Ben Margot / The Associated Press

Kings rookie Ben McLemore will compete against five others, including Indiana’s Paul George and Washington’s John Wall, in the All-Star Weekend’s dunk contest.

Rookie McLemore to represent Kings at All-Star Weekend

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 - 10:17 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 - 7:40 am

The Kings will send a representative to All-Star Weekend after all.

After having no players named to the rosters for the Feb. 16 All-Star Game or the Rising Stars Challenge, the Kings learned Thursday that rookie Ben McLemore will be part of the six-man field in the dunk contest in New Orleans.

McLemore will take part in the competition that also will feature All-Stars Paul George of the Indiana Pacers, John Wall of the Washington Wizards and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, along with defending champion Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors and the Warriors’ Harrison Barnes. The contest, which will take place Feb. 15, features format changes, including a “Freestyle Round” in which the participants from each conference – who will compete as teams of three – will have 90 seconds to execute as many dunks as they want.

A 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard out of Kansas, McLemore is arguably the least-known member of the field. He has appeared in 49 games for the Kings, including 26 starts, and averaged 7.7 points and 2.7 rebounds in 23.4 minutes.

McLemore will be the fourth Kings player to participate in the dunk contest and the first since Gerald Wallace in 2002. In January, McLemore earned attention from Shaquille O’Neal for a one-handed dunk during pregame warmups at Sleep Train Arena.

McLemore lobbed himself a pass and finished the dunk emphatically with his left hand. O’Neal linked a video of the dunk on his Twitter account and wrote that McLemore “deserves a look for the @NBAAllStar Slam Dunk Contest. Kids got crazy hops.”

–Matt Kawahara

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