Anfernee Simons wears Raptors jersey during NBA Slam Dunk Contestt


The 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is widely known for Vince Carter’s iconic series of dunks, including the “it’s over” gesture, but Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons paid homage to the other Toronto Raptors great in that competition on Sunday night, during the 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.  

Anfernee Simons of the Portland Trail Blazers competes in the  AT&T Slam Dunk Contest during the 70th NBA All-Star Game at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on March 7, 2021. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Anfernee Simons paid homage to former Toronto Raptors great Tracy McGrady en route to winning the 2021 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. (TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP)

21 years after Carter blew away the competition and furthered his legacy as one of the best dunkers of all-time, Simons decided to turn back the clock, sporting a vintage McGrady jersey from his time with the Raptors, then re-created McGrady’s third dunk from the 2000 contest to perfection. Simons defeated New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin to win the 2021 event.

Here is McGrady’s dunk for reference, which earned him a perfect 50 score from the judges. It was easily McGrady’s best dunk of the contest, as he finished third behind Carter and Steve Francis in 2000 in the final round. 

Simons’ teammate, Gary Trent Jr., was quick to show a pretty cool angle of the 21-year-old flying through the air. 

There is a long history of current player paying tributes to former greats during All-Star Weekend, and though this year’s festivities certainly feel different — the truncated dunk contest format among this year’s quirks — it is certainly cool for McGrady and the Raptors to get their due, especially as Simons mimicked the dunk to perfection.

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