NBA stars Russell Westbrook, Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Kemba Walker, and WNBA star Maya Moore along with filmmaker Spike Lee were the judges in the 15th edition of Quai54 dunk contest on Saturday in Paris.
The contest was held at the Emile Anthoine Stadium near the Eiffel Tower and saw Slam dunk champion Isaiah Rivera get the most points for his dunks – some of which featured Detroit Pistons NBA player Blake Griffin.
The Puerto Rican was up against three of the top dunkers in the world, beating Frenchman Guy Dupuy, American Jordan Southerland and Congolese Daniel Kabeya to the victory.
A tumultuous week was capped for the New Orleans Pelicans at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center when they took Zion Williamson with the number one pick in the NBA Draft 2019.
The Duke University product wept as he stood by his mother’s side after shaking NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s hand in New York.
The 18-year-old becomes the face of the southern side which recently traded former number one pick Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In an interview after his selection, the Duke product seemingly referred to Davis’ imminent departure, tempering expectations given he is the most hyped college prospect since Davis.
“I’m just going to let (New Orleans fans) know I’m going to give them everything I’ve got,” Williamson told ESPN.
“I’m going to try to turn it around with the help of team-mates because I understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“And I also understand that I’m a rookie and I have a lot to learn,” Williamson said.
“I just need them to know they’re getting a player who’s going to give them everything he’s got.”
The Memphis Grizzlies took Ja Morant with the number two pick.
The 19-year-old point guard will experience a homecoming of sorts when he heads to Tennessee, having attended the nearby Murray State University in Kentucky.
“What’s up Grizzlies fans … I’m ready to get in and come work in Memphis. Grit and grind, baby,” Morant said in a video posted on the Grizzlies’ Twitter page.
Canadian RJ Barrett, who proudly displayed the maple leaf pattern lining on his suit prior to the draft, was taken by the New York Knicks with the number three pick.
The 19-year-old small forward, a proven performer with Williamson at Duke, will carry a huge amount of expectation into Madison Square Garden as the Knicks seek to recover from a disappointing season which saw them finish bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The Toronto Raptors have won their first NBA title after defeating defending champions the Golden State Warriors in a nail-biting end to game six.
The Raptors overcame the Warriors 114-110 to take the best-of-seven series 4-2, despite Golden State coming close to forcing a seventh game.
With the teams a point apart in the final second, Kawhi Leonard – who was named the finals’ MVP – hooped three free throws to lift the Raptors clear and claim their first NBA title in their 24-year history.
In a video posted on NBA TV’s Twitter account, Leonard said after lifting the Larry O’Brien Trophy just a year after joining the Raptors: “Life experiences, my teammates, they did a great job welcoming me with open arms, the management – they just told me to come out and play basketball.
“This is what I play basketball for. This is what I work out for. I’m happy my hard work paid off.”
The game came down to the wire, however, with Stephen Curry – who finished with 21 points – missing a three-pointer with 0.9 seconds left on the clock and a frantic clamber for the ball led Golden State to call a timeout when they did not have any left.
Leonard went on to take advantage of the technical foul and hit two more free throws moments before the buzzer after being fouled, sealing the thrilling victory at Oracle Arena.
The victory denied a seventh game which could have given the Warriors a seventh title.
It was the third win for the Raptors on the away court in the finals, and certainly had the crowd holding their breath, with the lead changing 18 times across the course of the game.
For Toronto, Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry scored 26 each, Leonard and Fred VanVleet racked up 22 each, while Klay Thompson – who left the court with a knee injury late in the third – scored 30 for the Warriors.
Provided by Press Association Sport