NBA All-Star Weekend: The Dunk Contest Is a Joke
One: The season is half-over? What the hell?
Two: Who are these scrubs in the dunk contest? Chase Budinger, Paul George, Derrick Williams. Standout rookie Iman Shumpert was the most recognizable player in the bunch, but I can’t figure out how he’d work his stout perimeter defense and clean steals into a glammed up slam-dunk.
Last year’s competition had some star-power flare in form of Blake Griffin, and his opponents weren’t too shabby. Big men Serge Ibaka and Javale McGee may not be household names, but their goofy charisma and off-the-chart athleticism kept things interesting. It was Griffin’s coming out party, but has anyone done a crazier dunk than Javale’s three balls in one hoop? Not to mention two slams in two different hoops.
I expected the NBA to ride their high from last year. Instead, they shortened it to one round, and took away the judges. Instead, a fan vote, via-text, will determine the victor. Half the fun was watching Dr. J cheer and hold up cards. Right now, there’s a poll on ESPN.com’s front page asking who will win it, pretty much giving it all away before All-Star Weekend starts.
The biggest draw would have been Iman Shumpert, if only because Jeremy Lin was going to be involved somehow. Short of putting Landry Fields in in for Jeremy Evans, and having Lin throw a pass to him off a couch for a behind the head slam, no good can come of this.
Paul George recently won dunk of the night on ESPN; a blatant plug for this weekends festivities. He’s a three point shooter with a decent midrange game. Everyone else is a bench warmer.
A certain amount of blame falls on the lockout-shortened season. Franchise players need all the rest they can get, and its not a surprise they don’t want to use the little free time they have trying to jump over economy cars. Once the regular season goes back to its old format, we might see rising stars who need some extra publicity, like Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, try to make themselves into a brand with signature appearances, but for now, we’ll have to wait.
Unless of course, Landry Fields and Jeremy Lin are added as a last minute tag-team entry and change the game forever. #LandryforDunkContest
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