The New York Knicks are having a bit of trouble picking up All-Star votes. It appears, however, that some superdelegates are willing to provide some support.
Backup center Jericho Sims is far from the traditional All-Star conversation, having fallen in and out of head coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotations all season. There have been decent minutes off the bench (4.2 rebounds, 3.6 points average in 12.3 minutes in 32 games), but Sims has had the dreaded “DNP-CD” initials on his box in each of the last three games that have matched. with the return of Obi Taupin from injury.
Sims, however, is backed to compete in the upcoming All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, where the Knicks have tremendous awareness past and present; Toppin is the most recent winner of the annual showcase, joining Kenny Walker and three-time champion Nate. Robinson:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Sims, 24, is getting support for inclusion; 59 percent of his field goal attempts this season have come via dunks, and he’s been frequently targeted for layups. But Sims has two big endorsements — one from New York and one from overseas — this week as the Knicks (24-19) try to build ground between themselves and a play-in berth.
Earlier this week, Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant personally campaigned for Sims when he responded to a tweet from Bleacher Report which announced that Houston’s Kenyon Martin Jr. will participate along with Portland rookie Shaydon Sharp. Sims reached out to the superstar for support ahead of Friday’s triumphant visit to Washington.
“I thought it was great that he wanted to see me in it,” Sims said, according to the New York Post’s Peter Bote. “It’s funny because he obviously could get in there if he wanted to.”
Insider support came from starter Quentin Grimes, who shared a slow-motion video of Sims’ huge jump shot as New York prepared to take on the Wizards on Georgetown University’s campus.
The 2023 Slam Dunk Contest will be held on Feb. 18 in Salt Lake City, one day before the NBA All-Star Game hosted by the Utah Jazz. In addition to Martin and Sharpe, the competition should welcome its first NBA G League participant as Mack McClung will represent the Philadelphia-affiliated Delaware Blue Coats.
Meanwhile, Sims and the Knicks return to action Sunday afternoon against the Detroit Pistons (1 p.m. ET, MSG).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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