NBA / Jan 25, 2010 / 9:30 am

Shannon Brown: Inside The Mind Of The Future Dunk Champ

Shannon Brown

Lets face it, the public is not exactly thrilled with this year’s dunk contest field. After LeBron declared at last year’s All Star Weekend in Phoenix that he was going to enter the 2010 contest, a lot of fans were let down when his name wasn’t announced as a participant last Monday. With Dwight Howard also MIA, this year’s field definitely lacks some star power.

Two-time champ, Nate Robinson, will be going for his third title, but even he knows and admits, his novelty act has worn off a little with the fans.

“I know people are probably getting sick of seeing me dunk,” the 5-9 Robinson told Newsday last week.

Even if that holds true, there’s still a good reason why you should tune in to watch All Star Saturday Night. And that reason is Shannon Brown. Anybody who has paid any sort of attention to the NBA this season knows what this 6-4 guard is capable of doing above the rim. Shannon is my pick to take home the dunk contest.

Brown is one of the rare high-flyers who can explode off of one or two feet. We’ve seen several instances where Shannon’s head is rim-level, whether he’s catching an alley-oop or blocking a fast break layup. You can certainly make the argument that he is one of the top three athletes in the league. However, it remains to be seen whether he’s one of the most creative dunkers in the league. We’ll find out on Saturday, Feb. 13, when he takes on Robinson, Gerald Wallace and the winner of the Dunk-In: DeMar DeRozan or Eric Gordon.

In the midst of the media zoo that was going on in the Lakers’ locker room, some 45 minutes before their game against the Knicks on Friday night, I was able to catch Shannon for a quick Q&A right at the end of media availability.

Dime: Have you already been planning for the dunk contest? How many dunks do you have in your repertoire?
Shannon Brown: Yeah, I’ve been giving it some thought. I got enough for a dunk contest. You know, the way the dunk contest is set up, with the passers and props and stuff, it’s going to be a great time.

Dime: Speaking of passers, have you chosen a teammate yet?
SB: I ain’t chose nobody yet. A couple of guys have asked me, but I haven’t chose nobody yet.

Dime: You’re from Chicago and there are a lot of great dunkers from there like Paul McPherson and Ronnie Fields. Did you learn some things watching them?
SB: Oh yeah, absolutely. I came up watching pretty much those guys you mentioned. I used to go to DePaul games and watching Paul McPherson and Q-Rich (Quentin Richardson), Steve Hunter and Big Lance (Williams). Even guys like Will Bynum – he had a TV show (Chicago Preps) that had him, Eddy Curry, Luther Head. All those guys came before me, even guys from my high school (Proviso East) like Michael Finley and Sherrell Ford. So I had a great group of guys and dunkers from back home that I looked up to.

Dime: When you were in high school, did you have a huge rep around Chicago?
SB: Yeah, I think I had a good reputation for dunking around town because I wasn’t as big as some of those guys. I was about 6-feet, 6-1 dunking on people. People looked at it almost as amazing.

Dime: What is the sickest dunk you’ve done in a dunk contest?
SB: I’d only really done the McDonald’s Dunk Contest. My best dunk was probably a 360 or something like that.

Dime: What do you know about your competition in this year’s dunk contest?
SB: Obviously Nate’s been in the dunk contest a couple of times and he’s
a great dunker, I respect him a lot. I know he’s going to come up with some new stuff. I played on the same team as Gerald Wallace, and I know how he can get up and sky. And then Eric Gordon. I haven’t really seen him dunk, but I know he’s got hops, i know he can jump. And DeMar DeRozan, I know he’s got bounce too. I’d seen him do stuff in college as well as this year.

Do you guys think Shannon Brown has creativity to go along with his ridiculous hops?

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  • penske1

    With those big mitts of his, combined with the ridiculous hops, the sky’s the limit.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    Way to rep the city Shannon even though the dumb a$$ Bulls organization $h!tted on you when you were here. And it would be cool speak to Ronnie about some dunks to do in the contest, maybe even wear his name on your shoes to rep the city, that’s just me though. Kg would love that.

    Shannons best dunk to me in that McD’s dunk contest was the one hand, one foot tomahawk windmill. It looked kinda akward, but with his big hands it made it look stylish. I think he said he got it from Dr. J.

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    This is Gerald

    Nowadays we know that you have to bring so much creativity to win over fans. Shannon doesn’t look like a wear a cape type of guy or jump and blow out candles. But I bet he could bring the house down if he jumps from maybe a foot or two behind the FT line. What do you think guys…do you think he could pull that off??

  • dragonyeuw

    “But I bet he could bring the house down if he jumps from maybe a foot or two behind the FT line. What do you think guys…do you think he could pull that off??”

    Jumping for height and jumping for distance is two different abilities. I’m not sure if Shannon can go a foot OR two behind the FT line, it would be crazy if he did though.

    I’m just hoping to see some actual creative dunks that don’t require a Superman cape, blowing out candles, or Kryptonite shoes. The contest has become more about the props than the actual dunks themselves. I remember the buzz Vince created before he entered the contest back in 2000. WOW, has it been ten years ALREADY!? I don’t think I’ve seen a better individual performance since( or before for that matter), the closest was probably J-Rich.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla


    I got a dunk for him. Some stuff I used to try (but almost killed myself every time) but he should be able to pull it off.

    ~Combine Dee Browns “Blind Man” dunk with a 360. I’ve only done it a couple times, but if he does this it’s a guaranteed 50.

    ~360 between the legs AND1’s Air up There has this down pat, but he ain’t no NBA player. So Shannon should use this.

    ~Tap the backboard with the ball, and reverse it to the other side. Shannons has a long enough wingspan and he could probably do this off one leg. It would look better off two feet though.

    ~dunk two balls (Larry Nance) The two ball dunk has been done so he’d have to get creative with it. Maybe try it off an alley-oop or do a reverse and dunk one then bring the other around

    ~double dunk (Earl Manigult). Dunk it, catch it out the rim and dunk again on the way down, without hanging on the rim though, a 50 no doubt.

    ~off the glass/bounce between the legs.(J-Rich or Vince)

    ~ freethrow line between the legs or windmill (James White)

    Got plenty more, but with Shannons arm length, hops, speed, and big hands this should be a easy Vic for him. Just as long as he doesn’t miss the dunks. Ask Jason Richardson

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    @ Chicagorilla

    “~double dunk (Earl Manigult). Dunk it, catch it out the rim and dunk again on the way down, without hanging on the rim though, a 50 no doubt.”

    I always wondered if that was possible! I think we tried that years ago on an 8-foot rim with zero success. ha ha

    I think that James White dunk (FT line between the legs) is something he could probably do. I think Shannon is spectacular off of one foot.


    Man I couldnt agree more. No cape’s, candles, phonebooth’s or any of that nonsense. This is a dunk contest not a circus. But I got to give it up. That time he slapped the backboard at 12 feet with the sticker was pretty damn cool

  • e

    shannon wont win i see him more as a game dunker like rudy gay is i doubt he will be able to create something we havent seen id rather see d.rose in the contest

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla


    DRose is not a dunk contest type dunker. He’s an inch shorter than Shannon but he isn’t the creative type. I’ve seen his warm up dunks when he was in Highschool, he is pretty basic with Windmills, back dunks, off the backboard, maybe a between the legs, nothing special though.

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    Lebron is the only one I could see with enough hops to do this. But it would be ill to see someone jump on top of the rim even if they had to pull themselves up…then after standing on top of the rim jump off and slam with two hands.

  • Sweet English

    Is it even possible for a man to take off from a foot behind the freethrow line and still be at a point high enough to dunk when he lands. I know Shannon got hops, but a foot behind the freethrow line?

    I know TFB arent in the contest this year etc etc (which i agree with, if theyre gonna do it, do a seperate contest, this is the NBA dunk contest) but if anyone can pull off the type of shit those guys are doing i reckon its Shannon.

    And on that note, i think the NBA guys need to be looking at these dunk specialists and raising the bar to somewhere near that level. I know that the dunkers spend all day perfecting and creating, and probably can’t actually ball for shit, but the NBA is meant to be a collection of the greatest players in the World in all aspects of the game.

    The bar needs to be raised this year. No more dressing up as comic book characters and throwing down game worthy dunks. Its all about bringing something we never seen before.


  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Yea that M. State representer will do his thing. I think he can pull off behind the free throw line like it has never been done.

    He could probably pull 720

    It would be cool though if somehow he convinced one of his boys to play the roll of a blocker and recreate some famous posters.

    If he recreates Vince over Weiss, D Wades’ over Varejo, Vince over Mourning, Ricky over Nash (with the Oh Sh^t afterwards) or Tracy over Bradely. Automatic 50.

    Problem is would that be allowed and also who coud he convince to be the one dunked on and how.

    If he did convince someone all they would have to do is study the tapes and practice who moved how and recreat it. Awww man that would be so ill.

    Matter of fact I am throwing that out now. Part of the dunk contest should be a “Dunk On”. Get some poor center (Eddy Curry, Mbenga, Bring back Greg Oden lol) and offer him cash to try and block their dunks and he only can go from a certain spot and whoever bangs on dude most creative gets a highest score.

  • star_bury

    1) Double dunk would HAVE to have the mesh taken off.
    2) James White was a long-jumper in uni, so I’m not sure if anyone could do what he does.
    3) How about Kadour Ziani’s “double-windmill” off one leg?
    4) I’d like to see a two-ball double alley-oop. Doesn’t even need to be spectacular as long they’re down. It’s new and it’d be a 50.
    5) Don’t count out DeRozan. He did the Dwight Howard Alley-Oop-Tap-It-Off-The-Backboard-While-In-The-Air-And-Then-Dunk-It Dunk at the McD’s High School dunk contest…

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Oh yea and I think the only way LeBron is going to enter the dunk contest at this point is if someone wins and actually calls him out and calls him out pretty hard.

    Something along the lines of:
    Reporter: So how does it feel to win!
    Winner: Great I felt I did some pretty creative stuff.
    Reporter: Do you think you will defend it next year?
    Winner: Yea but I want the King though?
    Reporter: LeBron?
    Winner: Yea I’m callin him out. I mean people was all hyped about him being in the dunk contest, but what can he really do? I mean he can jump high and slam it hard but I think he scared honestly. So yea, LeBron bring all ya dancing and get Jay-Z to write you a song and get your puppets and show the world what you got. I mean you ain’t got a championship and probably won’t for a while, so you might as well try you hand at something else. (End)

    Now of course I know this is likely to never happen and if it did the guy calling him out would probably mysteriously vanish off the earth the next day but still, I don’t see another way at this point.

  • http://dimemag.com Dime Magazine

    This is Gerald

    @BiG ShoT BoB

    “But it would be ill to see someone jump on top of the rim even if they had to pull themselves up…then after standing on top of the rim jump off and slam with two hands.”

    Oh my God, that would be the most dangerous dunk attempt ever. No way the NBA would let that happen


    hahaha. Oh man that would be comedy if they brought out some 7-foot stiff like the guys you mentioned and dunked on them. Never know, everybody’s got a price.

    @Sweet English

    I’ve been debating all morning if such a dunk (a foot behind the FT line) was possible. Maybe a foot is stretching it but I think it could be done. If anyone could do it, it would Shannon, Josh Smith (a couple of years ago) and James White.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    @ Gerald

    I’m saying. They make that price right and it could happen lol. Who wouldn’t want to see Anderson Varagina get dunked on over and over lol!

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    James White does the dunk where he jumps from well behind the FT line. He makes it look cool because he “walks in the air” and is actually looks like a floating motion. He takes a lot of pride in his dunks.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla


    Anyone “calling out” Lebron should probably not refer to him as “the King” while doing so. That’s kinda backwards

  • BiG ShoT BoB

    @Gerald….man you had me LOL for like 5 min about your response…I guess that could be pretty dangerous but would get you 50’s for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Yea you do cause that is like the sarcastic set-up. Really though I don’t think that would even matter in the whole scheme of things lol. Cause the call out is the man thing. Someone besides the media and fans needs to call him out.