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.

Love works overtime, wins All-Star 3-point contest

Posted by: Jerry Zgoda under Wolves players, Wolves news Updated: February 26, 2012 - 11:18 AM

Kevin Love worked overtime to win the NBA All-Star Saturday three-point contest.

He should have taken my advice.

Last week, I told him he should pull a Larry Bird at this year's All Star Saturday by walking into the dressing room before the night's three-point contest and asking his fellow competitors who planned on finishing second that night.

Turn out, he would have been right.

Love not only is the first Timberwolf ever invited to participate the three-point contest, he's also the first to ever win it.

He needed two tiebreakers to do so, but won both.

He beat Miami's Mario Chalmers after each had tied for third to advance to the finals, and then beat Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant in another playoff, 17-14, after each beat out reigning champ James Jones of Miami and tied each other in the finals.

You can see a post-contest video interview I conducted with Love and his handsome trophy right here.

I also had a chat with Derrick Williams after the slam-dunk contest.

You can find that interview right here.

Utah's Jeremy Evans won a slam dunk judged for the first time by fans voting electronically worldwide that went down as the most forgettable ever and probably will have the NBA re-thinking its All Star Saturday lineup.

Dwight Howard was right on Friday when he said everything has been done before and anyone waiting for the dunk to be reinvented will be disappointed.

This year's contest relied too much on props and shtick: Houston's Chase Budinger dressed like elongated Woody Harrelson and reinvented "White Men Can't Jump" by dunking over P Diddy. Indiana's Paul George likewise leap humans (note the plural) with a single bound when he dunked over 7-3 teammate Roy Hibbert and Dahntay Jones and Evans did so by leaping over comedian Kevin Hart, who ain't no Roy Hibbert when it comes to standing tall.

"He's not that tall, but he has a lot of Twitter followers," Williams said. "This whole thing is about tweeting, so if you have a lot of followers, it gives you an edge."

If you wondered why Derrick entered the contest by riding onto the floor standing on a motorcycle driven by team mascot Crunch, well...

Williams said the original concept was intended as a nod to Minnesota musician Prince and the "Purple Rain" movie.

For reasons Williams didn't fully explain, the concept was modified and turned into Williams doing a windmill slam as he soared over the motorcycle.

He called upon Ricky Rubio to assist him on his final two dunks: Ricky bounced the ball off the side of the backboard and Williams slammed it with a 360 spin on the first collaboration. Then he tried nine times to do that between-the-legs dunk he did in one take at practice one day.

"I just couldn't get the timing right," said Williams, who didn't succeed the first time on any of his three dunks. "At practice, I just did it. I know I can do"

Little bit different doing it in the basement of Target Center in front of his teammates instead of Saturday night's big stage.

"You're watched by million of people and you don't want to mess up," he said. "I think that was a little bit of nerves, just trying to finish it too fast, I guess."

Eventually, he just simplified the slam and did a two-handed to get something down before his two-minute limit expired.

"Oh, man, I was tired just trying to do the same dunk," he said.

Williams said he was told he finished second to Evans in the Internet and text fan voting.

So before I go tonight...got any idea for how to restore the dunk contest to its former glory, and I doubt you're going to get LeBron and Kobe to make comebacks?

In case you missed it, here are some highlights from the dunk contest.

 

 

 

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