Report: Knicks Rookie Obi Toppin Is The First Player In The 2021 Dunk Contest

The 2021 NBA All-Star Game will look different in a number of ways, with one of the most prominent being the lack of an All-Star Saturday night. The league will attempt to compensate for this by putting some of the events that we’re used to on Sunday, including the dunk contest, which will occur at halftime of the game.

It’s still not clear who all will participate in the event, but on Friday, Shams Charania of The Athletic leaked the first name that will take the floor in Atlanta. According to Charania, New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin will be in the field.

Toppin, a Brooklyn native, was the No. 8 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft following a magnificent sophomore campaign at Dayton in which he was a consensus first-team All-American and the national player of the year. As a power forward on a team with an All-Star with that position, it’s been a bit tough for Toppin to get consistent run — he’s averaging 4.8 points and 2.4 rebounds in 12.1 minutes per game — but if there is one thing that is well-documented about him, it’s that he can absolutely fly.

With the All-Star Game taking place next week, it’s probably not off-base to assume that more participant names will come out soon.