Fall of the NBA All Star Weekend: The Dunk Contest

Yama Hazheer@Yama_HazheerCorrespondent IIFebruary 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers dunks the ball over a car in the final round of the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

It’s no secret that the NBA Dunk Contest has been a fan favorite of the All-Star Weekend for quite some time. From a Michael Jordan free throw line dunk to a dunk where you have half of Vince Carter’s arm inside of the rim, the competition was at a fierce pace. Key word: was.

In modern day time, the dunk contest is looked upon as a joke to most hardcore NBA fanatics and analysts around the world. It seems to be going in that direction and getting worse as the seasons pass.

Sure you have guys like Blake Griffin jumping over cars and others like Dwight Howard having a costume show, but the actual dunks just are not there anymore.

Even when Howard did do his infamous dunk with the Superman cape on, there were numerous debates on whether or not it was a legitimate dunk.

Do you remember people questioning if Vinsanity’s through the legs jam was a dunk? And the only debate during the Jordan and Dominique Wilkins dunk-off was who won? There were no questions of whether or not they were doing actual dunks.

You also would not see people pulling out costumes or as many props as they are now, back in the day.

But this is not the only gripe with the dunk contest fans are having. One of the main concerns is the lack of big name star players being in it.

How many people expected LeBron James to have at least a couple of slam dunk trophies by now? Unfortunately, the king has yet to step on the court during All-Star Saturday night, besides rooting for one of his close pals in the contest. Even when he promised the fans that he would participate a few years back, he found any excuse he could to back out.

This year’s dunk contest has arguably one of the lesser known participants of all-time. Paul George, Chase Budinger, Derrick Williams, and Iman Shumpert will be your main attractions on February 25th.

The contest basically appeals to the more casual fans now. I can guarantee that they cannot name a team any of these players play for.

The NBA already sucked the fun out of the contest for the diehard NBA fans, and now even the casual fans that tune in to watch basketball for just that special night.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m sure all of these guys are capable dunkers and can possibly put on a good show, but would you rather not see Russell Westbrook or Josh Smith?

Oh, and how can you forget the new brilliant idea of picking the winner? Now fans can vote for who wins the dunk contest, but that’s not the best part! Voting starts prior to the final round, so in essence, the more popular player will win.

I think it was safe to say that Griffin had that dunk contest locked up last year, even if he had done a lay-up.

This is not fair to the player, who is a better dunker. Just how sometimes an undeserving all-star gets the nod to start in the game, now the more popular player will win the dunk contest before the other player even gets a chance to show-case his dunk.

However, that should not be a problem in this contest. None of the players are well known. Ratings might fall a tad bit also. The ratings though, won’t take as bad of a hit as the actual dunk contest.

Which is now officially the fall of the NBA All-Star Weekend.


**for more basketball discussion check out www.otrbasketball.com/forums**

Twitter: @Yama_Hazheer