The field for the 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is set. Houston Rockets rookie guard Jalen Green, New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin, Golden State Warriors forward Juan Toscano-Anderson and Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony are the four players that will participate in the annual contest, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Slam Dunk Contest will be held on Saturday, Feb. 19 during All-Star Weekend in Cleveland.
Out of the four players that are participating this season, Toppin is the only one with dunk contest experience, as he also participated in the event last season. Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons ultimately defeated Toppin in the final round in order to capture the crown. Simons apparently decided against defending his title this season.
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It’s worth noting that none of the participants rank in the top 10 in the NBA in total dunks this season — a category currently led by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, who has 147 total dunks on the season so far. Toppin is 16th league-wide with 66 dunks (and counting). Green has 26 dunks on the season, while Toscano-Anderson has 20. Cole Anthony has only had nine in-game dunks so far this season, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have hops.
The days of big-name stars participating in the Slam Dunk Contest appear to be over, as it’s been quite some time since guys like Michael Jordan (1987, 1988) and Kobe Bryant (1997) won the event. Nonetheless, this season’s field is enticing, as all four players are extremely bouncy, and as up-and-coming players, all four guys will be looking to make a name for themselves on one of the league’s bigger stages.