When it comes to slam dunks, the Clippers have two of the NBA’s best in Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. But Eric Bledsoe?
The Clippers point guard, whose status has been elevated from reserve to starter with the recent injury to Chris Paul, was named to compete in the slam-dunk contest at All-Star weekend in Houston on Feb. 16.
The league announced the selection Thursday of Bledsoe, New York’s James White, Denver’s Kenneth Faried, Toronto’s Terrence Ross and past winners Jeremy Evans of Utah and Gerald Green of Indiana. The league will use a new format for the contest, pitting Western Conference against Eastern Conference.
Bledsoe is only 6-foot-1, but he’s shown an ability to throw down some impressive dunks this season, especially after steals. He’s an exceptional leaper and has 43 blocked shots, second only to Jordan (71) on the team.
“Pretty much everybody watches the dunk contest, so the NBA selecting me [means] they think I’ve got a chance to win,” Bledsoe told the team’s website, Clippers.com. “It’s a great situation.”
Griffin won the dunk contest in 2011, leaping over a car for his winning dunk. Jordan has never competed in the contest, saying he wouldn’t take part until he made the all-star team first.