Sunday, February 11, 2024

Jaylen Brown on participating in NBA Slam Dunk Contest: 'I think it'll be fun'

Jaylen Brown will be the first Celtics player to take part in an NBA Slam Dunk Contest since 2008.

After a few days of reports and speculations, it was made official Thursday afternoon just hours before the league's trade deadline, that Brown would be one of four particpants in the event during NBA All-Star Weekend in Indianpolis from Feburary 16-18.

Brown, who last week was named an All-Star for the third time, will be joined in the 2024 showcase along with reigning contest champion Mac McClung (Orlando Magic), Jacob Toppin (New York Knicks), and Jaime Jacquez Jr. (Miami Heat).

The 27-year-old wing is the first All-Star to compete in the Slam Dunk Contest since Victor Oladipo in 2018.

Following the Celtics' 133-129 victory over the Wizards Friday, Brown spoke about becoming the first All-Star to pariciapte in the Slam Dunk contest and the All-Star Game since DeAndre Jordan in 2017.
"I think I'm in my athletic prime," Brown told reporters on why he decided to participate in the event. "I think it'll be fun. I wish more top players/athletes, decided to compete in the Dunk Contest. I grew up watching that and that's what I love. So, hopefully, that comes back around."
While Brown noted that this is the first time particiapting in any offical dunk contest ever, he did tease that an All-Star teammate could be involved but didn't reveal any details on any possible dunks he'd try to attempt.
"I may or may not use props," Brown said Friday night. "I got about six in the chamber or whatever. We'll see which ones I end up going with, but definitely be on the look for [Jayson Tatum] to make an appearance on it. Definitely want to use the All-Star weekend, the fun activities to be able to build with your teammates and share some of that. If JT is available, for sure it will be fun."
Tatum volunteered his services, saying he "would be open" to help out Brown in anyway, as he's happy to see his All-Star Celtics teammate take part in the Slam Dunk Contest.
"I think it would be great for him to participate in it, kind of bring back that star power to the dunk contest that we want to see," Tatum said in his postgame comments Wednesday. "All the big name guys be in it, that's how I grew up watching it. So, I would love for him to be in it, and I would love for him to win, and I think it would be exciting to see."
Brown is seeking to be the third Celtic to win the Slam Dunk Contest in the competition's history since Gerald Green in 2007 when he paid homage to Dee Brown (also wore No. 7) and the orginal signiture no-look dunk -- that took home the event 16 years prior (1991).
"Everything has been done," Brown said. "I think just my approach is just to have fun with it and put my own little style, my own little swag on things. Everything has been done, but I feel like I bring a uniqueness. So I plan on putting my own style and bringing my own swag to it and just go from there."
Brown, who is averaging 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game this season, is the fifth overall Celtics player to take part in the contest -- with the other two being Greg Minor (1996) and Ricky Davis (2004).

The 2024 Slam Dunk Contest is set to be held during the NBA's All-Star Saturday Night on February 17 in Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium -- which will use an LED glass court for the first time.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy of Getty Images

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