The Knicks' Obi Toppin holds up the trophy after winning...

The Knicks' Obi Toppin holds up the trophy after winning the Slam Dunk Contest portion of the skills challenge competition, part of NBA All-Star Weekend, on Saturday in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Charles Krupa

Obi Toppin went from his place on the podium for his All-Star Weekend interview to signing basketballs, getting a greeting from Luka Doncic and an itinerary of appearances Saturday. This was all leading up to his showcase event, a place in that night’s Slam Dunk Competition — which he won.

Toppin was in his element, playing to the fans and urging them to cheer louder. He leaped over a spectator while bringing the ball behind his back and dunking it, but it took him three attempts to complete the dunk. His score of 44 left him tied with Juan Toscano-Anderson and ahead of Cole Anthony, who got a 40 for dunking in Timberlands, and Jalen Green, who misfired repeatedly before finally landing a dunk for a 38.

Toppin moved on to the final with the lead by tossing the ball off the backboard, catching it, putting it between his legs and dropping in a two-handed reverse dunk.

He missed twice on his first attempt of the final round and then, needing a made dunk, went with what perhaps only for him qualifies as safe — catching it off the board, going between his legs and windmilling it in.

Toscano-Anderson missed all of his attempts on the second dunk in the finals and Toppin needed only to complete a dunk. He still went for style, going through his legs, hitting it off the backboard and stuffing it in for a 47 and the win.

"There’s been a lot of legends who have won the dunk contest, so for my name to be a part of that, I don’t take that for granted," said Toppin, who finished second to Anfernee Simons last year. "We wanted to do some dunks that have never been seen before or done at the dunk contest, so for me to win it, I knew I had to come back with my revenge from last year and I’m glad I came out with the ‘W.’ "

He had said in the morning: "I got some really good dunks. I got some dunks that never been done before in the dunk contest, so just got to wait and see. You just watch what everybody’s done and you just try to go outside the box and just create your own style, your own rules, and that’s what practice is for. We had enough time to practice dunks and I feel like I got my dunks down pat now. So just going out there, have fun and get these dunks."

It marked the second straight season in which Toppin has participated in the event. But the wait goes on for when he will be noticed for what happens in games rather than one weekend’s high-flying antics.

Still, while the rest of the Knicks scattered to their homes or sunny locales, Toppin was in Cleveland, the lone representative for the organization at All-Star Weekend. No Knick came close to earning a berth in Sunday’s All-Star Game. Perhaps alarmingly, no Knick was chosen for the Rising Stars Challenge.

"Man, got to represent New York well," Toppin said before the contest. "Come out with this stuff and just have fun."

Fun has been hard to come by for Toppin this season, but at least after trudging through the snow in Cleveland, he had a chance to showcase what has been his highlight.

The Knicks' Obi Toppin leaps towards the basket during the...

The Knicks' Obi Toppin leaps towards the basket during the Slam Dunk Contest portion of the skills challenge competition, part of NBA All-Star Weekend, on Saturday in Cleveland. Credit: AP/Charles Krupa

The dunk competition provides a throwback to his childhood, when he would watch his father, Obadiah Toppin, a New York playground legend known as Dunkers Delight.

Dunks again have been the highlight of the season for Toppin. Twice he has gone between his legs and thrown down windmill dunks in a game. But that has been about the only part of his game in which he can find solace.

In the last eight games before the All-Star break, Toppin averaged only 10.6 minutes per game. And while his flights to the rim to finish lobs with highlight-reel dunks may draw gasps from the crowds at the Garden, the reality is that nearly one-third of his field-goal attempts come from beyond the arc — and in those last eight games, he shot 11.8% on three-pointers (2-for-17).

"I’m not really a social media guy," he said. "I’m not on social media a lot, but Thibs, the coaching staff, they’re great at what they do. So I trust them as well as all the other players on our team. We trust the coaches, and whatever decisions they have for us, we’ve got to live with it."