Mitchell's 360-degree windmill effort wins Slam Dunk contest

Mitchell turned back the clock, donning Vince Carter’s Toronto Raptors jersey, and recreating Carter’s famous 360-degree windmill jam.

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz Kevin Hart

Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Utah Jazz dunks over Kevin Hart, Jordan Mitchell and Hendrix Hart in the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest at Staples Center in Los Angeles.   -  AFP/Getty Images


Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell lived out a childhood dream when he won the Slam Dunk contest, at the NBA All-Star weekend here on Saturday.

Mitchell turned back the clock, donning Vince Carter’s Toronto Raptors jersey, and recreating Carter’s famous 360-degree windmill jam. The nostalgia-filled effort earned Mitchell 48 points in the final dunk, helping him edge out Cleveland Cavaliers' Larry Nance Jr. by two points.

READ:  'I think we can bring a NBA pre-season game to India'

“Growing up, I wasn’t much of a basketball player. I just dunked and played defense, and I watched a lot of Vince's videos. Believe it or not, I’ve been preparing for this since I was a kid,” Mitchell, 21, said.

Earlier in the evening, Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns made an incredible 20 out of 25 shots (28 points) in the final round to win the Three-Point Contest. Booker broke the record for most points in a round, previously held by Stephen Curry (27 points, in 2015). "Getting the record is a big deal. Legends of the game like Peja Stojakovic and Larry Bird have won the Three-Point contest; there is a lot of great history involved. I'm glad that my name can be mentioned with those guys," Booker said.

Brooklyn Nets point guard Spencer Dinwiddie claimed the Skills Challenge title. The unheralded Dinwiddie, who has seen his fair share of injury and form setbacks, stated, “It's big for me to even be at the All-Star weekend, considering the ups and downs I’ve seen in my career. It feels like life has come a full circle, because I have won this title in front of my family, in my home town of Los Angeles."

(The writer is in Los Angeles on invitation from NBA and Sony Six)