Earlier this week, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that 2022 Slam Dunk Contest participants would include Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony and Houston Rockets rookie Jalen Green. They will be joined by New York Knicks forward Obi Toppin, and Golden State Warriors guard Juan Toscano-Anderson.
It was also reported that the defending champion Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons would not be returning to defend his crown. This will also be Toppin’s second appearance in the contest as he barely lost to Simons last season.
In a recent interview, Green’s trainer Mark Edwards was asked whether he thought Green would participate in this year’s dunk contest.
“Yes, especially if he doesn’t have any little nagging injuries or whatever, and also depending on his schedule. That’s a big thing right now regarding the dunk contest, is wear and tear on his body and schedule. I know he is going to have endorsement situations pop up. I think he’s going to be pretty marketable, and he will have a lot of press. He will do well and shock many people with how he plays the game and scores the basketball,” said Edwards.
“I think he will have a lot of requests, so hopefully, everything goes right. I can’t say if he will or won’t, but I know he loves to dunk the basketball. He’s got some amazing dunks, and when I see him do it, I can’t believe he just did that. Then he will do those amazing dunks off the dribble like he is not supposed to do that, but he does it. Jalen is what you call a gamer. A game usually doesn’t train right but shows up when the lights are on. However, he’s changed that. That was his thing now; he loves to train.”
Edwards added, “He has learned so much and added many fundamental movements to his game. He’s such as amazing athlete that sometimes he can just come out and give you 25 points with ease. Now, his skill set is so refined that I think he is going to put up some big numbers because he’s changed and grasped the opportunity to become a professional.”
Edwards helped train Green leading up to last year’s NBA draft, where he was picked second by the Houston Rockets. Green is averaging 14.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in 35 appearances this season.
Make sure you tune into All-Star Weekend on February 19th on TNT.