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YouTube sensation Derrick Jones Jr. plans to go hard in the Big Easy dunk contest Just up from the D-League, the Suns player still likes ‘Rugrats’ — as well as Future, Meek, and Kodak Black

Originally posted at the undefeated

Phoenix Suns forward Derrick Jones Jr. is the fourth and most mysterious competitor in Saturday’s Verizon Slam Dunk Contest in New Orleans. The field features fellow All-Star neophyte Glenn Robinson III of the Pacers as well as the two favorites, DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers) and Aaron Gordon (Orlando Magic), who last year with Zach LaVine put on one of the greatest aerial exhibitions the league has ever seen. An underground dunk king whose YouTube collages leave nothing to the imagination, Jones, at 6-feet-7, isn’t nervous about being thrust into the national spotlight in one of professional basketball’s signature events. If it were up to him, the entire basketball universe would know his name by the end of Saturday night. On the eve of the NBA’s chaos in New Orleans, the former UNLV Running Rebel chops it up about Rugrats, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Oreos, as well as his dream dunk contest and trampolining.

Dunk contest preview courtesy of Derrick Jones Jr. 😳😳😳 (via @Suns)

— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) February 14, 2017

Last show you binge watched?

Hmmmm, what is it? Arrow.

All-time favorite athlete?

Vince Carter.

I ain’t got no agenda, but if anybody wanna test me, I don’t care who it is. I go for the biggest, for real for real.

Favorite throwback TV show?

Rugrats. (Laughs.)

Favorite late-night food run? Whether it’s in Phoenix or wherever you’ve played.

When I was in college, it was like Wingstop or Buffalo Wild Wings.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I mean, probably Oreos. I love Oreos.

What’s one place you’ve never been but want to visit?

It’s this place back home [in Philadelphia] called Sky Zone trampoline park.

How did you get invited to the dunk contest?

[The NBA] actually called the GM [of the Phoenix Suns; Ryan McDonough] and the GM called me. They said they were thinking about putting me in the contest. I didn’t have a dunk yet. I told them if they wanted me in it, then I was gonna do it 100 percent.

One player in the league you’d love to dunk on?

I ain’t got no agenda, but if anybody wanna test me, I don’t care who it is. I go for the biggest, for real for real.

If you could be in the dunk contest with five people — active or retired — who would they be?

Vince Carter. Probably Nate Robinson. Gerald Green. Zach LaVine. And the one that’s in it this year … Aaron Gordon. I want the most competition I can get.

My teammate Elijah Millsap threw the lob and I caught it with my right hand. I mean, it wasn’t really a dunk. It was one of them things that Blake [Griffin] used to do. I just threw it in.

What was it like the first time you dunked on somebody in a game?

It was in my freshman year of high school. It was crazy. I loved it. We had an open gym, and it was on my teammate. It was like one of the craziest dunks I’ve had so far. My teammate threw me the ball and I took off. My other teammate, he was like 10 times stronger than me. He jumped and bumped me and I went higher. I was facing the rim, but when he bumped me, I spun and reverse dunked on him. I don’t know how it happened, but it was crazy.

Was that the most satisfying dunk of your career?

Oh, nahh. That was just one of many. One I had this year in the D-League … that was one of my craziest dunks. I ain’t even think I was gon’ make that. It was the one when we were playing the Reno [Bighorns]. My teammate Elijah Millsap threw the lob and I caught it with my right hand. I mean, it wasn’t really a dunk. It was one of them things that Blake [Griffin] used to do. I just threw it in.

What was your thought process last year watching LaVine and Gordon go at it in Toronto? You were telling yourself you had to get in it?

Oh, yeah. Fa’ sho’. I always wanted to get in the dunk contest. I love watching it. Dunking something that I do. It’s not who I am, but it’s something that I do. And I do it well. As for me getting the opportunity to do it now, I’m very excited, and I’m thankful.

Do you ever worry about being labeled “a dunker” and other parts of your game not getting as much coverage?

Nah, it never sucks being labeled as a dunker. If people wanna label me a dunker and leave me open so I can hit 3s then, please, go ‘head. I can shoot ’em. If you wanna sleep off me and sag back, I’ma just shoot it. If you wanna play uptight, I’m gonna go by you, and that’s when I’m on.

What are three songs you think you’ll be listening to before the contest?

Probably Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares.” Kodak Black’s “No Flockin’.” And Future’s “All Right.”

If a person is in Las Vegas, why should they bet on you to win the dunk contest on Saturday night?

Because I haven’t lost a dunk contest yet. (Laughs.) If you want your money, you might as well swing it this way.


This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

What Had Happened Was: 2/16/17 Oh, you don’t know? We got you.

Originally posted at the undefeated


With the prospect of an upset almost in hand, unranked West Virginia nearly blew a 19-point lead over Big-12 foe No. 24 Kansas State.

Chania Ray and Lanay Montgomery both had double-doubles — Ray finishing with 14 points and 10 assists and Montgomery amassing 12 points and rebounds — to lead the Mountaineers to a 66-56 victory on Wednesday night. Teammate Katina Pardee also chipped in for 14 points, mostly scoring from deep — hitting four 3-pointers.

Chania Ray is last night's Player of the Game after registering her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 assists vs. K-State.

— WVUWomen'sBasketball (@WVUWBB) February 16, 2017


This little black girl's dream. It came true! Grateful beyond words. My truest thanks to the sistren at @Essence. 🌻

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 15, 2017

The talented director, activist and Oscar nominee @Ava DuVernay graces our March 2017 cover! Pick yours up on Friday, 2/17.

— ESSENCE (@Essence) February 15, 2017

As a publicist, I worked with her on many stories for my clients. Now, my own story. Full circle moment. Thanks then and now, @CoriMurray.

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 15, 2017


For all of those wondering, I am in a happy relationship with someone who treats me so very right 💕 Thanks so much for the love! -xoxo

— kourt🌞 (@creolekourt) February 16, 2017

He cheated on her. Now she wants to know why.

— The Scene (@SCENE) February 15, 2017


Actor Michael K. Williams wrestles with the question: Is he being typecast?

For a black artist to win album of the year, the artist has to make an album of the decade.

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School officer who allegedly told another officer to slap a student because he had “too much mouth” goes on trial today.

Lowe’s gives $500,000 in emergency funds to support students at historically black colleges and universities.

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You are so busy blowing out bad vibes in every direction that we are all choking on your second-hand smoke!

— Kiera Please (@Kieraplease) February 15, 2017


Lmao dude on Facebook said he been waiting 4 hours for the P to fall so he could sue Walmart

— Toyin (@ToyinLies2Girls) February 15, 2017


So apparently I've been using twitter wrong. Ppl are outchea getting married and making this money. And I been laughing since 2009.

— Mophiring (@The_Womanist) February 15, 2017


BREAKING: This means the officer charged in the death of #PhilandoCastile will go to trial.

— Farrah Fazal (@FarrahFazal) February 15, 2017

BREAKING Judge DENIES motion to dismiss manslaughter case in death of #PhilandoCastile

— Brett Hoffland (@BrettHoffland) February 15, 2017


Instead of a trash DeVos cartoon, I'm sharing this: my fave photo of President Obama, with the REAL painting and its subject, Ruby Bridges.

— Shelly (@ShellySometimes) February 14, 2017