Moon guarantees dunk victory

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

NEW ORLEANS -- Jamario Moon is guaranteeing a win in tonight's all-star dunk competition.

The 27-year-old rookie who was getting ready for the CBA playoffs this time last year with the Albany Patroons says he will fly higher, dunk better and ultimately draw more votes from the NBA public to best the likes of Dwight Howard, who nearly won last year's dunkoff, Gerald Green who did win it, and Memphis high-flyer Rudy Gay, who already has been crowned chief trash talker of the much anticipated event.

"I got it," Moon said. "I've got it in my pocket right now." Moon said smiling. "I believe in me and I'm sure those guys believe in what they do. But I think I've got some nice dunks. I've got a couple (in reserve) in case they do something crazy and make me go a little deeper into the hat. I believe in myself."

Moon, though, says he takes a back seat to Gay when it comes to stirring it up.

"I don't think Rudy liked my YouTube video," Moon said. "He said he thought I was trying to call him out a little bit. It's nothing personal."

Gay admitted he phoned Howard to talk a little trash a few days ago. Howard says it won't alter his game. He did say he may be donning a slightly different uniform for at least one of his dunks.

Moon will be assisted by teammate Jason Kapono, who is here to defend his three-point shooting title.

Kapono, like all the Raptors, is very protective of divulging too much about the dunks Moon is planning.

Raptors assistant coach Jay Triano and guard Juan Dixon have been Moon's chief dunk strategists.

Creativity has become just as important in this event as athleticism.

Moon has been in three dunk contests before this one and has yet to win.

He lost the dunk contest in the CBA last year to Anthony Richardson.

"It was a hometown thing because any time a hometown guy is in the dunk contest he tends to win," Moon said.

He finished third the year before that and lost a dunk contest in high school to Gerald Wallace of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Moon, however, remains confident of his chances tonight.

"This one will blow all the other one's away," Moon said.


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