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News » Westbrook's slam-dunk candidacy hits home stretch

Westbrook's slam-dunk candidacy hits home stretch

Westbrook's slam-dunk candidacy hits home stretch
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is one of three rookies bidding for a spot in the NBA All-Star Game slam-dunk contest on Feb. 14 in Phoenix. Voting on ends at midnight tonight, and the winner will be announced Monday. The other rookie candidates are Milwaukee's Joe Alexander and Portland's Rudy Fernandez.


Desmond Mason won the 2001 slam dunk contest as a rookie, made the second-round in 2002 and lost by one point in 2002 to Golden State's Jason Richardson. The Thunder guard looks back at his slam-dunk competition days:

Q: Will you give Westbrook advice if he wins the voting?

A: I won't push my advice on him, but if he asks I'll give him some.

Q: What's the best dunk you've seen from Westbrook?

A: He's never done any of the stuff I know he's capable of. Anybody that has the kind of hops he has can do about anything. It would be fun to see what he might end up with, especially for a little guy.

Q: What dunk did you use to win?

A: I had (teammate) Rashard Lewis kneel down in the lane. He was nervous. He covered his head. He thought I was going to jump into him.

Q: Do you like the way the event has evolved?

A: It's a show now. Guys use props. They have a cupcake (on the back rim with a lit candle). You used to just go out and do your dunks. It's for the fans and the kids. If I was invited now I probably wouldn't win because I don't do shows.


ESPN analyst Chris Sheridan wrote Tuesday that he believes Earl Watson is worth more than a second-round pick and salary cap relief Oklahoma City reportedly was going to receive along with Jerry Stackhouse in a three-way deal with Charlotte and Dallas.

Sheridan said a veteran backup point guard like Watson, who ranks 15th in the league in assists, could help the Lakers, Celtics and other teams. But it could be difficult for general manager Sam Presti to find a good deal since OKC would have to accept a player with a salary comparable to Watson's $6.2 million.

After talking to Watson after Monday's game in New Jersey, Sheridan quoted Watson: "I talked (to my agent) and told him, 'Don't call me unless I'm moving.' We talk about everything. But when it comes to that I don't want to hear about scenarios because then you get into the waiting game." Fast breaks...

After playing five games in seven days, coach Scott Brooks gave players the day off on Tuesday. Some players came to the practice facility to shoot on their own. ... The Thunder has averaged 17.6 turnovers the last nine games after averaging 12.1 the first dozen games under Brooks.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: January 16, 2009


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