LOS ANGELES — Playing amid a pandemic has changed the NBA’s plans for this season’s All-Star Game.
For the 36th edition of the slam dunk contest, halftime is now showtime.
Portland’s Anfernee Simons, Indiana’s Cassius Stanley and New York’s Obi Toppin will compete in the dunk contest Sunday during halftime of the All-Star game in Atlanta.
Stanley grew up in Los Angeles, attending Harvard-Westlake School before finishing his high school career at Chatsworth Sierra Canyon. The 6-foot-5 rookie is on a two-way contract with the Pacers after being selected 54th in last year’s draft. He will compete with the 6-3 Simons, a Trail Blazers guard in his third season, and Toppin, a 6-9 rookie. Their two-round competition will be judged by five former dunk-contest champions: Dominique Wilkins, Jason Richardson, Josh Smith, Spud Webb and former Clippers executive Dee Brown.
The contest’s format, per the NBA:
In the first round, the three competitors will perform two dunks each. The five judges will score each dunk on a scale of 6 to 10, resulting in a maximum score of 50 and a minimum score of 30. The two players with the highest combined score for their two dunks (a maximum of 100 and a minimum of 60) will advance to the final round. In the final round, the two competitors will perform one dunk each. The winner will be determined by “Judges’ Choice” instead of individual score.
The league also will hold two competitions before tipoff. The 3-point contest will feature Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Phoenix’s Devin Booker, Boston’s Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Chicago’s Zach LaVine.
The skills competition’s field includes Dallas’ Luka Doncic, Phoenix’s Chris Paul, New York’s Julius Randle, Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic and Portland’s Robert Covington.