NBA All-Star: Mac McClung ‘saved’ the dunk contest, according to Shaquille O’Neal and Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson and Shaquille O’Neal have a lot in common. They are both Los Angeles Lakers legends who have won multiple titles for the franchise, they are both former MVPs and they are both Hall of Famers. They also both think Mac McClung “saved” the NBA slam dunk contest.

McClung emerged from relative obscurity on All-Star Saturday Night to cement his place in league history with a stunning performance in the Slam Dunk Contest. Along with winning the trophy, he also earned the admiration of current and former stars, who had nothing but praise for him.

O’Neal was succinct when asked about McClung’s performance as he walked through the tunnels at the Vivint Smart Home Arena: “He saved the dunk contest.”

Johnson, meanwhile, also took to social media to voice his thoughts. “Mac McClung personally saved the slam dunk contest with his performance tonight!!” the Lakers legend wrote on twitter. “He put on a show!”

McClung was a surprise attendee at the event and wasn’t even on an NBA roster when he first accepted the invitation in January. In fact, he just signed a two-way contract with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week. But while he still has to work on his all-around game, he’s perfected his dunking skills.

He came out of the gates strong, jumping over two people and tapping the ball to the backboard before throwing a reverse slam. This effort, which he accomplished on his first attempt, caught everyone’s attention and he quickly proved it was no coincidence. Three of his four dunks that night got a perfect 50 from the judges and the one that didn’t was a 49.8. Showing creativity, style and athleticism, he handled the pressure in a sublime manner.