Thursday, February 22, 2024
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WATCH: Anthony Edwards’ dunking legend grows with self-alley-oop off the backboard against Grizzlies

A few years ago, Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards was asked if he would ever participate in the Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend. His response was short and sweet: “Nope.”

The reason?

“I’m an in-game dunker,” Edwards said.

That he is, and his legend grew on Thursday when he threw an alley-oop to himself off the backboard in a 118-103 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Late in the third quarter, Edwards was trying to make something happen in isolation, but wasn’t having much success in shaking Xavier Tillman Sr. After picking the ball up at the free throw line, Edwards seemed stuck, but instead of tossing up a low-percentage jumper, he threw the ball off the glass to himself and then threw down the jam. 

“That was crazy,” Edwards said. “That was probably my best dunk of my career.”

“Swashbuckling and slamming!” was Kevin Harlan’s emphatic call on the broadcast. That just about sums it up. 

Here’s a look at a bunch of other angles, all of which are worth watching. The first one, in particular, where you can see the bench’s reaction at the end is awesome. 

“I pretty much did a double between-the legs and I was just trying to get to a spot, like an elbow spot, and he kind cut me off,” Edwards, who finished with 28 points, five rebounds and five assists, added post-game. “I didn’t have nobody to pass to and I pump faked and he jumped, so I was like I might as well try it. I seen somebody do it in the All-Star Game. It did work.”

Edwards clearly enjoyed this dunk, but you can make a case that it wasn’t even his best of the week. In a win over the Detroit PIstons on Wednesday, he exploded to the rim for an unbelievable slam. 

Edwards is not a high-volume dunker — he had 30 entering Thursday night — but he makes the most of them. That’s been true ever since he put Yuta Watanabe on a poster during his rookie season. As fun as it would be to see Edwards in the Dunk Contest, it’s hard to complain when he’s putting on a show like this in games throughout the regular season. 

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