Obi Toppin Beat Juan Toscano-Anderson In The Final To Win The 2022 Dunk Contest

Obi Toppin Beat Juan Toscano-Anderson In The Final To Win The 2022 Dunk Contest

In the lead-up to the dunk contest at the 2022 NBA All-Star weekend, Obi Toppin told Dime his plan of attack: “You got to get in tune with the crowd, and I feel like with the dunks that I have I feel like I’m going to do that.” While the competition was rather underwhelming from top to bottom, Toppin easily put on the best show. As a result, the New York Knicks big man outlasted Juan Toscano-Anderson, Cole Anthony, and Jalen Green to win this year’s competition.

Rounds 1 and 2

Jalen Green: 38, 45 (83 total)

The No. 2 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft ran over to Rockets teammate Josh Chrisopher and pulled out a chain with a phone playing an NFT of his own highlights prior to his first attempt. After running it over to a judge, Green headed to the baseline and struggled to figure out a dunk that would work. Ultimately, Green caught a lob from Christopher and threw down a windmill, but because of his numerous struggles to figure out a dunk, Green got a 38.

Green led off the second round of dunks with a bang, doing a 360 and going between the legs with his seemingly effortless bounce for a 45.

Cole Anthony: 40, 30 (70 total)

Anthony’s father, former NBA player Greg Anthony, came out with a bag prior to his first dunk. Anthony pulled out a pair of Timbs, took off his warm-ups, revealed he wore his father’s old Knicks jersey, and laced up his kicks. While his father held a ball and after a few run-ups to get his bearings about him, Anthony ran up, grabbed the ball out of his hands, and threw down a windmill for a 40.

Anthony’s second attempt lacked the theatrics of his first dunk, opting to go on his own in a regular pair of sneakers. It very, very nearly paid off with one of the dunks of the night — Anthony threw himself a lob, tried to grab it with one hand while doing a 360, and throw it down. He struck out on all three attempts, though, and got a minimum 30 for his efforts.

Juan Toscano-Anderson: 44, 43 (87 total)

JTA needed a quick wardrobe change before his first dunk, as he threw on a Warriors uni featuring the colors of the Mexican flag — he was the first player of Mexican descent to ever compete in the competition. After getting a red, white, and blue ABA ball autographed by Julius Erving and grabbing Andrew Wiggins out of the crowd, Toscano-Anderson used his left hand to lift himself up over Wiggins while doing a one-handed windmill with his right, earning him a 44.

Toscano-Anderson kept the green, red, and white Warriors jersey on for dunk number two and got right down to business. Because he went third and didn’t need anything spectacular to get into the final ahead of Anthony and Green, JTA went with a 360 windmill for a 43.

Obi Toppin: 44, 46 (90 total)

Toppin missed his first attempt on his first dunk, but for good reason: The degree of difficulty was awfully high. The Knicks big man pulled someone from out of the crowd and ran in from midcourt, jumping over them while going behind the back and dunking with one hand for a 44.

Toppin needed a 39 to avoid elimination as the final dunker of the round, but didn’t opt for something conservative. The Knicks big man threw the ball of the backboard, caught it, went between the legs, and threw down a reverse with two hands for a 46 and a spot in the final round.

Final Round

Toscano-Anderson led things off in the finals but didn’t appear to get what he wanted. As a result, he threw down a pretty standard windmill for a 39.

Prior to his first dunk in the round, Toppin stressed that everyone had to watch the replay of what he was about to do. His first two attempts at something spectacular — a between the legs dunk where he tapped the ball off the backboard with one hand before dunking — didn’t quite work, but his backup was a pretty spectacular save, as he went off the backboard and between the legs for a 45.

Toscano-Anderson decided to end his evening paying tribute to Warriors legend and former dunk contest champion Jason Richardson by tossing on a throwback J-Rich jersey. He took up shop on the baseline and threw himself a lob, trying to catch it off the bounce, go between the legs, and dunk it backwards. Unfortunately, JTA was unable to convert and got a 30 as a result for a 69 on the round.

While he mathematically had things wrapped up heading into his final dunk, Toppin still went for something big. He did the dump he tried to do on his final attempt, getting a 47, a 92 on the round, and the title of dunk contest champ.

Ultimately, it’s hard to heap too much praise onto this competition — there were a whole lot of missed dunks that, in fairness, stemmed from over-ambition that never quite came to fruition. Still, Toppin was the unquestioned best dunker of the bunch, and will take the title of dunk contest champ with him back to New York.