Prior to the 2018-2019 season, Dallas Mavericks sophomore point guard Dennis Smith Jr. stated that he would not be participating this year slam dunk contest.
“I’m not doing the dunk contest this year,” Dennis Smith Jr told me.
ESPN’s Tim MacMahon asked Smith a follow-up question asking why no interest in the dunk contest? And Smith said “I don’t think it’s for me,” Smith said. “The gimmicks and everything that comes with it. I’m not with it.”
Smith was part of last year’s contest in Los Angeles along with Victor Oladipo, Larry Nance Jr. and Donovan Mitchell. Utah Jazz’s point guard Donovan Mitchell would take home the trophy after paying homage his mentor and former Jazz great Darrell Griffith. He also did a tribute dunk to Vince Carter from his 2000 dunk contest.
Before The Mavericks’ preseason games against the Beijing Ducks, I asked Smith if he stood by the comments he made on media day about the dunk contest. This year’s contest will be in Charlotte, which is 2 hours and 46 mins away from where Smith grew up in Fayetteville, NC.
“I won’t be participating in the dunk contest the gimmicks that come with the event, it’s not for me,” said Smith. He added that he will be watching though because there is always a good contest,” Smith told me.
Earlier this week I reported that Dennis Smith Jr would not be participating in the slam dunk contest this year. Well According to a report from The Athletic, Smith will be participating in this year’s contest after all. Before tonight’s game against the Pistons’, I asked Smith if the report was true and he confirmed that he would be participating in this year’s contest.
“I had a change of heart,” Smith told me.
I also spoke to a source close to the situation and the person shared that it was a combination of reasons why he didn’t participate. One is Dennis felt he got robbed last year because of all the gimmicks and everything that went it.
The same source told me the reason why he changed his mind was for branding purposes and the fact that the contest is in his home state of North Carolina.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Keith Smith, this year’s participates could be Miles Bridges – CHA,
John Collins – ATL, Derrick Jones Jr – MIA, and Dennis Smith Jr – DAL. We will have to see how all this pans out.
Miles Bridges – CHA
John Collins – ATL
Derrick Jones Jr – MIA
Dennis Smith Jr – DAL
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) January 25, 2019