- In honor of Derrick Jones Jr. and Glenn Robinson III, let's examine the most unknown participants in NBA dunk contest history.
Gone are the days of NBA superstars dueling at the dunk contest on All-Star Saturday night. While fans in the past grew accustomed to watching Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins battle it out for dunking supremacy, viewers this year will be treated to an epic matchup between Suns rookie Derrick Jones Jr. and the Pacers second-year man Glenn Robinson III.
Jones holds the special distinction of registering zero dunks in his short NBA career, having suited up just four times for Phoenix. But don’t be too surprised if he ends Saturday night’s festivities hoisting a trophy. Jones has spent much of his year dunking through the D-League, leaving his mark from Springfield to Sioux Falls. In his honor, here are the seven most anonymous Dunk Contest Participants in NBA history.
James White, SF, Knicks
After spending the three previous seasons in Europe, White returned to the NBA for his final season in 2013. But he failed to make his mark both in New York and in the dunk contest, coming in last place. He would retire after starting 16 games for a Knicks team that won 54 games prior to being ousted in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Jeremy Evans, SF, Jazz
Evans holds the title of most anonymous dunk-contest winner after edging out Rockets forward Chase Budinger in 2012. His night was highlighted by dunking two balls in one attempt, a move later topped by JaVale McGee in 2013. Evans retired following his first year with the Mavericks in 2016.
Hakim Warrick, PF, Grizzlies
Perhaps best known for his blocked shot to seal the NCAA title for Syracuse in 2003, Warrick entered the dunk contest in 2006 as a rookie for the Grizzlies averaging just three shot attempts per game. Warrick impressed judges with an impressive reverse windmill on his first attempt, but suffered a miss in the second round, eliminating him from competition. Knicks point guard Nate Robinson ultimately edged out the 76ers’ Andre Iguodala in the final round, becoming the first winner under 6’0” since Spud Webb in 1986.
Chris Andersen, PF, Hornets
Long before he would become a NBA champion alongside LeBron James in 2013, Andersen was known for little more than his tattoos and mohawk as a member of the Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Hornets. Andersen’s foray into the dunk contest resulted in an uneventful third place in 2004, followed by a disastrous performance in 2005. Anderson spent nearly three minutes attempting his first dunk, boring the crowd en route to a predictable fourth-place finish.
Jamie Watson, SF, Jazz
Watson appeared in the 1995 dunk contest as a rookie after being selected by Utah in the second round. He fell in the finals to two-time dunk contest champion, and recipient of the nickname “Baby Jordan,” Harold Miner. Watson would play six NBA seasons before playing abroad in seven different countries.
Kenny Battle, SG, Suns
Battle’s anonymity seemed to exist before and during his appearance in the dunk contest in 1990. Entering with a career average of less than five points per game, Battle was quickly eliminated in the first round. His presence was greatly overshadowed by the household names participating, including Wilkins, Shawn Kemp, Scottie Pippen and defending champion Kenny Walker.
Terence Stansbury, SG, Pacers
The 15th pick in the historic 1984 NBA draft, Stansbury notched three dunk contest appearances in his three years in the league. From 1985-87 Stansbury showed up every year at All-Star weekend, but failed to bring home a trophy. But Stansbury did complete a three-peat of sorts, finishing in third place each year.