After ’09 snub, Westbrook has 1 big requirement to enter dunk contest
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, two-time All-Star MVP and arguably the league’s most violent dunker, Russell Westbrook has never participated in the NBA’s slam dunk contest during All-Star Weekend.
After the 6-foot-3 missile was awarded his second All-Star Game trophy in as many years, he told the TNT crew there is one and only one to get him in the dunk contest:
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— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 15, 2016
A year ago, Westbrook was asked why he has never competed in the dunk contest, and he provided this awesome answer:
Russell Westbrook on why he's never been in the dunk contest: “I only dunk on people.”
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) February 13, 2015
And here’s a sampling of exactly what he means:
However, it’s not like Westbrook has always shunned the dunk contest. In fact, in 2009 as a rookie, he made this campaign video urging fans to vote him in as a contestant. This is truly awesome:
And maybe it’s the ultimate reason why he’s never participated since despite destroying numerous rims along the way. Westbrook lost in the fan vote to fellow rookie, Spaniard Rudy Fernandez. That’s right, Rudy Fernandez, who became the first international competitor ever in the dunk contest.
So Fernandez, who resumed his pro career in Spain in 2012, joined defending champion Dwight Howard, Nate Robinson, who ended up winning the title, and J.R. Smith in the 2009 dunk conteset.
Perhaps the fan vote defeat was all too much for the young, UCLA product. But at least now Westbrook has set a guideline for participation.
Please, Shaq, get this done.