The most anticipated event of the NBA All-Star weekend may not be the game itself; it's the Slam Dunk Contest. This year, the circus around the contest is even greater as Blake Griffin makes his dunk contest debut after dazzling crowds throughout the first half of his debut season with the Los Angeles Clippers. It's left many wondering what he can come up with next and what dunks he'll pull out of his bag of tricks on Sunday at Staples Center.
Here's all the information for tonight's dunk contest.
Time: While there's no set time, the dunk contest caps the All-Star Saturday Night coverage and will likely take place a little after 7 p.m. The skills challenge, three-point contest and other events will precede the dunk contest on Saturday night.
TV Information: TNT has the broadcast on Saturday night beginning at 5 p.m.
Participants: Blake Griffin, DeMar DeRozan, JaVale McGee and Serge Ibaka will hit the floor for a series of dunks tonight.
Favorite: The favorite is clearly Griffin and it's not even close. From hitting his head on the backboard last week to throwing down alley-oops that didn't seem possible before now, Griffin has done it all for the Clippers. The only question remaining is what he can come up with on Saturday night with a full-array of props to work with. According to SB Nation this morning, we may just see Griffin leap over some kind of car.
Where's Nate?: Nate Robinson, winner of the last two dunk contests and three overall, won't be in attendance tonight, ensuring the NBA will crown a new champion. The pint-sized guard with springs for legs captured the hearts of viewers in years past, but is taking the year off to graciously allow a new victor to enter the fold.
Who To Root Against?: Serge Ibaka. He plays for the Thunder and, well, we're from Seattle. It's nothing personal, but Oklahoma City has our team and, therefor, we should hate every single player with Thunder written across their chest.
It all gets underway tonight at 5 p.m. on TNT, with the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest capping the festivities. Tune-in if only to see what Blake Griffin will do next.
For more information, including some of the great moments in dunk contest history, check out SB Nation's StoryStream.