Matt from Hardwood Paroxysm has all of our NBA Development League coverage. Today, he talked to Brent Petway, former Michigan Wolverine and champion of the D-League's dunk contest, about how he wants to challenge Dwight Howard.
Brent Petway can jam. And I don't mean, every now and again, he gets some air and puts one home. In an era where we laud the all-around athlete, where we marvel at CP3's complete game and Josh Smith's ability to fill a stat sheet, it's rare to find a player that exhibits extraordinary skill in dunking at the professional level. Brent Petway is the modern day extrapolation of pure talent in a singular move. Brent plays for the Idaho Stampede, the D-League team that's affiliated with Seattle and Portland. His stats are nothing extraordinary. He's 8th in the D-League in blocks. His most notable attribute, however, is his penchant for jaw-dropping dunks, which has earned him the nickname "Air Georgia." So when the D-League decided to put together a dunk contest, they knew they needed to get Petway.
His first two dunks were take-offs of old classics. The "A-La-Carter":
And the "Dominique Special," a classic windmill with a self alley-oop.His closers in the finale were the moneymakers though. His first dunk was bizarre to watch, but beautiful on the replay. He placed the ball on the ground underneath the basket. He stood over the ball, steadied himself, then reached down, grabbed it, jumped straight up, and landed a windmill. A standing windmill. Think about trying to jump that high with no momentum. I tried to, but my ankles snapped and a substance not unlike blood started pouring down my leg. Ew.
His finish was just as strong. An alley-oop to a modified East Bay Funk.
It was pretty sick. Afterwards, Petway danced and posed for the crowd, showing that he's not short on showmanship. Or guns.
I didn't know until yesterday, however, what he's got up his sleeve. On his blog, Petway indicated that he's planning on putting out a YouTube Video challenging 2008 NBA Dunk Champion Dwight Howard to a dunk contest and completing all of Howard's dunks from the 2008 NBA Dunk Contest. Petway was kind enough to talk to me for a few minutes about the D-League Dunk Contest, his challenge to Dwight Howard, and life in the D-League.
HP: Thanks for talking with me today, Brent. Congrats on the dunk contest.
Petway: 'Preciate it man, it was a lot of fun.
HP: How long had you been working on the A La Carter and that sick between the legs you did to finish?
Petway: It was kind of spur of the moment. I tried it in practice and made it, and made it part of the routine.
HP: What made you pull out the Dominique special?
Petway: Well, I've always done the windmill. But I noticed I could add my own style to it because I can get it to bounce high and I can go up and catch it so high.
HP: What was the hardest dunk to pull off?
Petway: The one where I sit the ball on the ground, and jump up dead-leg and just go vertical. It's already hard to do a windmill. But doing it from the ground straight vertical? That's hard.
HP: Was it fun going up against (teammate) Mike (Taylor) in the finals?
Petway: Yeah, we do it every day in practice. We knew it was going to come down to the two of us.
HP: You mentioned in your blog that you're going to challenge Dwight Howard to a dunk contest. How are you planning on doing that?
Petway: Basically, I've seen all the dunks he did, and I believe I can do all of them. So I'm going to get a camera somehow, do all those, and show him that a fellow Georgia boy can get up too. And I won the D-League so I think we should crown an overall champ.
HP: You said you're planning on doing every dunk he did. Are you going to do the whole Superman cape-bit too?
Petway: (laughs) I won't put the cape on; I'll just do the dunk.
HP: Let's talk about the D-League some. In your opinion, what's the biggest part of your game that needs work to get you into the League?
Petway: Basically, just knocking down 17- to 20-footers. Gaining confidence. It's been coming along. Last couple of games I've been knocking it down.
HP: If you were to get called up, who would be the first person you'd call?
Petway: My mom. We're real close. She's a basketball fanatic, and she gets into it as much as I do.
HP: Was she down in New Orleans?
Petway: Yeah. Made the seven-hour drive along with my whole family.
HP: If you weren't in the D-League, what do you think you'd be doing?
Petway: Probably either coaching or broadcasting. If not, playing overseas.
HP: You got anything to say to Dwight Howard?
Petway: Just...Let's get this going. I know he'll be up for it. No reason we can't crown an overall champion for the NBA and the D-league. Why not just have the champions go at it?