My friend called last night’s dunk contest the best since Vince Carter. He even thought about calling it better than Carter’s.
The spirit of the dunk contest is between two great athletes trying to outduel one another. Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine gave us that. I think Gordon was better but let’s just celebrate what we just witnessed!
After watching last night’s NBA All-Star weekend festivities, there were two thoughts that came to my mind. My first thought was the three-point contest. The star power and the hype was met in my opinion. We got to see a great first round and a great battle between teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Former champion Kyrie Irving also put on a great show and the three made it to the final round.
What you see above is Curry’s final round. He made an impressive 13 shots in a row to help seal his victory. We have lauded Curry as the best shooter in the NBA and it seemed for a while that it was in-game only. But now he has finally won this contest and we are so blessed to have seen such a great talent win the contest that seemingly was designed for him.
We have a lot of great shooters in the league. This contest was a great platform to show off their skills.
Harrison Barnes will represent the West.
There are new rules to the dunk contest this year in an attempt to spice it up with an East vs West approach. Here are the rules via USA Today:
For the first time, the dunk contest participants will be split into two teams: East (Terrence Ross, Paul George and John Wall) and West (Harrison Barnes, Damian Lillard and Ben McLemore). Rather than all of the dunkers competing against each other as individuals, they will be working in teams, with team and individual awards being given out at the end of the night.
The first round will be a so-called “freestyle” competition, where the dunkers on each team will have 90 seconds to pack in as many dunks as they can. It’s essentially a layup line, not too different from players’ pregame shootaround routines. The judges select a winning team, and that team chooses whether to go first or second in the next round.
The battle round is another clever twist. The three dunkers on each team will be paired off for a series of head-to-head battles, with the judges selecting a winner from each. When a dunker loses a battle, he’s eliminated from the competition, and the remaining contestants continue to go head-to-head until one of the teams wins three battles. That team will be the Slam Dunk Champions for the night.
So it’s a team game now instead of an individual game, even though there are individual elements. Will this work? I hope so. The dunk contest wasn’t bad because of the old rules. It was bad because there was lack of creativity and the time allotment was too long.
Was the winner of the dunk contest pre-determined before the voting period ended?
During the dunk contest, fans had the opportunity to text, tweet or vote online for the winner of the slam dunk contest. The winner was in the fans’ hands.
They had a countdown clock so fans knew how much time was left before the voting period ended.
But curiously, Nick Cannon was handed an envelope which appeared to have the results. This was with nine seconds remaining in the voting countdown. Were the results of the voting already tallied before the voting period ended?
So that dunk contest was hard to watch. The final dunks were decent but everything else was just hard to watch.
What is the solution? How can we make this thing better?
Obviously the problem is the lack of star power. I didn’t even know who was in this dunk contest until I looked it up. There was no star power here. It would be great if we got some big name players in this contest.
You know what’s sad? I don’t even know who’s in this year’s dunk contest. I should know, but I don’t. The slam dunk contest has now become so boring that it just doesn’t excite me anymore.
Looking at the dunks of years past, I am reminded about the creativity in the dunks. There was a sense of pride in going out there and putting on a show. Great dunkers entered. Popular players entered. The dunk contest used to mean something. It was a deal that was worth making a fuss about. We don’t have that anymore.
Big names such as LeBron James won’t join it. Instead, we are getting some no namers that might be good, but the hype isn’t there. Instead, we enter this All-Star weekend with not much build up towards the dunk contest. What happened along the way?
I remember back in the day when the dunk contest used to be a real entertaining part of the NBA All-Star weekend. I still remember watching the dunk contest from Vince Carter and was blown away by such a fantastic performance.
But for a while, it wasn’t all that fun. It was nice seeing Jason Richardson win back to back titles. But I think it was in 2006 when Andre Iguodala was robbed of the title when I started to not care so much about the contest.
As you guys remember, Iguodala put on a great show but Nate Robinson won the contest despite going over his time limit on dunks. And when I saw that, I knew that the dunk contest was losing its flair.