He had barely played two games in the most important basketball league in the world, but that did not seem to weigh on Mac McClung.
The 24-year-old, who has accumulated
brilliant numbers in the current EU G-Leag season
with the Delaware Blue Coats jersey,
dazzled the NBA this Saturday
with a memorable performance in the All Star Game, where he defied gravity to
win with authority the dunk tournament
At the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Jazz, McClung was the architect of great interventions and
breathed new life into a contest
that aroused criticism in recent editions for its low level.
In his first appearance, he threatened to jump over two people standing in a row, but – surely as part of his show – he invited one of them to climb on top of the other's shoulders.
It was there when he started the run, to grab the ball from the partner above, press it slightly against the backboard and bury it in the ring, on his back, after a spectacular
jump over both of them
captivated the public, other NBA stars and the jury
, who were surprised by the skill of this basketball player of "barely" 1.88 meters tall who recently signed a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Due to the characteristics of that link, McClung could allow him to have a rematch in the NBA or also continue defending the colors of the Delaware Blue Coats, the affiliate of that franchise.
The concrete thing is that
later the confirmation arrived that this move had not been a coincidence
McClung, already wearing a black shirt with the legend Gate City (his hometown, in Virginia) and the number 0 on the front, faced the painted area from the right sector and after a turn on his own axis, in the air , turned the ball over, to definitively demolish the forecasts with an impressive 360 °.
Thus, after accepting the invitation to share the poster with Jericho Sims, Trey Murphy and Kenyon Martin Jr., and with
three maximum scores and one almost perfect,
he won a trophy that was somewhat devalued in the preview, but which remained with the shares on the rise after his appearance this Saturday, the day he became the
first player to win the dunk contest of an All Star Game coming from the NBA development league
Before this weekend, the young Virginian basketball player barely had a couple of games in the NBA, a league that he had not been able to access through the Draft.
He played both games in the 2021-2022 season, one with the Chicago Bulls shirt and the rest with the Los Angeles Lakers.
In that same year he was proclaimed the G League Rookie of the Year, after averaging 21.6 points, 7.6 assists, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 27 games representing the South Bay Lakers and Windy City Bulls.
Mac McClung received the award from the legendary Julius Erving.
Photo Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP
Now McClung, who in 2022 signed for the Golden State Warriors but was released before the start of the season, will have the chance to wear the number 9 jersey of the Philadelphia 76ers, with the confidence of knowing that he overwhelmingly obtained the tournament-winning trophy. of dunks in the NBA, which he received from the legendary Julius Erving.
Damian Lillard won his first All-Star Game 3-point contest
Damian Lillard, the star of the Portland Trail Blazers, won his first
All-Star triple contest trophy this Saturday.
The 32-year-old point guard beat Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton, both of the Indiana Pacers, in the final at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City (Utah).
In his third appearance in the contest, Lillard competed wearing a uniform from the university where he was educated, Weber State, located just 60 kilometers from Salt Lake City.
"This makes it even more special.
I've tried twice before and I'm happy to get it here
," the point guard acknowledged when picking up the trophy.
"I've tried it twice before and I'm happy to get it here," Damian Lillard said after winning the 3-point tournament in Utah.
Photo Patrick T. Fallon / AFP.
"The best shooters in history have one of these and I wanted to win it at least once before I retired," said Lillard, who is also the first winner of the contest in Blazers history.
Lillard had 26 points in the first round of the contest, in which Tyler Herro (Heat), Kevin Huerter (Kings), Julius Randle (Knicks), Jayson Tatum (Celtics) and Lauri Markkanen (Jazz) were eliminated.
In the final, the point guard repeated 26 points again, surpassing with his last triple from the corner the 25 that Buddy Hield got before.
Haliburton tried to move past Lillard afterwards but fell to 17 points.
Lillard, who averages 31.4 points and 4.2 triples per game this season, and who succeeded Dominican-American center Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves), surprising winner in 2022, as the winner of the triple tournament, will participate on Sunday in his seventh All-Star Game.
In the other contest,
the skills contest, Utah Jazz players Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler and Collin Sexton prevailed
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), who is due to captain one of the All-Star teams on Sunday, was sidelined as a precaution because of a wrist injury he suffered Thursday.
The Greek was relieved by his Bucks teammate Jrue Holiday, who competed alongside the other two Antetokounmpo brothers: Alex (Wisconsin Herd - G League) and Thanasis (Bucks).
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