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Zach LaVine on 2016 Slam Dunk Contest: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

When Zach LaVine was named to the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest last year, people didn’t know much about the then 19-year-old LaVine from UCLA. He made everyone know he was after the show he put on that week, however:

LaVine easily won the Dunk Contest, as you might have assumed, beating out Victor Oladipo, Mason Plumlee, and of course Giannis Antetokounmpo.

This year, LaVine will defend his title against Magic forward Aaron Gordon, Nuggets guard/small forward Will Barton, and Pistons center Andre Drummond, and LaVine is looking to impress the fans again, this time, with something even better, he says:

“I’ve been practicing,” LaVine said a day after it was announced that he will take part in the contest. “I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve.”

LaVine is obviously favored to win the the contest, and if he does win again, he will join Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson, and Nate Robinson as the only players to win the contest two or more times.

“I go knockout punch in the first round,” LaVine said. “That’s what I did last year, I’m going to do it again this year. Last year I was mad. I thought every dunk was supposed to be a 50. I’m trying to get 50 on every dunk. That’s the main thing.”

LaVine is averaging 12.8 points, 3.2 assists, and 3 rebounds in average of 23.8 minutes a night. His minutes have slowly dipped this year under Sam Mitchell as opposed to the late Flip Saunders, but LaVine has raised his averages noticeably.

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