David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

Kevin Garnett and Charles Barkley provided pure entertainment during a Facebook Live video during the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

By Malika Andrews
February 23, 2017

Kevin Garnett, who retired last year after 21 seasons in the NBA, used Facebook Live to broadcast from New Orleans during Saturday’s All-Star Slam Dunk Contest in a second-screen experience that could be found on his KG Area 21 Facebook page.

Former NBA player and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley joined Garnett. The duo ate beignets and gave live analysis of dunks from Aaron Gordon, DeAndre Jordan, Glenn Robinson III and Derrick Jones Jr., as it was Verizon that sponsored both the dunk contest and Garnett’s show.

After narrowly losing the dunk title in 2016 to Zach LaVine, Gordon entered the contest as the heavy favorite. He had told reporters at his media availability on Friday that his performance would be “innovative” and “technology oriented.”

“Here we go, here comes the technology,” Garnett said in the video.

Gordon brought out a drone for his first dunk attempt. The drone—seemingly controlled by Gordon—flew into the arena as the Star Wars theme song blared in Smoothie King Center. The drone was supposed to drop the ball onto court and Gordon was to complete a between-the-legs dunk, and fans could watch this unfold on TNT while also tuning in to Garnett’s show.

“Does he even know how to drive this?” Garnett said of Gordon and the drone.

Barkley replied: “I’ll tell you what. TNT got this already, the drone is sponsored by Intel.”

And in fact, a team of Intel workers was manning the drone.

“This is dope (and) I don’t even know what this is,” Garnett said.

Unfortunately for Gordon, the drone drop went perfectly, but his timing on the dunk was off, and it took him four attempts to complete the slam, which ultimately caused him to be eliminated.

Robinson III went on to win the title by jumping over three people – including his Indiana Pacers teammate, Paul George.

Still, Barkley and Garnett marveled at the technology aspect of Gordon’s performance. Garnett joked that the drone would soon be delivering Barkley’s mail.

As of Wednesday night, Garnett’s video had over 102,000 views.

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