The 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend is just two weeks away, and that means that the 2012 NBA dunk contest is around the corner.
Gone are the days of NBA superstars like Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Julius Irving taking part in the annual dunk contest, which is a real shame for NBA fans.
While we probably won't get the LeBron James vs. Blake Griffin vs. Dwight Howard showdown we all want to see this year, there's nothing stopping us from imagining which NBA superstars would compete in the perfect dunk contest for NBA fans.
Ahead is a list of 10 NBA players who would make NBA fans' dreams come true by agreeing to compete in one dunk contest for the ages. Enjoy.
Donning a retro No. 21 Dominique Wilkins jersey and throwing down a serious reverse wind-mill jam, Josh Smith dominated the 2005 dunk contest, and he did so in some serious style.
Josh Smith has been in the NBA for eight years, and the one staple of his game is his unbelievable athleticism, posterizing poor defenders night in and night out.
Smith can absolutely jump out of the gym and, just like he showed in 2005, he's got some creativity and an appreciation for NBA history, which would make him a sleeper favorite to win this dream dunk contest.
Josh Smith would have to step up his game though, because his 2005 performance wouldn't cut it with the talent against him in this dream dunk contest.
Washington Wizards center JaVale McGee doesn't have too much going for him aside from his incredible size (7'0'', 252 lbs) and his ability to throw down some serious rim-rattling jams.
McGee was a contestant in the 2011 dunk contest, and he did a pretty good job. McGee dunked two balls on two separate baskets, which is something totally unique that had never been done before.
That double-basket dunk wasn't enough to beat out Blake Griffin, who literally dunked over a car—well, at least the hood of the car, but it still was pretty impressive.
In this dream dunk contest, McGee would be the sleeper contestant to keep your eyes on. I'm sure he'd have some nice dunks up his sleeves.
Rudy Gay is no stranger to dunk contests. He participated in the 2008 NBA dunk contest, but he failed to make it out of the first round after a pair of somewhat underwhelming dunks.
Gay was invited back to the dunk contest in 2009, but he had to be replaced by J.R. Smith due to an injury.
Gay would undoubtedly have to step up his game from his performance in 2008 if he wanted to be relevant in this dream contest. Good news for Gay is that he's got the athleticism and size to be a serious contender in this contest.
Rudy Gay was once again snubbed form his first NBA All-Star appearance, but what better way to show coaches that they were wrong than by winning this monster dunk contest.
Check out Rudy Gay's posterization of Kendrick Perkins. Turns out Blake wasn't the first guy to posterize Perkins.
Little known fact about DeMar DeRozan is that he was able to dunk by the time he was in the sixth grade. That was right around the time when I was learning how to do a layup without traveling.
DeRozan is no stranger to dunk competitions, competing in both the 2010 and 2011 NBA dunk contests. DeRozan finished second and third in those respective competitions, with underwhelming performances.
One thing is for sure though, and that's that DeRozan can absolutely soar. DeRozan's athleticism alone would give him an advantage over others in this dream dunk contest.
If DeRozan couldn't get it done against guys not named LeBron and Howard, there's not a high likelihood he'd make it past the first round in this dream dunk contest that NBA fans are dying to see.
Derrick Rose is amongst the smallest of the bunch in this dream dunk contest, but that wouldn't stop him from being a serious contender.
Rose, at only 6'3'', 190 lbs, has thrown down some serious dunks in his NBA career. Just ask Goran Dragic if he thinks Derrick Rose could be a serious contender in this contest.
While Rose isn't nearly as small as a well-known dunker named Spud Webb, in this dream contest with most guys measuring above 6'8'', Rose would have to rely on being "the small guy" and create dunks that make him look larger than life.
There's no doubt that Rose, with his killer mentality, would be able to make it deep into this contest. Seeing Derrick Rose in a dunk contest would be pretty amazing, wouldn't it? I think he'd come up with some of the best dunks.
Andre Iguodala earned his first NBA All-Star honor this year, and the only thing that could make that sweeter is by entering this dream dunk contest and avenging his 2006 loss.
Iguodala made it to the finals of the 2006 dunk contest and, even though many still think he deserved to win, Nat Robinson took home the title by a single point.
There's no doubt that Andre Iguodala has the athleticism to win this dream dunk contest, but the only problem is that every other player in this contest is just as athletic as he is, if not more.
Iguodala is one of those players who's fueled by people doubting him, and that's what would be his motivation in this dream dunk contest. Iguodala would want to prove to everyone that he's still got it.
Russell Westbrook joins fellow point guard Derrick Rose as the only two guys in this competition who are under 6'7''.
Like Rose though, Westbrook has freakish athleticism and an ability to jump out of the gym that also makes him a serious contender in this competition.
If you're questioning Westbrook's ability to do some serious dunking, just check out this high-flying slam against the Sacramento Kings.
While Westbrook probably wouldn't make it out of the first round in this dream contest, just because of the talent around him, there's no doubting that he'd put on an impressive show.
Watch Westbrook posterize Shane Battier with some serious force.
Alright, we all know what Blake Griffin is capable of. He humiliated Kendrick Perkins with one of the best dunks of all time, and he throws down a highlight-reel dunk nearly ever game.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that he jumped over a car—well, he at least jumped over the hood, which I'm sure is more than most of us can say.
There's no doubt that Griffin, who won the 2011 NBA dunk contest, would undoubtedly find his way back into the finals, purely based on the fact that he can out-jump everyone else in this contest.
Griffin recently said that "dunk contests aren't his thing," but I'm sure he'd still be comfortable in this one, with so many star players taking front stage. Griffin would have to out-do his car dunk from last year to win this one. Hey, maybe he could use Kendrick Perkins like a prop and posterize him again.
Dwight Howard is a former dunk contest champion, winning the contest in 2008 by transforming into none other than Superman himself.
D12 is one of the best dunkers in the league today, because of his rare combination of size (6'11'', 265 lbs) and freakish athleticism.
In this dream dunk contest, Howard would undoubtedly be one of the favorites to win the whole thing—not only because he's done it before, but because he's just a ridiculous athlete.
Howard would have to figure out how to outdo his impressive 2008 performance, though—which included a near-foul-line dunk—because all of his dunks will be judged by that performance.
LeBron James finally does what every NBA fan wants to see him do, which is compete in an NBA dunk contest. If LeBron's really all about interacting with fans, then why hasn't he competed in a dunk contest yet?
Anyway, in this dream dunk contest, LeBron would undoubtedly be the favorite. There has never been a player with LeBron's size, athleticism and strength, and that's exactly what LeBron would rely upon to help him win this competition.
I've got an idea: For LeBron's first dunk, he can set up Kendrick Perkins just outside the half-circle in the paint and posterize him like Blake Griffin did. Then, to follow it up in the next round, he could one-up Griffin by just jumping clear over Perkins.
LeBron, in his first NBA dunk contest, would be the clear favorite, and there's not much, aside from himself or a fight with Kendrick Perkins, that could keep him from taking home the crown of this dream dunk contest.
This dream dunk contest would undoubtedly come down to LeBron James, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard in the final round.
What an insanely awesome final round that would be, right?
Howard vs. LeBron vs. Griffin would ultimately come down to the most athletic of the bunch, and who has the most creativity. While you could make an argument for any of the three ballers, I think the advantage has to go to LeBron James.
LeBron James wins this dunk contest by lining up Kendrick Perkins, John Lucas and Blake Griffin in the paint, and clearing them all while doing a 360-windmill dunk. Game. Set. Match.
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