Knicks rookie forward Obi Toppin was named the first participant of the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest next month, occurring during the All-Star Game.
There will be two New York Knicks participating during NBA All-Star Weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. Rookie forward Obi Toppin was selected to participate in this year’s dunk contest, which will be held at halftime of the All-Star Game. Shams Charania of The Athletic was the first to report the news.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 26, 2021
Toppin’s in-game dunking ability combined with the surprising rise of the Knicks this season makes this selection a no-brainer for the NBA. It also says something that the neophyte was the first-named contestant. Toppin has not had many chances to replicate his highlight-reel dunks from Dayton thus far, but if this is any indication, he should do just fine in the contest.
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) February 26, 2021
Toppin, the eighth overall pick of the 2020 draft out of Dayton, is playing for his hometown Knicks in his rookie season. He joins first-time All-Star forward Julius Randle in Atlanta to participate in the NBA’s controversial extracurriculars. Coincidentally, Toppin has been playing behind teammate Randle in head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation, coming off the bench normally to replace Randle in the first-year forward’s first minutes.
The rest of the field is to be determined. Recent champions of the Slam Dunk Contest include Derrick Jones Jr., Hamidou Diallo, and All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Zach LaVine.
This is a breaking story, check back for updates.