Charlotte Hornets: Miles Bridges belongs in Dunk Contest

Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Miles Bridges (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Charlotte Hornets rookie Miles Bridges has shown the world that he belongs in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend

The majority of NBA and Charlotte Hornets fans know Charlotte is hosting the 2019 NBA All-Star Game and we are all thinking the same thing. Regardless if you’re in the league’s corporate office or section 213 of Spectrum Center, a question has been floating through basketball conversations this year, “Will Miles Bridges be in the dunk contest?”

Notice I did not say “should”.

Miles Bridges, listed at 6’7” ft with a vertical leap over 40 inches, is everything you could want in a slam dunk participant. Don’t believe me? Go to YouTube and search “Miles Bridges Dunk”. The dozens of rim-shaking videos are evidence of his prowess.

In fact, there’s a clip during his Michigan State days that shows him basically touching the top of the backboard during a vertical test.

Now, I am willing to admit, workouts or practice gym dunks can be low hanging fruit on the highlights tree. The true basketball junkies and dunk snobs want to know about the upper echelon stuff, the revered IN-GAME highlight dunk.

Well, his abilities were on full display against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night, as he threw down this sensational slam:

Not only did it impress Kemba and crew, it put the entire sports world on notice. This is not a hyperbole; the highlight dunk has been showcased on the NBA’s homepage and even mentioned in a Golf Digest post. More so, Bridges might have the best, and most fitting, nickname is sports right now: SKY MILES. (Props to whoever came up with that)

That type of cultural transcendence is what is extremely special about the NBA. The Dunk Contest can propel a young player who sticks out his tongue as he slams from the free throw line into a lasting global icon.

Despite having that exact icon as an owner, the Hornets crave a current player with that transcendent marketability. The Charlotte Hornets franchise has Kemba Walker, and although loved by local fans, he does not receive the cultural attention of a Dunk Contest Winner.

Some may even argue that Tony Parker is the most recognized name on the roster. All of that would be laid to rest in front of the home crowd with a few jaw-dropping slams during the NBA All-Star Weekend.

Charlotte does have some experience with the event, but sadly no winners. The organization has had seven representatives throughout the history of the contest, with Rex Chapman (1990 & 1991) being the only member to appear more than once.

Additionally, the Hornets had two participants involved in ’91 with Chapman as well as Kendall Gill. Most notably, cultural legend, Larry Johnson put on a stellar display during the 1992 event before finishing runner-up.

It’s also worth mentioning, the Charlotte Hornets haven’t had a representative since Gerald Wallace in 2010.

Also. When will Malik Monk break into the starting lineup?. light

So, Bridges has eye-popping dunks, he’s got the marketable “it” factor, and the franchise is due for a participant. Seems like a matter of when, not if, Sky Miles will be in the Dunk Contest. Here’s hoping, in a region that loves all things flight, he takes-off February 16th in Charlotte.