Ranking Mac McClung’s near-perfect NBA All-Star dunk night, from the tap-and-go slam to the 540 walk-off jam

Mac McClung, the only G League player in history to even enter the dunk contest, let alone win it, put on a show for the ages Saturday night in Salt Lake City, nailing all of his attempts on the first try. That’s one of the things that killed this competition: Guys bricking a bunch of attempts before finishing down. McClung was perfect, joining Spud Webb as the only players in history 6-foot-2 or shorter to card three 50s in a single dunk contest.

Below, I’m going to rank McClung’s four dunks, starting at the end.

1. The walk out

McClung saved his best for last. Trey Murphy III was hanging around with some pretty impressive stuff of his own, but when McClung threw down this 540, as Draymond Green could be heard saying on the TNT broadcast, it was a blast.

That’s worth a few more looks.

They are jerseys and there are flyers. McClung’s flies. It may even be the most appropriate description of floats. That dunk is a jaw dropper. Some people were calling it 720, which would be two full revolutions, but you can watch again and see that it ends halfway through the second turn, instead, it continues its descent. Really bad dunk, and maybe just as important, again, it was on the first attempt. The people arose, and he did not let them down. He was awarded 50.

2. The reverse double clutch

Kenny Smith called it a “hesi” dunk, but it was more than that. On his third dunk of the night, McClung got his head level with the rim as he took the ball out of his stunt man’s hands, then more or less froze in the air far enough to bring the ball from between his legs up to. his chest, then back down to his waist and back up again for the end.

In fact, the difficulty of this dunk lies in the hang time. It’s impossible to put into words how long you have to hover at edge level to give yourself time for a full double clutch. And again, he had to bring the ball up to his chest first before he even started the down-up double clutch. It’s really almost a triple clutch. This is one of those dunks that you have to slow down and really think about the subtleties to really understand how difficult it was to pull off.

3. Tap and go

Kenny Smith wasn’t sure if McClung had tapped the glass before he drained his first dunk. You will see below that he did. This was crazy to pull off as your first dunk, on your first attempt, with all the hoopla surrounding McClung in this tournament.

McClung goes over two dads here, one sitting on the other’s shoulders, which is like jumping over a regular door in your house. McClung has his head there with the edge as he grabs the ball under his waist. To go from that point to over his head, tap it off the backboard and throw it down with the back of his hand in one smooth motion was well deserved for the 50 he scored.

That said, I think the next dunk on this list was more difficult, but I give this one the upper hand because, again, all the pressure came from being McClung’s first attempt. The “rising to the occasion” element is definitely part of this package.

4. The 360 ​​windmill

I can’t believe I’m calling this McClung’s “worst” dunk. This jam was so bad. It wasn’t a complete 360 ​​if you want to be technical; McClung starts his turn before he takes off, as does almost everyone who does a 360. But for all intents and purposes, this is a 360 with a windmill thrown in mid-revolution.

There was a time when Dominque Wilkins was a legend just for doing the windmill part. And this was no cheap windmill. This was a complete windmill, and yet McClung managed to flush it with power. This should be a 50.

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