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NBA All-Star Weekend: Why Blake Griffin Should Never Do Another Dunk Contest

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers reacts after committing a foul in the fourth quarter against the Miami Heat at Staples Center on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers defeated the Heat 95-89 in overtime.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Joye PruittSenior Analyst IFebruary 3, 2012

We have seen it. We have admired it. Now it is our constitutional right to refuse it.

Blake Griffin is an amazing athlete with an even more amazing personality and sense of humor to encompass exactly what this league needs a little bit more of, as well as a little less of.

Griffin is a people’s person that can dunk and will go down in history as "he who shall not be named" to any Spalding ball hanging around the rim.

He posterizes some of the league’s finest defenders and humiliates the smaller and less concerned ones.

However, another dunk contest is not what the doctor ordered for Blake Griffin to make the next step in his game. Does he really need any more exposure for his single, most over-exposed attribute?

The dunks are entertaining.

So are the Washington Wizards sometimes.

There is a time and place for everything. While the 2012 All-Star Dunk Contest may seem like the perfect place for Griffin to hone his explosive moments and compact them into a possible over-the-bus dunk, it will spontaneously combust his future in the league into little redhead smithereens.. Here is why…

The first time should be the last time. Last year, it was inevitable that Blake Griffin would be showing his face and smashing some moving object through the hoop.

He and Dwight Howard had battled the entire 2010 season as to who was going to perform the most dunks, and Griffin easily won the war with way more astonishing throw-downs than anyone could have expected.

But, we have seen him excel in the dunk contest already. The dunk over the car will not be topped, even though he could easily do so by jumping over the entire vehicle instead of just clearing the hood and the wheels.

The public perception will thrash him for even attempting it when they feel he has other things to perfect and focus on than his man-child hops.

People are beginning to allow the first date jitters to wear off in Lob City and forcing logic to take its place.

The dunks are exquisite, hit or miss. They rattle the backboard, almost shattering it, and the home crowd is usually brought to their feet whenever Blake Griffin or DeAndre Jordan connect.

However, the dunks are not going to always be there.

There are not always going to be those pleasant defenders that will not knock Griffin out of the air when he goes Mozgov-ing.There will be moments in his career where his stutter-step will be tested, where his quick-thinking will be tested and where his mid-range jumper will be necessary.

Until he polishes those moves, as the second best player on his team, then the dunks will always take a backseat to the judgment of whether or not he can succeed in any avenue in the NBA besides All-Star weekend.

What could he truly do to impress crowds any more than he already has?

Nothing done during a dunk contest will capture anyone after social networking almost crashed when he dunked on Kendrick Perkins during an eventual win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In a game that started off spotty at best, Griffin put such a defining label on the game that no one will forget the Big Perk screw-face.

The most picture perfect thing about it is that it was done during the game, contested as ever. Perkins may not have swatted Griffin out of the air, but he did not just step aside either. Contact was drawn, absorbed and done away with almost immediately on his way up.

Battling through air for a put-back from a teammate waiting in the wing does not seem as impressive, does it?

Blake Griffin has other things to do. Enjoy the festivities. Hobnob with the league’s finest, their wives, girlfriends and small children.

Don’t worry about screwing up your elbow trying to recreate Vince Carter’s arm through the hoop dunk or probably something even more life-threatening. Relax and enjoy.

Griffin is a great young star so participating in these types of events seems like a given. Though, things have gotten a little more serious for the second-year starter than it is for any of his counterparts.

Reviving the Los Angeles Clippers’ franchise is a huge responsibility. One that cannot be sidestepped for a pesky dunk contest, especially one that everyone already knows he can win.

 

Follow Joye Pruitt on Twitter @JoyetheWar

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