The Chicago Journal

Mac McClung the slam dunk king of 2023

Mac McClungThe NBA has produced a number of legends who have achieved glory both domestically and abroad.

Apart from events like the Olympics and the FIBA World Cup, the Dunk Contest is one of the biggest stages where professional basketball players can exhibit their personal strengths and flair.

Even if the competition has dwindled lately, the most recent contest seems to have improved the Dunk Contest’s standing.

On the court, there were many great players, but Mac McClung stood out and won praise for renewing the contest.

The news

Trey Murphy III and Damian Lillard were two of the competitors Mac McClung faced off against in the Dunk Contest.

The final game was decided on Saturday by an NBA All-Star, but the 6-foot-2 Philadelphia guard persisted to get it there.

In the finals, he defeated Trey Murphy III of New Orleans.

McClung’s victory was an adrenaline rush, but the anticipation sparked the game, bringing life to the NBA’s premier event after years of dormancy.

The road to becoming an overnight sensation

No one predicted Mac McClung would take home the gold.

McClung was a surprise participant who hadn’t even been on the NBA roster when he accepted the invitation in January.

In addition, he didn’t sign a two-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers until recently.

He played in a game for the Chicago Bulls and a game for the Los Angeles Lakers the season before that.

Mac McClung still has to improve his all-around game, but he has undeniably mastered dunking.

McClung approached the court with a point to make and accomplished so in style.

Mac McClung demonstrated his whole skill set during the Dunk Contest.

  • Athleticism
  • Creativity
  • Style
  • Ability to deal with pressure

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The contest

Overcoming two opponents, the new 76ers addition touched the ball on the backboard before slamming it in.

Even more amazing is the fact that Mac McClung was successful on his first try.

Everyone was now interested in what the guest could do.

While some could have just dismissed the first attempt as a fluke, McClung demonstrated that he was the real deal.

The execution of the first dunk was faultless, while that of the second was virtually immaculate.

Three of the four dunks received perfect 50 ratings from the judges.

The lone imperfect score was 49.8.

McClung’s third perfect score gave him the victory.

Unquestionably, the 540-degree dunk that required him to complete a full circle in the air assisted him in attracting attention.

Even as the judges’ scores were raised, it was clear to everyone that Mac McClung had won the 2023 Dunk Contest.

“It’s over,” he said.

Mac McClung said after the match that he was determined to defend his championship at All-Star Saturday in Indianapolis the next year.

“If you guys have me, I’ll be back,” said the champion.


Mac McClung’s practically perfect performance won over the audience, the media, and several former and present NBA stars.

“Man was a viral HOH high school dunk phenom, still working his way to the League, but lemme go get that dunk contest trophy right quick and bring it back to life!!! Unreal,” wrote Stephen Curry.

On Twitter, Tyson Chandler commended Mac McClung for winning the most recent competition and referred to it as “dope.”

Yet the rookie was acclaimed by Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal as the NBA Slam Dunk Contest’s savior.

They both played for the Los Angeles Lakers, have won MVP awards in the past, are in the Hall of Fame, and agree that McClung’s goal saved the game.

O’Neal was there at the Vivint Smart Home arena and saw McClung perform.

When asked how he felt, the legendary Lakers player responded honestly, “He saved the dunk contest.”

At the same time, Johnson expressed his views on Twitter, writing:

“Mac McClung has personally saved the slam dunk contest with his performance tonight!! He put on a show!”

Now that Mac McClung’s name has finally become recognized, many will be expecting even more from him, and there is no reason to question his success.

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.