NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2012: What We're Watching for Saturday

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 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

Saturday brings us the 2012 NBA Slam Dunk Contest presented by Sprite, and that means we're ready for a wild night of unthinkable acts, in a good way.

With players like the Houston Rockets' Chase Budinger, the Indiana Pacers' Paul George, the Utah Jazz's Jeremy Evans and the Minnesota Timberwolves' Derrick Williams all really getting on a big stage in the NBA for the first time, there is an interesting aspect of inexperience in this event.

All of the following aspects are the event will have us glued to our screens and ready for a what should be a night of props, outlandish behavior and pure airtime.


The Props

If the dunk contest hadn’t already become a grand showcase of huge talent, last year’s event was taken to a whole new level with the introduction of the car by Blake Griffin.

Look back to Gerald Green and Nate Robinson jumping over people to dunk and you show the long lineage of props in the NBA’s most fun event.

This year should be no different. With four relative unknowns to causal NBA fans, the more memorable props each man can use will make or break this event.


The Outlandish

Whether it’s using three balls like JaVele McGee last season or receiving an alley-oop from a teammate, the emphasis on outlandishness has been amped up each and every year.

Players like Dwight Howard and the whole Superman gimmick have also taken the limits of the Dunk Contest and thrown them out the window. The Magic center’s Clark Kent/Superman dunk is one of the most memorable because it was just so wild.

It is hard to imagine where they will go from here, but with four guys trying to force the casual NBA fan to remember their names, this could get very wild.


The High Flying

As much as the props and the gimmicks make it fun for the fans, there is nothing better than two guys just dunking on each other. It’s reminiscent of the old Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan dunk contests in the '80s when this contest still featured stars.

There have been memorable dunks over the history of the contest, but the idea of a man jumping from the free-throw line shows a mixture of talent and physical ability that most humans don’t possess.

Whether it’s from the free-throw line or over the head of a fellow competitor like Robinson did over the head of Howard, the most fun aspect of every year’s event is the air and the kids in Saturday’s edition are ready to fly.


Check back for more on the National Basketball Association as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s NBA Page to get your fill of all things basketball.