The Rundown: Mac McClung steals show in dunk contest

Published February 19, 2023, 3:00 PMPolo Bustamante

Along with McClung, Team Jazz and Damian Lillard also emerged as winners in the Skills Challenge and 3-Point Shootout, respectively.

What went down

All-Star Saturday is all about fun. The three main competitions of the day, the Skills Challenge, 3-Point Shootout, and Dunk Contest highlight the best skills of various NBA stars. This year’s versions didn’t disappoint.

In the Skills Challenge, it was Team Antetokounmpo (Alex and Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday) against Team Rooks (Jaden Ivey, Paolo Banchero, and Jabari Smith Jr.) versus Team Jazz (Jordan Clarkson, Collin Sexton, and Walker Kessler). This year’s competition was divided into three rounds, the Relay Round, Passing Round, and Shooting Round.

The Rooks got off to a good start taking the Relay Round to open up festivities. The home team, Team Jazz came through in the final two rounds to take home this year’s Skills Challenge trophy.

What followed was the star-studded 3-Point Shootout, which featured Tyrese Haliburton, Tyler Herro, Buddy Hield, Kevin Huerter, Damian Lillard, Lauri Markkanen, Julius Randle, and Jayson Tatum.

Lillard, Haliburton, and Hield were the three best shooters in the opening round and advanced to the final round. Dame Time showed out in the final round when he nailed clutch shots to win the crown.

Needing a 26 to beat the 25 scored by Hield, Lillard hit two Starry Shots worth three points each and hit four straight shots, including the Money Ball to get the magic number.

The Dunk Contest this year ended up stealing the show with awesome dunks from all the participants.

Mac McClung surprised everyone with the crazy dunks that he had up his sleeve. He had a near-perfect run, missing straight 50s by only 0.2 points.

He opened the contest with a dunk over two guys, tapping the ball on the board, and finishing with a reverse jam.

He sealed the deal with an insane 540 dunk to the disbelief of the crowd.

Should it be said? The Dunk Contest is back!

Big-time baller

This has to go to McClung. The guy single-handed saved the Dunk Contest that everyone was piling on before All-Star Saturday.

Everyone was lamenting the fact that there were no big names joining this year’s dunking showdown, unlike the other events in the All-Star weekend. McClung was actually a G League player when he accepted the invitation for the event.

Now a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, McClung showed that all it takes are crazy dunks no one has seen before to save the show.

It’s also pretty cool that he rocked the Gate City jersey in his final dunk. That was his high school team where he became a viral sensation for… dunking.

What he said

It was pretty awesome that Lillard, an alum of Weber State in Utah, got to win the 3-Point Competition in front of family and friends.

Lillard rocked his college jersey in the final round to rep his roots too.

Did you see that?

Steph Curry used to hold the distinction of having the highest single-round 3-Point Shootout score with 31 which he notched in the first round of the 2021 event.

Now he’s not alone. Haliburton tied his score with 31 in the first round of this year’s shootout as well.

Not only did Haliburton tie Curry, he also raised $300,000 for the NBA Foundation with that score.