Timberwolves 19-year-old rookie Zach LaVine has a chance to put his name in the same category as Vince Carter, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Spud Webb and other dunk champions at the NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
LaVine's competition includes the "Greek Freak" Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, Mason Plumlee of the Nets and Victor Oladipo of the Magic.
The Pioneer Press reports that LaVine will be assisted on some of his dunks by fellow former UCLA Bruin Shabazz Muhammad. Muhammad didn't give any details on what he and LaVine worked on during a dunk session on Tuesday, but he did say "it's going to be hard to beat" LaVine.
The experts at Sports Illustrated say LaVine is the "obvious" choice to win.
USA Today notes that if LaVine wins, he'll become the second youngest dunk champion behind Kobe Bryant, who won it in 1997.
LaVine spent some time recently at Timberwolves.com scouting past dunk champions, including Vince Carter in 2000. Carter dominated that contest to the point of the world coming to agreement that it was the best dunk performance of all-time. NBA writer Zach Harper actually interviewed Carter about it earlier this week. The stories are awesome. The dunks were better.
LaVine called Carter's dunks "un-human."