Reigning NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Mac McClung amazed judges and fans alike with his high-flying acts during the All-Star break, and he recently made it clear that he wants to face off against star Zion Williamson in a future dunk contest.
“I would love that,” he said when asked about potentially facing Williamson by Steve Serby of the New York Post. “I think he’s an amazing dunker and amazing player, I think it would build up the fan base, and it would just be a great time.”
Williamson is considered one of the best in-game dunkers in the NBA, but it is unclear if he’d ever sign up to take part in the dunk contest. Though the dunk contest had been considered one of the highlights of All-Star Weekend in the past, it is now seen as something of a side dish.
The primary reason why is because stars of Williamson’s caliber simply don’t take part in the contest anymore. It lacks the luster that it had in previous decades, and it seems like stars don’t want to risk losing to lesser-known players or injuring themselves in an essentially meaningless competition.
For example, Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant recently made it clear that fans will never see him take part in the contest.
Ja Morant was asked what it would take for him to do the Slam Dunk Contest.
“I’m not doing the dunk contest.” pic.twitter.com/unQYmFhazd
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 18, 2023
With that in mind, Williamson may not be amongst the group of stars that feel too big for the event. He recently told fans that if he’s ever going to do it, he’ll do it in 2024.
“I’ll think about it,” he said in an interview with Riley Jones of Complex. “I’ll put heavy consideration into doing the dunk contest. I feel like if I am going to do it, I’d probably do it next year.”
Without question, a dunk contest featuring Williamson and McClung would be one for the ages. Williamson is as powerful as he is athletic, and he’s known for thunderous dunks that rattle the rim and backboard.
As for McClung, he’s more of a tactician in the air, using his incredible jumping ability and fast-twitch muscles to perform amazing acrobatics with the basketball and his body.
The truth is that if the competition were headlined by both dunk masters, more high-profile players could be enticed to take part as well. Though the dunk contest has definitely taken a back seat in recent years, Williamson and McClung could be the players to save it.
McClung is currently a member of the Philadelphia 76ers G League affiliate Delaware Blue Coats.
Williams, of course, is a star with the New Orleans Pelicans. Unfortunately, he is currently out with a hamstring injury. In 29 games this season, he’s averaging 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.