Dwight Howard is back in the dunk contest as a 34-year-old. Does he have any chance to win? Photo from @LakersEmpire (Twitter)
- Dwight Howard last won the 2008 Dunk Contest in New Orleans
- This year’s full field for the dunk contest has yet to be announced
- Can a 34-year-old Howard legitimately pull off a dunk contest win?
The 2020 NBA Dunk Contest in Chicago will feature the 2008 champion, Dwight Howard. The resurgence of Howard’s career is in full effect with the Los Angeles Lakers, as he’s played a key role off the bench for the best team in the West.
Howard is one of two players to accept his Dunk Contest invitation thus far. Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat has accepted his invitation, after losing to Glenn Robinson III in the final round of the 2017 Dunk Contest.
Will Howard be able to compete against an expected young crop of athletic dunkers and pull off a stunner? The odds aren’t sold on it.
Odds Dwight Howard Wins 2020 NBA Dunk Contest
|Outcome||Odds at BetOnline|
Odds taken January 22nd
Superman Sighting in 2008
Dwight Howard shocked the basketball world in the 2008 Dunk Contest. Howard was up against Jamario Moon, Rudy Gay, and Gerald Green. He separated himself from his competition after dressing up as Superman and leaping from the free-throw line.
Howard nabbed a perfect score in the final round to beat Green. He might have been spectacular in 2008, but times have changed.
Howard is the tallest winner of the Dunk Contest since Larry Nance won the event in 1984. Since 2013, the tallest winner has ben 6’6″. This means the bouncier shorter guards have had more recent success in the dunk competition.
2020 NBA Championship Odds Tracker
Can He Recapture the Magic?
Depending on who else enters the 2020 Dunk Contest, Derrick Jones Jr. will most likely be the favorite once the full field odds are released.
Jones has shown his athletic bounce with monstrous dunks this year. There has been speculation that rookie phenom Ja Morant could enter the contest, along with Zach LaVine depending on if he makes the actual All-Star game.
Zach LaVine has been invited to participate in this year’s dunk contest in Chicago, but hasn't made a decision, per sources. He is more likely to participate if he makes the ASG. He was 5th for guards on East's first fan voting with a career-best 23.8 ppg and 39.8% from 3.
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) January 6, 2020
The potential of having these elite guards participate will make it even harder for Howard to compete. LaVine pretty much did his dunk from the free-throw line, but he enhanced it. Instead of just jumping, LaVine went through the legs to win the 2016 Dunk Contest.
It has been over 10 years since Howard has participated in the Dunk Contest, and he clearly doesn’t have the same capabilities as he once did.
Even though he has averaged 7.7 points and 7.6 rebounds with the Lakers this season, he won’t be able to handle the high flying dunks of Derrick Jones Jr. and Ja Morant.
Is there any value on putting a large chunk of change on Dwight Howard not to win the Dunk Contest at -400? I don’t really think so. I would wait for the full odds to be released before deciding on a bet for the competition. At that point, you can either pick one of the favorites or put a small bet on Howard considering he will most likely have the worst odds. This would be a much better strategy then stacking on a -400 line.
With five years of sports journalism under his belt already, Ryan Sura may be young, but he is already making his mark. He has written for publications such as Fantasy Pros, SB Nation and TSN.ca, covering NFL, NBA, and college sports.