The 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend has come to a close,and all anyone can talk about is the demise of the signature of All-Star Saturday,the dunk contest.How there wasn’t any,how do you say,oomph to the contest,how the dunks were uninspired,and how you knew who nobody was in the contest. And by the way,there was an All-Star in this year’s contest.
I grew up watching the Slam Dunk Contest and seeing all the great names like Michael Jordan,Dominique Wilkins,and Kobe Bryant participate in the contest. Not only did they compete,they enjoyed doing so. Sure,you had a few no-names in there, but the main guys actually competed in it,and it was great to see and fun to watch. Then in 1998, it went away. Then after the shortened 1999 season,it came back with a big roar with stars like Vince Carter, Steve Francis, and Tracy McGrady all took part with Carter winning the contest. It looked as though the dunks were back,alive and well. Not only that, it made you wish that you could do it,too. Why do you think me and my friends would dunk on an eight foot rim up the street?
Now,you’ve got guys who sit on the end of the bench for their own teams like Shannon Brown and Demar Derozan competing in it. Gerald Green, who won the contest in 2007,isn’t even on an NBA roster. Guys that you never see play,guys that even sports fans have to say “Who?” and then go look them up on the internet.
I remember last year when LeBron James had announced he would “participate” in 2010 and how excited people were . What those fans in Phoenix and around the country forgot was that talk is cheap. I knew 100 percent that Kobe, LeBron,Dwight Howard,Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony,or even Kevin Durant would not be in this contest. There’s no incentive for them to. People care about who is dunking the ball as much as they do the dunk itself. Having the league’s token short guy,Nate Robinson, win it all the time is not doing the fans,or the league itself,any justice.
I think may it’s time for either an overall of the event,or to just get rid of it and just have the All-Star Game. I think the league should take a page from the Home Run Derby. In the Derby, the ball the player hits when they have nine outs is a gold colored ball, and if that ball leaves the yard, $21,000 gets donated to charity on behalf of Century 21. If you can somehow do something like that with the dunk contest, say if a player scores a 50 on his last dunk, a certain dollar amount goes to charity. Also, I think players need to be reminded that this weekend is for the fans, not so they can have a free trip to the host city and so they can pull out of the game with a bogus injury.
But if the dunk contest remains as it is, dull and uninteresting,I say junk the dunks!