High-flying rookie takes Slam Dunk title with assist from Shaq

Sports | Feb 18, 2019
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo used NBA great Shaquille O'Neal as a prop to record a perfect score and capture the NBA Slam Dunk title in Charlotte.

The high-flying rookie put out a call over the loudspeaker for the "biggest person in the building" and out strolled the 2.16-meter tall O'Neal, considered one of the greatest players in league history.

Diallo positioned O'Neal four feet from the basket, and sailed over the former Los Angeles Laker to finish with his right arm stuffed inside the rim. That brought the crowd at the Spectrum Center to its feet and earned a perfect score of 50 from the judges.

"The atmosphere was great," the 20-year-old said. "I just came out and gave the crowd what they were looking for."

Diallo needed a 43 to win on his last dunk of the finals to beat New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith. With rapper Quavo holding the ball just above his head, he sprinted from the right corner and made a two-handed jam.

Brooklyn Nets' Joe Harris earned the title of best shooter by upsetting Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry in the Three-Point contest. Harris hit a dozen straight shots in the final round to finish with a score of 26 points, two more than Curry.

Boston's Jayson Tatum won the Skills Challenge.


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