The Death of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

While watching last night’s NBA Slam Dunk contest, I repeatedly received visions in my head of the ending of the highly acclaimed movie “Old Yeller”.

That’s only because I felt someone should have taken this event behind a woodshed and put it out of its misery.

I am a huge fan of the NBA, but boy did they fail to deliver for All-Star Saturday.

It wasn’t just the Slam Dunk Contest that sucked, but the entire event was completely weak, emotionless and lacked the luster of past years.

No one wanted to be there. Very few fans showed up to the arena and those who did were absolutely lifeless. Nothing that happened on that court was going to wake them up out of their collective comas.

I suppose it’s hard to get excited for an event that’s headlined by such “big” names as Landry Fields, Jerry Stackhouse, Mario Chalmers, Jeremy Evans, Chase Budinger, James Jones and Paul George.

The Slam Dunk competition was the definition of “waste of time”.

As a fan of the sport, I spent my Saturday night sitting on my couch and watching the festivities hoping for something memorable to happen to justify my decision to spend 2 and a half hours in front of my television.

The 3 point shootout and skills competition are always nice, but the event I was eagerly awaiting was the Slam Dunk contest. I knew the 4 players participating (Jeremy Evans, Derrick Williams, Paul George, Chase Budinger) were no where near being star players, but they were all young and athletic and more than capable of putting on a somewhat watchable show.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

With the exception of 2 dunks (Jeremy Evans 2 ball slam + Derrick Williams 360 off the side of the backboard), every single slam was just dreadful.

Please don’t mention Paul George and his Tron inspired dunk. I love the movie, but the glow in the dark he used as his gimmick didn’t work at all. I couldn’t see what he was doing because his jersey barely lit up. The slam would have come off better if he decided to just leave the bloody lights on in the building.

The Tron dunk basically sums up all of the other dunks for the night and why they were bad. There were WAY to many gimmicks. Why can’t players just dunk the ball and leave it at that? Using celebrities and motorcycles and bowling alley lights just to get a cheap pop out of the crowd didn’t work for these 4 last night.

The 2 best dunks of the evening involved no setup or storyline whatsoever. They were just 2 great dunks. That’s all you need in a competition like this. Don’t over-think things.

The fans ultimately had the final say in who won the contest which was a HUGE mistake. The lack of judging really hurt the event because no one really knew who was winning after each round. That can’t be a continuing trend in future events. Fans should not be the ones deciding the winner of this competition. Leave it in the hands of those who know what they are talking about.

Utah Jazz guard Jeremy Evans ended up winning with 29% percent of the vote. The votes were so close in the end because not one of the players involved really stepped up and stood out amongst the pack. I feel good for Evans because he was a late replacement and truly wanted to win and make a name for himself.

It just sucks that the guy who bounced the ball into the net and jumped over a tiny comedian won the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest.

The NBA needs to take some drastic steps in changing this event so it can thrive in future incarnations.

Where are all of the stars? Why won’t Lebron James do this? Where is Dwight Howard? How come Blake Griffin didn’t return to defend his crown? Those are the players I want to see slamming the ball on All-Star Saturday. I don’t want to see the scrubs of basketball attempt to entertain me. I don’t care if the league has to provide some sort of monetary incentive to the stars to get them to participate, but it needs to be done.

It’s called All-Star Saturday for a reason. Give me some All-Stars.

The Slam Dunk Contest is running on borrowed time. It needs some sort of change to have the strength to continue for the next 5-10 years.

I don’t know how many more Dunk Contests like that I can handle before giving up on the event entirely.

 

 

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5 Responses to The Death of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

  1. I was only going to watch the slam dunk contest if Iman Shumpert was in it, but he had to pull out because of an injury so I never turned it on. It gets more and more boring every year…It seems like the the sportscasters who host these events have a better time than the fans at the game or at home. Tuesday couldn’t come fast enough..
    Nice post!

  2. Dee says:

    The TNT commentary (Charles Barkley especially) was much much better than the slam dunk contest. It used to be that All Stars wanted their time to shine. I think the current group makes too much money to be bothered. Really sad that it’s more fun watching clips from 10+ years ago than watching today’s “talent”.

  3. So true…Can’t wait to hear what the viewership was …I’ll bet that this years all star weekend was one of the lowest viewed if not THE lowest ever!

  4. matthewgt says:

    It’s sad when I look forward to the 3 point shootout more than the slams. I miss ‘Nique, Sky Walker, etc. The gimmick thing has ruined the dunk contest, as well as the starts being too afraid to either lose or get hurt. I won’t bother next year.

  5. jumpingpolarbear says:

    How cool would it be if Lebron, Kobe, Blake and the rest of the stars attended the dunk contest? The stars need to get into it again.

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