Home SPORTS Anfernee Simons nearly kisses rim to win NBA Slam Dunk title

Anfernee Simons nearly kisses rim to win NBA Slam Dunk title

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247 News Around The World
247 News Around The World

  • The Indiana Pacers’ Cassius Stanley competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest on Sunday night in Atlanta. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • Indiana Pacers’ Cassius Stanley competes in the Slam Dunk contest during basketball’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

  • New York Knicks’ Obi Toppin dunks during the Slam Dunk contest during basketball’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

  • Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks competes in the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during the 70th NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on March 7, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

  • Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks competes in the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during the 70th NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on March 7, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • New York Knicks’ Obi Toppin competes in the Slam Dunk contest during basketball’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during the 70th NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on March 7, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

  • Portland Trail Blazers’ Anfernee Simons competes in the Slam Dunk contest during basketball’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during the 70th NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on March 7, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during the 70th NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on March 7, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Stephen Curry #30 of Team James looks on during the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • Portland’s Anfernee Simons nearly kisses the rim during his final dunk in the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest on Sunday night at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • Portland Trail Blazers’ Anfernee Simon competes in the Slam Dunk contest during basketball’s NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: (L-R) Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers, Obi Toppin of the New York Knicks and Cassius Stanley of the Indiana Pacers embrace following the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers holds the trophy after winning the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during the 70th NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on March 7, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

  • ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 07: Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrates after winning the 2021 NBA All-Star – AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Sunday Night at State Farm Arena on March 07, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — Portland’s Anfernee Simons sealed his final, winning dunk with a kiss. Well, almost.

Simons showed off his leaping ability and creativity to beat New York’s Obi Toppin and Indiana’s Cassius Stanley in the two-round dunk contest that started off with Stanley’s spectacular between-the-legs slam that received a surprisingly low score but impressed the small crowd allowed in State Farm Arena.

The 6-foot-3 Simons soared, almost kissing the rim, on a powerful right-handed jam to beat Toppin in the final. Simons puckered his lips as if kissing the rim, even though he was a few inches away.

“I tried to get close enough so obviously I wouldn’t hit my head on the rim too hard,” Simons said, before acknowledging he has never “actually kissed the rim” in practice.

“I had to commit to it,” Simons said.

Simons also paid tribute to a former star by wearing Tracy McGrady’s jersey on a jam that earned a score of 49 to earn his spot in the final.

“He was my hero growing up, so I wanted to honor him as well,” Simons said.

The contest was judged by five former dunk champions: Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins (1985, 1990), Spud Webb (1986), Dee Brown (1991), Jason Richardson (2002, 2003) and Josh Smith (2005).

There was some early controversy when Stanley’s first dunk, a left-hander after he moved the ball between his legs in the air, scored only 44 points. Toppin then scored a 48 on a two-handed reverse.

On Simons’ first dunk, he positioned the ball even with the top of the square above the rim. He then showed off his leaping ability by grabbing the ball for the jam which earned 46 points.

“I just wanted to show I could jump up pretty high and be creative, so it was fun,” he said.

Toppin also showed creativity, jumping over his father, Obadiah Toppin, and teammate Julius Randle on a dunk which earned 46 points.

In the final, Toppin took off from near the free-throw line, inspiring comparisons to Wilkins’ winning form while with the Atlanta Hawks.

“I’ve been watching a lot of dunks the past couple of days,” Toppin said before the event.

He got a few tips from his father, who was a well-known streetball player in Brooklyn.

“I talked to him about some of the dunks,” Toppin said. “He’s basically telling me which ones are a little crazy.”

In earlier events, Golden State’s Steph Curry shot his way to another 3-point title and Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis made sure the Skills Challenge still belongs to the bigs.

This post first appeared on ocregister.com

The post Anfernee Simons nearly kisses rim to win NBA Slam Dunk title appeared first on 247 News Around The World.

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