Mac McClung has only played in two NBA games, but for one night he was the league’s brightest star. McClung dominated Saturday’s Slam Dunk Contest with three perfect scores on his four dunks, all of which drew a massive reaction from the crowd at Vivint Arena, writes Ben Golliver of The Washington Post.
“It’s great,” McClung said after defeating the Pelicans’ Trey Murphy in the finals. “I’m truly blessed and grateful to the NBA for giving me this opportunity. If you guys will have me, I’ll be back (next year).”
The 6’2″ guard wowed the packed house with his incredible leaping ability and acrobatics, leaving some of the NBA’s top players and former stars visibly impressed. He started the final round with a “double double-clutch” dunk, as Golliver describes it, then ended the night with a spinning reverse slam.
It was a memorable performance for a player who had been in the G League all season before signing a two-way contract with the Sixers on Tuesday. After brief trials with the Lakers, Bulls and Warriors over the last two years, McClung will try to use his newfound fame to help him stick on an NBA roster.
There’s more on the Sixers:
- McClung would have missed the opportunity to become an All-Star Weekend sensation if he had accepted one of the offers received to play overseas last summer. According to Rich Hofman of The Athletic, McClung could have made more than $1MM with either Fenerbahce in Turkey or the Shanghai Sharks in China. He opted for an Exhibit 10 deal with Philadelphia that he believed gave him a better path to the NBA.
- A Sixers source tells Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer that the organization believes Joel Embiid intends to play in Sunday’s All-Star Game, but Pompey suggests it would be better for Embiid and the team if he sits it out. Pompey notes that Embiid has been dealing with soreness in his left foot for much of the season and hasn’t been fully healthy for about a month.
- Kevin Love will reportedly talk to the Sixers before deciding on his next team, but Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice isn’t convinced that it would be a good fit. Philadelphia has a full roster, so someone would have to be waived to make room for Love, and Neubeck sees Paul Reed or the recently signed Dewayne Dedmon as the best choices. Although Love could provide an upgrade with his rebounding, Neubeck points out that the Sixers already have a similar forward in Georges Niang.