Oklahoma City Thunder

Hamidou Diallo Wins 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Despite coming into the 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Contest as the least likely to win it according to Las Vegas odds, Thunder rookie Hamidou Diallo left Charlotte with the crown as he knocked off Dennis Smith Jr. in the final round.

Round 1, Dunk 1

Diallo started off strong as he finished the first round on top with a score of 48 with an assist from Russell Westbrook. Westbrook bounced the ball off the left side of the backboard as Diallo ran from the left corner to catch the ball with his left and windmill it before finishing the dunk cleanly. John Collins dunked prior to Diallo, and he received a 40; Dennis Smith Jr., the favorite to win, earned a 45; and Miles Bridges received a 33 after failing to dunk on all of his attempts.

Round 1, Dunk 1 Scores

  • John Collins: 40
  • Hamidou Diallo: 48
  • Dennis Smith Jr.: 45
  • Miles Bridges: 33

Round 1, Dunk 2

After a couple of 50 scores from Dennis Smith Jr. and Miles Bridges and a 42 from John Collins, Diallo upped his antics for his second dunk. This time, he brought out Shaquille O’ Neal. Not only did Diallo manage to jump over Shaq for the dunk, but he stuck his elbow through the rim and hung around for a few seconds–shoutout to arguably the greatest dunker in NBA history, Vince Carter. Lastly, while hanging on the rim, he pulled the center of his jersey apart to reveal that he had a Superman logo underneath, likely paying homage to one of O’Neal’s self-proclaimed nicknames of “Superman.” The dunk earned Diallo a 50, which kept him in the lead for the time being, and put him in the final round against Dennis Smith Jr.

Round 1, Dunk 2 Scores

  • Miles Bridges: 50
  • John Collins: 42
  • Dennis Smith Jr.: 50
  • Hamidou Diallo: 50

Round 1 Total Scores

  • Hamidou Diallo: 98
  • Dennis Smith Jr.: 93
  • Miles Bridges: 83
  • John Collins: 82

Round 2, Dunk 1

With just two competitors remaining, Dennis Smith Jr. went first in the final round, but he was unable to finish a dunk, despite the maximum number of attempts. His attempts earned him a 35 score, which Hami was able to surpass easily as he bounced it off the ground, collected it with one hand, and put it through. While not as flashy as his previous two dunks, it earned Diallo a 43.

Round 2, Dunk 1 Scores

  • Hamidou Diallo: 43
  • Dennis Smith Jr.: 35

Round 2, Dunk 2

DSJ went first again for his second dunk of the final round, and this time, he had to use all 5 attempts. Still, he was able to perform an incredible feat as he jumped over Dwyane Wade and finished with a windmill slam. The finish earned him a surprise 50 because of the multiple misses.

On his last dunk, Diallo needed a 43 to walk away as the winner. For this one, he brought out Quavo, a member of the hip-hop group Migos. Quavo held the ball directly behind his head as Diallo ran, jumped, grabbed the ball from Quavo, and dunked it. Despite the equally impressive feat as Dennis Smith Jr.’s previous dunk, Diallo earned just a 45, but that was enough to seal the deal and earn him the title of 2019 NBA Slam Dunk Champion.

Round 2, Dunk 2 Scores

  • Hamidou Diallo: 45
  • Dennis Smith Jr.: 50

Round 2 Final Scores

  • Hamidou Diallo: 88
  • Dennis Smith Jr.: 85

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