Terrence Ross put the ball through his legs in mid-air and dunked.
Over a kid.
Ross, a Raptors’ rookie, said his agent found the kid the day before. Ross talked to the kid on Friday. Before taking off, Ross moved the youngster around until he found the right spot. Then, he got a huge running start, jumped over the kid, put the ball through his legs and slammed it home.
“I told him the day before that I was going to jump over him but I didn’t tell him I was going to go through my legs,” Ross said. “He was kind of nervous. When I first grabbed him he said, 'you’re not going to hit me are you?' I said 'no, I’m not going to hit you.' I calmed his nerves down.”
Ross took down defending champion Jeremy Evans in the final of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night at the Toyota Center with 58 percent of the fan vote. The first round of the contest was judged by Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Dikembe Mutombo, Rudy Tomjanovich and Yao Ming.
For Ross’ first dunk in the final he channeled his inner Vince Carter by sporting Carter’s jersey. Terrence Jones lobbed a pass off the side of the backboard and Ross slammed it home hard with one hand after spinning through the air.
“(The dunk contest) was my favorite to watch every year, since I was little,” Ross said. “Since I was a child. Actually winning it, I never thought.”
Evans, last year’s winner, put forth a solid effort. For his second dunk in the finals, he took the ball out of former Jazz player Mark Eaton’s hands, soared through the air and dunked. In his first dunk, Evans jumped over a canvas. After the slam he revealed a painting of him throwing down the same jam. We’ll call that one “the Inception dunk.”
Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving took the three-point contest the day after putting forth a 32-point performance in the Rising Stars Game. Irving beat San Antonio’s Matt Bonner in the final of the three-point contest, 23-20.
“It feels good,” Irving said. “Add it to the resume, MVP for Rising Stars (last year), and now Three-Point Shootout champion.”
Irving finished two points shy of the record in the three-point contest. He made all five of his shots from the left corner (the first shot) and all of the ones from right behind the free throw line.
Blazers’ rookie Damian Lillard won the Skills Competition, beating the Sixers’ Jrue Holiday. Lillard finished with a time of 29.8 seconds, while Holiday finished with a time of 35.6.
“I think the biggest thing for me was to try not to be too cool and speed through it, but take my time with the passes and shots,” Lillard said. “And when I’m making a pass, I basically try not to run away before it goes in so I don’t waste time. Today was the first time I saw the course.”
Jeremy Lin had a time of 35.8 but didn’t move into the next round.
In the first competition, Chris Bosh, Swin Cash and Dominique Wilkins won the Shooting Stars competition. They beat Russell Westbrook, Maya Moore and Robert Horry. Wilkins sank a shot to give his team a time of 1:29. Westbrook’s team went next, got off to a fast start but couldn’t finish faster.
“It was so close. It’s so close,” Bosh said. “Winning is winning but you know, it was a good time. We had a great time out there. This is my first time participating in it. So to actually win is pretty cool.”
This year was also the first that pinned Western Conference against Eastern Conference for the entire evening. The West won 140-125.