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Problems with the Slam Dunk Contest

The consensus opinion following the slam dunk competition on Saturday night is that the contest was quite boring and lackluster. Nate Robinson won his third straight competition and provided some of the only excitement when he brought out the Cowboys cheerleaders for his winning dunk. After watching the likes of Robinson, DeMar DeRozan, Gerald Wallace, and Shannon Brown struggle with creativity and originality, the biggest obstacle facing the dunk contest has become glaring: there are no more new dunks left to do!

Yeah, Gerald Green blew out a cupcake at the rim and Dwight Howard donned a Superman cape, but outside of that, we’ve seen every reverse, 360, and double clutch one can possibly dream up. We’ve seen players jump over any object we could possibly think of. We’ve seen every pass a teammate can dish to the dunker. Unless you get extremely creative with an outfit, there isn’t a whole lot new or exciting someone can offer anymore. That’s why it’s more imperative now than ever for the dunk competition to encourage stars to participate. A thunderous dunk from Gerald Wallace could yield a yawn from most fans but there’s no doubt the reaction would be “ooohs” and “awwws” if LeBron James hammered down the same jam.

The dunk contest lacked creativity Saturday night and it needs stars to be rescued. After seeing what it’s done for Dwight Howard’s career, how can players miss out on the opportunity to increase their popularity? The NBA sure could use it to boost TV ratings and there’s no doubt the fans are clamoring for it. Hopefully LeBron will one day give us a thrill.



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  • SpinMax

    I was busy at a hockey game.
    thank god

  • Gene

    You are right. Nobody wants to see any contest between no name ballplayers, many of whom do not even start for their teams. The contest itself is a great idea, but if Kobe, LeBron, Dwight, etc. do not participate, nobody is really interested. It is their participation that makes people tune into a very unwatchable all star game where no defense is played. The same is true of other all star events. For instance, baseball’s home run derby would be nothing without Howard, A-Rod and Pujols.