Brandan Wright is among the NBA leaders in dunks.
But as of Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks’ eight-year veteran had no plan to be a participant in the league’s annual midseason slam-dunk contest during All-Star Weekend.
“That’s a good question,” Wright said when asked if he had interest in entering the dunk contest, scheduled for Feb. 14 in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Talk to me in about two months.”
A center and power forward, Wright is fourth in the NBA in dunks with 30.
Wright only trails teammate Tyson Chandler (41), New Orleans’ Anthony Davis (41) and DeAndre Jordan (40) of the Los Angeles Clippers.
But what separates Wright from the aforementioned trio and some other high-flying dunkers around the league is that he seems to explode out of nowhere with his dunks, as if he were a contortionist who suddenly bursts off a pogo stick.
Wright’s elevation and hang time have been breathtaking to Mavericks followers.
“I mean literally, the guy can scrape his knee on the rim,” owner Mark Cuban said. “It’s unbelievable.”
Several of Wright’s dunks have come off alley-oop passes from Devin Harris, Jameer Nelson, Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons or J.J. Barea.
“I’ve got some tricks, but you know how it is,” the 6-foot-10 Wright said. “The little guys got the advantage.”
Historically, shorter players have enjoyed the most success, and attention, in the contest, but a few big guys have managed to debunk tradition to win trophy.
• Larry Nance (6-10) won the original slam-dunk contest in 1984, which earned him the nickname “The High-Ayatolla Slamola.”
• Josh Smith (6-9) was the winner of the 2005 contest as a rookie with the Atlanta Hawks.
• Dwight Howard (6-11) captured the title in 2008 when he, among other things, wore a Superman cape. Howard, who is the tallest slam-dunk champion, also dunked while jumping over 5-9 guard Nate Robinson.
• Blake Griffin (6-10) took home the 2011 championship when he went the extremely unconventional route — and dunked over a car.
Wright said he has been a participant in just one previous dunk contest.
As a high school sophomore in Tennessee, he finished fifth among eight participants.
“I’ve come a long way,” said Wright, whose vertical jump measured 40 1/2 inches two seasons ago.
Cuban doesn’t believe Wright’s humble personality will go over well in a dunk contest, where an attitude of arrogance and flamboyance normally rule the day.
“I don’t know that he’s got the flair for [a dunk contest], but he’s certainly got the physical tools,” Cuban said. “I just don’t think B-Wright’s that kind of guy.
“If he wants to get in, we’ll push him. He probably can create a cheerleader pyramid and jump over that.”
Cuban, meanwhile, wants a company he recently invested in to break the dunk process down and detail the contest piece by piece.
FreeD — or Free Dimensional — is an evolutionary step of video that employs enough camera angles to go around, above and between players while capturing rare footage.
From those numerous angles, Cuban believes the birth and impending evolution of Wright’s dunks will be taken to an even higher level.
“I told our guys from FreeD that I want them to do a highlight of what it’s like with B-Wright looking down at the rim on an alley-oop from his point of view,” Cuban said. “Start at the top, see his eyes, where [the ball is] coming from, and then catching it and looking down at the rim and landing.”
Wright said he doesn’t have many special dunk tricks, but he does have a few.
“Not many, but a couple. [Entering the dunk contest is] something to think about, for sure,” Wright said.
Mavericks center/forward Brandan Wright (6-foot-10) is thinking about entering the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, scheduled for Feb. 14 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Here are the previous tallest slam-dunk winners in NBA history: