Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.

Derrick Williams chosen for Slam Dunk Contest + video

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wolves practice news, Packers, Wolves news Updated: February 16, 2012 - 5:32 PM

Derrick Williams will be in the NBA All-Star Game's Slam Dunk Contest.

The contest is Saturday, Feb. 25, in Orlando, the day before the All-Star Game.  Williams and Ricky Rubio of the Wolves are in the rookie/second year game that weekend, and teammate Kevin Love will play in the All-Star Game on Feb. 26.

Other Wolves who have been in the Slam Dunk Contest are Gerald Green, Chris Carr, Doug West and J.R. Rider. Rider won it in 1994.

The other participants in the Slam Dunk Contest this year are Paul George of the Pacers, Iman Shumpert of the Knicks and Chase Budinger of the Rockets. The contest is one round, three dunks for each participant. Fans will do all the voting, either on nba.com, via Twitter or via texts.

In previous years, there were two rounds and judges on site.  Blake Griffin of the Clippers won last year's contest, but declined to participate this season.

Williams had the NBA Play of the Day for his dunk last night against Charlotte.

 

Here is a post-practice update.

After the Wolves had finished practice, Williams, with fellow rookie Malcolm Lee, spent some time working on his dunking. It was fun to watch. Ultimately, Williams pulled off one very impressive dunk, one in which he put the ball off the backboard, then moved it between his legs before throwing it down.

Williams said he was thrilled to be a part of the competition.

"Just being a part (of it) is pretty cool," he said. 

This isn't his first such competition. Williams said he took part in one when he was at Arizona back in 2010. But he didn't win. He was topped by teammate Brendan Lavender, who used his 42-inch vertical leap to pull off an impressive dunk. Lavender started at midcourt, did a handstand, then a backflip, took a pass, doubled pumped and threw it down reverse. 

But back to Williams. He has 19 dunks this season, that very impressive one last night. Williams said he owes Ricky Rubio a lot for just being in the competition, given how many times Rubio has set him up with lob passes. Williams hopes to have Rubio help him during the competition, if the Wolves point guard has the time. "I asked Ricky, but he's not sure what he's doing yet," Williams said. "But hopefully he can help me out; I'll get more fan votes that way. Everybody loves Ricky''

 

Other items from today's practice:

--Love said he expects to get booed when he plays in Houston tomorrow. Of course you know why, right? The last time the two teams played Love stepped on Rockets forward Luis Scola's head and was suspended two games for it. "It's a dead issue," Love said. "I'm sure it's a dead issue with their team, too. We've moved on. I've served the suspension. It's all closed. It's good to go.''

--Wolves coach Rick Adelman said not to read too much into the fact that neither Williams nor Michael Beasley played in the second half of Wednesday's game. That happened mainly because Adelman liked what the group he had out on the floor at the end of the third quarter --  Luke Ridnour, Love, Nikola Pekovic, J.J. Barea and Martell Webster -- was doing. He went with the same five for much of the fourth quarter as well. "I liked our execution," Adelman said. "We looked at (film) of it today to show everybody, this is how we want to play."

 That said, Adelman said Beasley''s production off the bench will be much needed as the Wolves are about to play four games in six nights heading into the All Star break.

That's about it for today. Your old pal Jerry Zgoda will take the wheel in Houston. 

 

 

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