Anfernee Simons took home the 2021 NBA Dunk Contest crown by putting on an absolute show.
The 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest was yet another event using a new format due to COVID-19 protocols. The contest, usually reserved for a Saturday night slot, took place during halftime of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.
Three young dunkers took part and Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons did enough to beat both New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin and Indiana Pacers reserve Cassius Stanley in the condensed but still fun event.
Simons making a name for himself by winning Dunk Contest
Simons is only 21 years old and was taken No. 24 overall by the Blazers in 2018 after not playing any college basketball. The young guard has received increased playing time as the years have gone on and he can now call himself a champion.
The win was impressive, but it sure wasn’t easy. Adding some extra flair helped his case with the voters.
This year’s format saw the two highest-scorers reach the final. That was Simons and Toppin. But instead of receiving more scores, the judges simply picked a name for who had the best dunk in the final. Simons nearly kissing the rim took home the crown.
Toppin and Stanley still put on a show, with the former even leaping over both a teammate and his own dad.
Stanley seemed to get robbed early because he made his first dunk look so easy.
The NBA still having the Dunk Contest was a good idea, and three young players got to showcase their skills to a national audience. Not picking a true star player to take part did not matter in the end. A show was put on and the contest served its purpose, even in a bit of a rushed format.