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Anfernee Simons Took Down Obi Toppin In The Final To Win The 2021 Slam Dunk Contest

For the next 365 (or so) days, Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazer is the NBA’s dunk king. Simons toppled a slightly smaller field of two other competitors at halftime of the 2021 NBA All-Star Game to become the latest skywalker to take home the dunk contest crown.

Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers kicked things off in a big way. The rookie out of Duke who went in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft effortlessly tossed the ball, took it off the bounce, and busted out a between-the-legs slam that earned him a 44, although the broadcast seemed to agree that he got undersold.

Next up was Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks, who was revered during his time in college at Dayton for his ability to yam. Toppin came in from the corner, tossing the ball off the ground as he jumped, collected it while in mid-air, and dunked with his back to the rim, getting a 48.

Simons rounded out the first round of dunks by going way up, snatching a ball that was propped on the backboard by a Nerf hoop. He didn’t do anything other than levitate, though, which led to the judges giving him a 46.

Stanley came out to start round two knowing he needed to go for broke, so he tried something ultra-ambitious. He attempted to grab the ball off the bounce and go under his legs twice, but kept coming up short and had to change up on the fly. While still starting his dunk the same, Stanley didn’t do anything besides a one-handed slam, giving him a 37 for the round and an 81 overall.

For his second dunk, Simons tossed on an old school Tracy McGrady Toronto Raptors jersey. He proceeded to lob the ball up and do a 360 with some flair, a near-perfect replica of McGrady at the 2000 Dunk Contest, earning him a 49 for this dunk and securing his spot in the final with a 95 total score.

Toppin only needed 34 to advance to the final, but decided to do something a little more impressive. He brought out two people — his father, famed streetballer Dunker’s Delight, and Knicks teammate Julius Randle — and dunked over the pair with a one-handed windmill. It earned him a 46 for the round, a 94 overall, and place in the final against Simons.

The finals looked a bit different this year, as both dudes had one dunk and the judges picked a winner. Toppin went first, going between the legs from just inside of the free throw line in a nod to his time in college.

For his final dunk, Simons got way up and almost kissed the rim, but just came up a little short.

By a 3-2 score, Simons narrowly edged out Toppin, becoming the first member of the Trail Blazers to earn the title of Dunk Contest champion. It was, ultimately, a forgettable contest due in large part to the lack of fans in attendance and the inherent rushed nature to do this at halftime of the All-Star Game, but that ultimately doesn’t matter for Simons, as he is going to go down as a Dunk Contest champion for the rest of time.

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