By Ben Golliver
Bobcats rookie forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist joined the “Dunk of the Year” discussion by demolishing Pistons center Greg Monroe during Detroit’s 105-99 win in Charlotte on Wednesday night.
With a little less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Pistons leading 96-93, the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft received a kick out pass from Gerald Henderson, who collapsed Detroit’s defense with a drive. Receiving the ball near the free throw line, Kidd-Gilchrist took a gather dribble before lifting off with two feet to throw down a punishing one-handed hammer dunk over Monroe, who attempted a block shot in front of the rim. The slam brought the Time Warner Cable Arena crowd to its feet, as you would expect, and Kidd-Gilchrist swung his arm in celebration.
Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 11 points (on five-for-10 shooting), six rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes.
Kidd-Gilchrist joins the “Dunk of the Year” conversation, which now includes: DeMar DeRozan over Timofey Mozgov, Kobe Bryant over Kris Humphries and Gerald Wallace, Nick Young over Larry Sanders, Kevin Durant over Marcin Gortat, Gerald Henderson over Dwight Howard, Byron Mullens over LaMarcus Aldridge, Jeff Green over Al Jefferson and Harrison Barnes over Nikola Pekovic.
The 19-year-old forward was recently hospitalized after taking a blow to the head, but he was able to return to the court and participate in the Rising Stars Challenge during 2013 All-Star Weekend in Houston.