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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
THE WAY I DID IT, BY BRENT BARRY
"I had lunch with Charles Barkley before going over to the Alamodome in San Antonio," says Barry (right), who won the slam-dunk contest in 1996. "If you want good luck, have lunch with Chuck. Just don't watch him eat."
"I kept my warm-up top on. I was going to take it off to show a T-shirt that read WHITE MEN CAN JUMP, but at the last minute I decided that would be too much. When people ask why I had my warm-up on, I say I was cold."
"I didn't let the one-dunker-at-a-time format get me down. It stinks. They should make it like a layup line. Everyone at mid-court, going one by one. After three minutes the judges pick the two best guys and they dunk off. You'd have more fun that way. Guys would loosen up."
"I stayed humble. That weekend I got checked for my I.D. at the hotel at least a half-dozen times by the same security guy. After I won the dunk competition on Saturday, he still checked me! I enjoyed that, I really did."
TIPS FROM THE TOPS
Start slow "Open up strong, but make sure you go for a dunk you can make. Set the stage for yourself. Then, pull out the big-time stuff at the end."
Start fast "I wanted to make sure I had a lead. I liked the intimidation factor—that you come out and do these dunks and people say, 'Whoa, what can he possibly do next?'"
Wing it "My first year I didn't prepare a whole lot, and just worked off the crowd and won it. Last year I had all this stuff planned and none of it worked out."