American professional basketball player Matthew “Mac” McClung plays for the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Delaware Blue Coats of the NBA G League under a two-way deal.
He participated in college basketball with the Texas Tech Red Raiders and the Georgetown Hoyas. He was one of Virginia’s top-ranked high school players and a unanimous three-star recruit.
Mac Mcclung Has Always Been a Star
It was sort of half-star, half-Guy on the second night of the All-Star weekend. To the surprise of his own child, Julius Randle snuck into the three-point competition. The only effective Antetokounmpo was held off Team Antetokounmpo in the Skills Challenge due to an injured wrist.
Giannis was replaced as an honorary Antetokounbro by Jue Holiday. Jaden Ivey and Grant Williams, among others, sat courtside. Mac McClung would have appeared to the uninitiated as simply another non-star joining a non-starry Saturday.
McClung, who recently signed a two-way contract with the Sixers and has spent the majority of this season with their G-League affiliate, was added to the lineup for the dunk contest after Portland’s Shaedon Sharpe was replaced.
During the match, Shaq used McClung as nasty motivation by saying, “Nobody knows your name.” Make sure they keep your name in mind. Shaq has no idea who anyone is by name. Nonetheless, McClung was perhaps the closest thing to a highlight in a dunk competition without a real All-Star.
His high-flying mixtapes from high school in Virginia gave him a cult following. “Mac McClung OFFICIAL Senior Year Mixtape!! The Most EXCITING Player In AMERICA!” had nearly three million views before the dunk competition.
He lived up to the YouTube thumbnail billing on Saturday night. A propensity for performing under duress is what distinguishes the star from the not-star—well, after actual talent, that is.
McClung made each of his four dunks on the first attempt, while his fellow dunkers awkwardly fiddled with their equipment and timing.
All eyes were on McClung’s first dunk as he leaped over two opponents, pounded the backboard, and ended with a reverse slam. He received only 50s from the judges. Nobody averted their gaze after that. His third dunk, a double-clutch performed in midair, was my personal favorite.
His final performance, a 540-degree slam for a third straight perfect score, was nonetheless amazing. He indicated in the Vince Carter manner, “It’s over.” If McClung’s name is still a mystery to Shaq, the 6-foot-2 undrafted Delaware Blue Coat was hailed as the game’s salvation.
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The NBA Slam Dunk Competition Was Won by Mac Mcclung
You couldn’t help but feel awful for Trey Murphy III on Saturday night. The small forward from New Orleans was prepared with some very great moves for the NBA All-Star game on Saturday, but Mac McClung proved too much of a challenge.
The undisputed star of the evening was the young point guard of the Philadelphia 76ers, who was just recently brought up from the G League.
In every round of the Salt Lake City dunk competition, McClung slammed the glass with a flourish while standing 6’2″ tall. There are now rumors that he saved the rivalry just as it was about to lose popularity.
— NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2023
On the sidelines, a throng of basketball celebs immediately transformed into his hype squad, photographing him with sponsored phones and nearly dumping their own children a few times. The dunk competition just confirmed what his devoted following has known for years.
- McClung has been a YouTube phenomenon since his high school highlight videos. He has received over three million views for his “senior year mixtape.”
- He put on his high school jersey for the final dunk as a tribute to his hometown of Gate City, Virginia (and the supporters who have supported him ever since).
- He played for Georgetown for two years in college before switching to Texas Tech.
- He attended the Lakers’ summer league after going undrafted in 2021 and later signed with the organization.
- The next season, he signed a brief contract with the Chicago Bulls before moving on to Windy City, the Bulls’ NBA G League club. He was a member of the Delaware Blue Coats for the 2022–23 season when he accepted the invitation to the dunk competition this year, making him the first G League participant.
What are people saying?
“Man was a viral HOH high school dunk phenom, still working his way to the League, but lemme go get that dunk contest trophy right quick and bring it back to life!!! Unreal #macmclung.” — Steph Curry.
“He captured the attention of a basketball community that was beginning to lose faith that the dunk contests of old — like the Vince Carter years and Zach Lavine displays — would ever come back. It got to the point where even NBA commissioner Adam Silver was asked about the declining quality of the dunk contest, with people wondering if the NBA would start requiring top stars to participate.” — Kevin Reynold.
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