Magic Johnson and Shaquille O'Neal have a lot in common. They're both Los Angeles Lakers legends who won multiple titles for the franchise, they're both former MVPs and they're both Hall of Famers. They also both think that Mac McClung "saved" the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
McClung rose out of relative obscurity on All-Star Saturday Night to earn his place in league history with a stunning performance in the Slam Dunk Contest. In addition to winning the trophy, he also earned the admiration of current and former stars, who had nothing but praise for him.
O'Neal was short and to the point when asked about McClung's performance while walking through the tunnels inside Vivint Smart Home Arena: "He saved the dunk contest."
“He saved the dunk contest.” - @SHAQ pic.twitter.com/caoAOChL5j— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) February 19, 2023
Johnson, meanwhile, too, took to social media to offer his thoughts. "Mac McClung has 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 entrant into the event and wasn't even on an NBA roster when he first accepted the invitation back in January. In fact, he only signed a two-way deal with the Philadelphia 76ers earlier this week. But while he still has work to do on his all-around game, he's perfected his dunking skills.
Showstopping. 🎬— NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2023
It's the 2023 #ATTSlamDunk contest champion Mac McClung Mixtape#StateFarmSaturday pic.twitter.com/c2ClPqNO77
He came out of the gates strong by jumping over two people and tapping the ball on the backboard before throwing down a reverse slam. That effort, which he completed on his first try, grabbed everyone's attention, and he quickly proved it was no fluke. Three of his four dunks on the night received perfect 50 scores from the judges and the one that didn't was a 49.8. He displayed creativity, style and athleticism, and dealt with the pressure in sublime fashion.