James White, Gerald Green, Terrence Ross, Eric Bledsoe, Kenneth Faried and defending champion Jeremy Evans will compete for the title of 2013 NBA Slam Dunk Champion. The Inside the NBA crew was split, with Shaquille O'Neal and Chris Webber picking 2007 champ Green and Charles Barkley taking YouTube champ White. SB Nation's NBA staff has some thoughts.
Tom Ziller: James White. The Basketball Gods owe to us a memorable Flight White dunk contest experience since we had to suffer through all of that Dwight Howard, Nate Robinson nonsense back when White was at prime dunk contest age. I like Gerald Green, but remember that his greatest dunk contest triumph involved a prop, and prop dunks are by definition inferior.
Mike Prada: Pick: James White over Eric Bledsoe. White feels like too overwhelming a favorite to me, but given that he barely plays, this is his Super Bowl. Something tells me he's going to take this competition a lot more seriously than anyone else, and that should be enough to carry him over Bledsoe. Bledsoe gets far because of the size factor.
Ricky O'Donnell: White over Evans. The new conference-vs-conference format robs the world of a James White vs. Gerald Green final, but that doesn't eliminate the potential of this being one of the most memorable dunk contests in some time. White is the prohibitive favorite and someone who's seemingly only in the league to participate in this very event. In "Flight White vs. the field", I'm taking the only guy we know can windmill from the free throw line. That's James White.
Ethan Rothstein: White over Bledsoe. I've watched the "World's Greatest" video compilation of James White dunks upwards of 300 times, so if he were 50 years old and peg-legged, he would still be my sentimental pick. He's not, however, he's 30 years old, but he's had a few nice dunks this year and, come on, he's actually done a through-the-legs, free-throw line dunk before. If for whatever reason he's upset in the early rounds, Bledsoe should cruise through the Western Conference and, by virtue of being the only guy in the competition shorter than 6-foot-6, will take the fan vote.
Seth Rosenthal: White over Bledsoe. I'm a little worried White's gonna disappoint, but it's also possible his constant talk about his age and sore legs is a deliberate lowering of expectations. If he's anything like he used to be, the dude can do pretty much everything everyone else can do... from the free throw line. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.