The historical invitation of JaVale McGee, a Washington Wizard, to the 2011 NBA slam dunk contest got the franchise all excited (which in turn got Dan Steinberg all bloggy). You see, this is the first player in Wizards/Bullets franchise history selected to participate in the dunk contest, so there’s little shame in taking the extra, perhaps unnecessary, step of hyping it up, along with showing the player that he has the team’s support. Plus, this franchise, fresh off an 0-17 start on the road this season, needs any good news it can get … and yes, this is good news. But is McGee really the franchise’s first?
On Wednesday night’s television broadcast of the Wizards-Sixers game, the trivia question of the night for the hometown D.C. crew, Comcast’s Phil Chenier and Steve Buckhantz, was to name the former dunk champions who have played for the Washington franchise (but for other teams when they won) — Michael Jordan and Kenny Walker was the answer. Other dunk contest participants who have played for the franchise (but again, who played for other teams during their participation) include: Rex Chapman, Robert Pack, Jerry Stackhouse, Larry Hughes, DeShawn Stevenson, and of course, Darvin Ham.
Peruse this all-time list from NBA.com, nary a participant from the franchise for the “official” NBA dunk contest that started in 1984. But there was something about Chenier’s contemplative words as he can Buckhantz bantered about their trivia question before the answer was revealed.
“I know Elvin Hayes participated …,” Chenier trailed off.
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