Let’s be honest here, this year’s dunk contest contestants aren’t raising any eyebrows. In fact the man being brought in to assist Iman Shumpert is getting more attention than any of the contestants…anybody heard of Jeremy Lin? I don’t think I need to indulge on who he is unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks and even then its possible you could feel the Lin-tensity (I promise that will be the last Lin pun). Contestants like Derrick Williams, Chase Budinger, Paul George, and Iman Shumpert aren’t household names. But whose to blame?
The NBA, David Stern, should find a way to invigorate what once was a fan favorite event at the All-Star Game. The NBA has done several different things over the years to try and change the contests’ atmosphere. Since 2008 fan voting decided the winner of the dunk contest, which I believe hinders the contest and the contestants who participate. Although it is only the final round which fans vote for doesn’t it lose credibility? Look I understand that this event is for the fans, the whole weekend is for the fans, but these are the same fans that vote in their favorites for the All-Star Game. Favorites, not most deserving, its beyond me how Kevin Love is not a starter and Blake Griffin is. I’m not taking anything away from Blake, but Love is by far the better player, which is a whole other argument.
So where was I? Favorites. Listen Blake Griffin (sorry I’m getting at you right now) won the dunk contest last year before it even started. The contest was in Los Angeles where he plays and was the popular pick before the contest took off. I get it he jumped over a car, but did anybody really see what Demar Derozan was doing. I’ve been watching Demar Derozan dunking since his days in Compton; he should have been the hometown favorite. The kid can fly, but he didn’t even make it to the final round of the dunk contest last year. He didn’t use props like a car or two hoops, and if he did you would still be jumping out your seat. Believe me. Just go look at his highlight reel from high school…yes high school…enough said.
I have a few ideas that could possibly bring back the hype of the dunk contest.
- Make the “Superstars” participate. Get LeBron on the phone and tell him he has to participate in this contest albeit he is good health. At 6’8 250lbs. what could hurt him. “The Decision” was highly watched so how bout the “The Decision II” LeBron decides to partake in the dunk contest festivities. I mean everything this guy does is scrutinized and televised and talked about so what better way to get the contest publicity then LeBron James. Get Dwayne Wade to throw him an alley-oop from the popcorn vendor and we have ourselves a show.
- Get more contestants. Four people are not enough. Back in the day eight people participated. From 2002 and on it dropped to four people and it’s not like Nate Robinson was around then taking 20 attempts to complete his dunk. Get some more people in there, some more household names along with some not so name brand players. If an underdog did win wouldn’t it make it more memorable. Just imagine if the contestants consisted of Lebron James, Blake Griffin, Demar Derozan, Carmelo Anthony, among some the other 4 already in it. I’m sure everybody would have a different take on this years contest.
- No more fan voting. Like I said before I know the contest is for the fans, but someone like Demar Derozan who is a great dunker possibly didn’t consider this year because of that. Quite honestly if Jeremy Lin participated this year he would win with finger rolls and lay-ups. The fans watching and being there should be enough participation.
- Jam Session anybody? A lot of people watch the X-Games. They have the right idea when it comes to something like this. Make each round “X” amount of minutes. For the sake of argument make the first round 5 minutes. Let everybody participating go one at a time in order attempting their dunk. Four best scores advance. Then have a much shorter Jam Session, let’s say 2 minutes. Top two advance. Then for the final round do it old school 2 attempts per person for the crown of dunk contest champion…as voted by judges not fans.
David Stern or anybody in the NBA I hope you get to read this and think about changing up the dunk contest, after all it is for the entertainment of the fans right?