BOSTON – Ben McLemore joins Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes in the NBA All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest in New Orleans next Saturday. Taking place in the newly named Smoothie King Center, McLemore is excited to represent the Kings and participate in his first dunk contest since his high school days at Oak Hill Academy.
"I’ve been just trying to do what’s best to represent me and the Sacramento Kings at the same time," McLemore said before visiting the Celtics. "Definitely, especially being a rookie, being able to say I experienced something like that in the rookie game you know, just saying I had the chance to experience something like that. And also with being selected to the dunk contest, that’s even better."
It’s been a while since McLemore participated in a dunk contest, going back to his high school days at famed Oak Hill Academy.
"Matter of fact, the last dunk contest I was in was with Oak Hill. We were in Hawaii and I won that."
This time around, he won’t get to win outright, as the NBA All-Star Weekend has been split into team competitions. But McLemore isn’t too upset about sharing the glory.
"It’s a team thing and fans vote for who had the best dunk of the night," he said. "But I’m still going out there to bring a lot of excitement and you know to bring a lot of ‘aahs’ and ‘oohs’ out there. So we’ll see which team wins."
With the news just breaking, McLemore is starting to think about what his routine will be in the contest. He told CLNS Radio he has not figured it out yet, but he has his plan in the works.
"Not yet, I’m still working on it. Still planning. I still got time, I still got almost a little over a week to plan and get prepared for this great event coming up."
He is known for his absurd vertical leap and ability to finish in traffic, but when asked if his style is more aerodynamic or high-flying, McLemore told CLNS Radio, "A little bit of both."
"I’m definitely a high flyer. I can get high. I just want to show my athleticism out there on the floor and bring a lot of excitement out there."
Being both aerially dynamic and a high leaper, the current holy grail of the slam dunk, the 720, has come under consideration.
"I was thinking about that, nobody has put that up," McLemore told CLNS Radio. "But we’ll see."