Knicks Big Jericho Sims Claps Back at Dunk Contest Criticisms

Jericho Sims, New York Knicks

Getty Basketball player Jericho Sims, of the New York Knicks, holds up a "50" as he competes during the Slam Dunk Contest.

The NBA All-Star break has officially come to pass and found all throughout the festivities were representatives of the New York Knicks, specifically Quentin Grimes, Julius Randle, and Jericho Sims.

The latter represented the organization in the annual NBA Slam Dunk Contest which, during the season prior, was ultimately won by fellow Knicks teammate Obi Toppin.

While Sims may not have come away victorious as his predecessor did, the sophomore big did still manage to find himself being buzzed about for his participation in the competition, albeit for the fact that his performance was widely deemed as underwhelming by spectators and analysts, with Warriors star Draymond Green going as far as to refer to one of his attempts as being “weak.”

Though the criticisms may be enough for some to possibly lose their spirits, in a story posted on his personal Instagram account on February 20, Sims shared a picture of himself repping tinted sunglasses with a nice beach background captioned with an upbeat message.

“No need to feel embarrassed for me. I’m not,” Sims wrote.

The 24-year-old center, who, coming into the contest, was being hyped up by Quentin Grimes, was ultimately eliminated in the preliminaries with a cumulative score of 95.4 but, based on his latest IG post, it’s safe to say that he’s not losing sleep over his All-Star break shortcomings.

Sims Could Lose Role With Knicks

Though Jericho Sims may not be all that concerned about the public reaction to his dunk contest efforts, there should be some uneasiness about his role on the Knicks moving forward as SNY NBA Insider Ian Begley suggested in a February 16 episode of “The Putback” that the big man could be axed from Tom Thibodeau’s nine-man rotation once Mitchell Robinson comes back from injury.

“My guess is Tom Thibodeau sticks with the nine-man rotation. He didn’t expand it to ten guys when Josh Hart was acquired, I don’t think he expands it to ten guys when Mitchell Robinson comes back. I would assume Jericho Sims is the odd man out,” Begley said.

Since taking over as the starting center for the Knicks back on January 20 following Robinson’s right thumb fracture, Sims has posted averages of 4.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game whilst converting on a highly efficient 76.5% shooting from the field.

Knicks Predicted to Make Moves in Conference Standings

Now that the illustrious festivities are in the rearview the Knicks will look to pick back up where they left off heading into All-Star weekend.

Having won five of their last six outings including a current three-game winning streak, New York enters this final stretch of the 2022-23 regular season on a high note and, in the eyes of Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz, he believes the team will continue to play at this type of level moving forward as he predicts they will end up “with one of the best records in the league” throughout these remaining few weeks.

“Since Dec. 4, New York is fifth overall in offense (117.9 rating) and sixth in net rating (plus-4.7), with a defense that should only get better when starting center Mitchell Robinson returns from thumb surgery,” Swartz wrote. “With Julius Randle making the All-Star Game and Brunson playing like one himself, New York is now one of the deepest teams in the NBA by swapping Reddish (who was out of the rotation) for Hart. While the Knicks may not catch the Cleveland Cavaliers for the fourth seed (currently 4.5 games behind), New York should overtake the Brooklyn Nets to settle at No. 5 overall.”

Swartz would make it a point to highlight the acquisition of Josh Hart as being a major reason why he believes the Knicks will finish out the regular season strong and head into the 2023 playoffs with momentum on their side for, since his arrival, Thibodeau’s club holds an undefeated record of 3-0.

Thus far into his New York tenure, Hart is posting sensational per-game averages of 17.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.7 steals while converting on a whopping 64.3% of his long-range attempts.

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