Mac McClung is the winner of the 2023 Dunk Contest. McClung, who received his invite to the competition while in the G League but signed a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier in the week, came 0.2 points away from throwing down four perfect dunks to defeat Trey Murphy of the New Orleans Pelicans, Jericho Sims of the New York Knicks, and KJ Martin of the Houston Rockets.
Mac McClung: 99.8 (50, 49.8)
Trey Murphy: 96 (46.6, 49.4)
Jericho Sims: 95.4 (47.6, 47.8)
KJ Martin: 93.2 (46.0, 47.2)
Murphy led things off in the opening round with a Grand Theft Alvarado-inspired dunk. After pretending to do a dunk, Murphy hyped up the crowd, only for Pelicans teammate Jose Alvarado to run out, steal the ball, throw it off the backboard, and set Murphy up for a 360.
Sims went second and made a very difficult dunk look routine, as he threw the ball off of the backboard and went for a double honey dip dunk. His eyes got up to the rim and his right arm went straight through to the elbow, while his left wrist went in before he slid it the rest of the way.
Martin was up third and enlisted some help from his Rockets teammate, Jae’Sean Tate. After Tate lobbed the ball up from under the rim, Martin rushed in from the corner and threw down an explosive up and under where his head hit the net.
The betting favorite to win the whole thing, McClung ended up going last during the first round of dunks. He got a pair of volunteers, with one sitting on top of the other’s shoulders. McClung jumped over both of them, grabbed the ball, tapped it off the backboard, and finished with two hands over his head.
Martin led off the second go-around and got a little help from his dad. A 3D-printed ball got delivered by his father, who lobbed it off the backboard. His first dunk didn’t work out like he wanted, so Martin reeled in the ball, turned his back to the basket, pumped, and threw it down.
Murphy’s second dunk came after he asked the crowd if they wanted a tomahawk or windmill. The Pelicans standout decided to pump the ball over his shoulders, bring it down to his knees via a half windmill, do a 180, and finish.
For Sims’ second dunk, the Knicks big man had someone bring out a ladder and clip an envelope onto the net. He did another honey dip, grabbed the note, open it after he landed, and revealed that it said 50.
McClung entered his final dunk needing a 45.5 to guarantee he’d move on. He managed to get that by doing a two-handed windmill and a 360, thereby sending himself to the finals against Murphy.
Mac McClung: 100 (50, 50)
Trey Murphy: 98 (48.8, 49.2)
Murphy went first in the finals. He went to the top of the key, jumped, threw the ball up between the legs, and caught it for a clean windmill where his eyes nearly got to the rim.
With his first effort in the finals, McClung got some help once again. He ran in from the corner and jumped over his volunteer, than double pumped in mid-air and dunked.
Murphy needed something big with his second dunk to keep the pressure on McClung, who held a lead heading into the final effort of the night. He decided to try and replicate Vince Carter’s first dunk from the legendary 2000 contest, a windmill 360.
McClung did not need a 50 to win with his final dunk, but he got one, anyway. While decked out in his high school jersey, McClung ran in from the corner and did a 540 with a two-handed windmill.