A sizable contingent of Golden State Warriors fans miss seeing Summer League sensation Mac McClung dunking on opponents and showing off his mixtape moves. Fear not, McClung Heads, because the 2021-22 G League Rookie of the Year is competing in the AT&T Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend.
McClung played for the Warriors Summer League in Las Vegas this year, and went to training camp with the team before being released in favor of Ty Jerome. Steve Kerr said “Letting Mac go was tough,” but the team wanted a pass-first guard like Jerome at backup point guard. While hoping for a two-way contract, McClung ultimately signed with the Delaware Blue Coats, the G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers, where he’s averaging 17.6 points and 4.4 assists.
While McClung has only played two NBA games, his dunking is so spectacular that the league made him the first G League player to compete in the dunk contest. He threw down a spectacular dunk in the final seconds of the Lakers season last year.
But McClung was an internet dunking legend before his college career - two years at Georgetown, one year at Texas Tech - even began. Ahead of his freshman year, the title of a compilation of McClung’s best high school jams asked “Best White Dunker EVER?!”
His skin color is definitely part of McClung’s popularity. Not to say that fans are racist, it’s just novel to see a white player with McClung’s combination of hops and And1-style moves. It’s the same reason Bomani Jones calls Donte DiVincenzo “White Donte.”
Since Brent Barry won the slam dunk contest in 1996, there’s never been another white dunk champ. In fact, there’s only been six white participants, not counting McClung: Warriors legend Bobby Sura, Chris “Birdman” Andersen (twice), Rudy Fernandez, pro volleyball player Chase Budinger, Mason Plumlee, and the modern-day Bobby Sura, Patrick Connaughton of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Connaughton had fun with the concept in 2020, dressing as Billy Hoyle from “White Men Can’t Jump” and hurdling Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Plus, All-Star Weekend is happening in Salt Lake City this year. Something tells us a Utah crowd is going to absolutely love Mac McClung.
McClung’s done a lot of stellar dunk contest work, like when he won the Ballislife dunk All American dunk contest.
He beat Kevin Porter, Jr. at the Iverson Dunk Contest, appropriate since McClung broke Allen Iverson’s Virginia high school scoring record.
Was that just an excuse to show a bunch of McClung’s sweet dunks? Yes.
McClung’s chances might be better at All-Star Weekend by not competing in a Warriors uniform. Their last participant, Juan Toscano-Anderson, lost to Obi Toppin in the final, 92-69 (nice) after he couldn’t land his final dunk.
In the strange, never-repeated group dunk contest in 2014, Harrison Barnes lost a matchup to Paul George. But that’s why they call him “All-Star Weekend P”.
Good luck to young Mr. McClung. We will certainly consider any McClung dunk title to belong to the Delaware Blue Hens, the Summer League Warriors, and most of all, the internet.