3 Hornets who could still make it to NBA All-Star weekend

2024 NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana
2024 NBA All-Star weekend in Indianapolis, Indiana / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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NBA Slam Dunk: Miles Bridges

Once the most anticipated event of the entire weekend, the slam dunk contest has lost its luster in recent years. The lack of star power, lack of creativity, and constant fudging with the rules, among other things have contributed to the recent downfall of this competition.

These issues only seem to be compounded and look worse and worse each ensuing season. So far the only players who have been confirmed as participants in this event are Heat rookie, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and defending champion, Mac McClung of the G-League’s Osceola Magic.

Those guys are fine dunkers, but they aren’t exactly household names. So the bar for star-power is clearly set pretty low. Bridges would easily clear that bar, as he’s put up over 20 points and 7 rebounds per game this season. On top of that, Bridges’ dunk repertoire and ability is outstanding.

Furthermore, Miles has obvious dunk contest credibility, as he competed in the 2019 event as a rookie, finishing 3rd, and even registering a perfect score of 50 on his second and final dunk of the night.

Bridges is an explosive leaper and a loud finisher; he can sky for alley-oops, hammering them down with authority, and he can also hang in mid-air and perform tricks with the ball. Bridges has proven to be a great in-game dunker, with years' worth of highlight reel-worthy slams, and already has dunk contest experience.

In a lot of ways, he’s a slam dunk choice for this contest (pardon the horrible pun), but as is the case with everything surrounding Bridges, the off-court situation is impossible to ignore. It’s hard to imagine the NBA wants Bridges on center stage during All-Star Saturday night, forcing his history to the forefront as announcers discuss his reasons for missing more than an entire season of NBA games.

Ultimately that will be the biggest - and perhaps only - reason that Bridges is unlikely to appear in this event. I’m sure he would welcome the opportunity, but it would be very surprising if he received an invitation from the league.