Superman is officially back! After weeks of speculation, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Dwight Howard will participate in the Slam Dunk Contest at NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago next month. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Howard’s dunk contest comeback this earlier month.
Howard participated in the dunk contest three consecutive times from 2007-09. In his first appearance, he came up five points short of making into the second round, but in the following season, he beat Gerald Green, who was the reigning dunk contest champion at the time. In 2009, it was Nate Robinson who got his redemption, edging out Howard, J.R. Smith, and Rudy Fernandez.
Almost a decade later, Howard will try and win the dunk contest for a second time, but he could face some stiff competition. While Ja Morant has reportedly declined his invitation to participate in the contest, Derrick Jones Jr. is expected to participate again. Jones was the runner-up in 2017.
Additionally, Aaron Gordon has already said he’ll participate if asked again, while Zach LaVine said he’d consider participating again if he was voted into the actual All-Star game. Gordon and LaVine were the stars of arguably the greatest dunk contest of all time in 2016. Howard still has great leaping ability, both those guys are on an entirely different level.
Still, there’s a chance Superman has something special planned for what likely be his last dank contest, possibly with the help of his superstar teammates LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Otherwise, why would he have accepted it?