the MC at the event teased the crowd by saying, ‘I think you New Yorkers will be excited for this last one.’ While the buzz around the audience was about LeBron James – who said during last year’s contest that he’d compete the next year – but the artist ended up drawing the hometown, two-time dunk champ Nate Robinson instead. FYI: The artist said he practiced painting each guy for a week. He did say it was hard, because the NBA kept switching who was going to be chosen.
Earlier this week, the league announced that the fourth and final participant will be between Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and the Clippers’ Eric Gordon, who will battle it out in a Dunk-In competition during halftime of the Rookie/Sophomore Game on All-Star Friday Night.
Who do you think will win the dunk contest? Are you guys disappointed LeBron backed out of his promise?