Dennis Smith Jr. wanted to use J. Cole for Dunk Contest
Everyone’s dying to know what Dallas Mavericks rookie Dennis Smith Jr. had in-store had he advanced in the finals of last weekend’s Slam Dunk contest. Now we’re finally going to get some insight.
ESPN analyst Amin El-Hassan relayed the quick info on his podcast, Black Opinions Matter, this past Monday, and Alex Squadron of Slam Online quoted him in saying the following:
“If Dennis would have made it to the final round, [J. Cole] was going to throw him the alley-oop. The plan was, Cole would throw the ‘oop, Dennis would dunk it, and Cole would catch the ball and then he’d dunk it too. That was going to be the ill, craziest dunk, use of a prop or a person ever, but we never got to [see] because [Dennis] was holding out until the final round and didn’t want to bring it out in the first round.”
Smith Jr. and J.Cole, as you may know, have a certain bond, which may have rooted from having similar beginnings. The two came from the small city of Fayetteville, North Carolina, and both have now reached a high point in their respective fields – one’s a first-year basketball pro with tons of potential and the other is a multi-platinum-selling musical artist.
Though many are aware of J.Cole’s above-the-norm skills in the hardwood, El-Hassan is right in saying that what the two had in mind would’ve been the best use of a prop in the history of the contest. Its surprise element can topple Dwight Howard’s superman cape, Gerald Green’s cupcake, and arguably Aaron Gordon’s hoverboard.
The plan got derailed when Smith Jr. missed his original attempt in the first round and only earned a 39 for his back-up dunk, which put him in a tough position. His 360 between the legs in the second round was good, and probably deserved more than a 50. It was similar to what Paul George and DeAndre Jordan did in the previous events, but his version, by far, had more hang time and flair… and he’s only 6-foot-2.
There’s always next year, though, and considering how hungry people are for what he can bring, the league will lobby hard for his return to the contest.