Did John Wall's Dunk Contest Victory Come with an Assist from an Ohio State Senior?

By D.J. Byrnes on February 17, 2014 at 5:57 pm

If you missed this weekend's NBA dunk contest, don't fret. It was an abomination. The Washington Wizard's John Wall, however, won the contest with this dunk:

John Wall's Dunk

“John Wall just brought the slam dunk contest back,” Magic Johnson said in an in-the-moment hyperbole. “Magic is right,” Dr. J agreed. “The slam dunk contest has returned.”

While it was definitely a nice dunk, it certainly wasn't an all-time classic. The dunk contest has become a bit played out in recent years because let's face it, there are only so many ways one can throw a ball through a ten foot-high cylinder.

Afterwards, Wall credited an anonymous Tweeter:

“Somebody sent me a YouTube link on my Twitter and said 27 dunks that haven’t been done in the NBA dunk contest. And the first one was that one, and it seemed hard, but for me it came out to be easy. So it worked out in my favor.”

Jared Watson, a 21-year-old Wizards fan and Ohio State accounting senior, tweeted this video to Wall a week before Wall even joined the official dunk contest roster:

Others, as the Post notes, sent Wall the same video, but Watson was undoubtedly the first. Although, he's also not too bitter about not being credited with his potential assist: 

“I was like waaiiit a minute,” Watson told [the Washington Post] Sunday night. “I told my dad this morning that if it wasn’t for me, John Wall might not have won the dunk contest. I’m sure John had a little bit to do with it, but this morning I felt pretty good about myself.”

He was joking, obviously. Still, why is a 21-year old kid from Columbus so concerned with what John Wall does? Well, Watson moved to Haymarket in Prince William County when he was 10, and stayed there until 2006. His formative sports years thus involved the Wizards during the peak of the Arenas era, and he stuck with the team even when he moved to Ohio before starting high school.

... “I don’t know if it was me or not, but it was a cool experience,” he said. “It’s good for him, it’s good for the team. A dunk contest championship’s great, but I’m still waiting for the team to win an NBA championship. And I think him winning that sheds a more positive light on the team and hopefully makes it a little bit of a sexier environment for potential free agents and things like that.”

Watson's Wizards currently sit at 25-27, good for third place in the NBA's Southeast Division. The Ohio State senior could be waiting for a cold minute on that Wizard's championship, but as a Cleveland Browns fan, I can appreciate his loyalty.

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