NBA Dunk Contest: Time For an Upgraded Version

Tony MeyerAnalyst IFebruary 10, 2009

It was inevitable.

Contestants were eventually going to run out of ideas for dunks. When you really think about it, there is only so much you can do that has not already been done.

It is interesting to look back at the Dominique-Jordan days. Some of the dunks that won the contest would get maybe a 40 out of 50 today. The dunks are better today, and the players, for the most part, are more athletic.

What it really comes down to these days is originality and putting on a show for the crowd. The best dunker does not always win. The person who shows the most flash and gets the crowd behind him usually comes out the victor.

Originality has been evident in recent years, whether it be Gerald Green blowing out a birthday candle or Dwight Howard slapping a sticker 13 feet in the air. We have certainly seen some interesting things.

But, what is next? What can we expect from this year's dunkers? The crop is not stellar by any means. Is Rudy Fernandez really going to steal the show? And aren't we tired of Nate Robinson and his 23 attempts before a successful dunk?

This contest is dying and no matter how many times Kenny Smith screams, "The dunk contest is back." We all know it is on its final leg. Luckily for the NBA, I have thought of some ways to fix it.

Raise the Rim to 11 Feet

We all love to see a human flying through the air. We love to watch things that normal people can only dream of doing. Raising the rim will force contestants to really get up and fly. I would like to see a grown man hanging in the air for 4-5 seconds, defying gravity. It is almost like art.

Try to Get Superstars

I know this has been said a million times, but imagine if LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Durant were the competitors for this year. Who would not tune in? That is what made the Nique-Michael Jordan contests so thrilling. They were great dunkers, but they were stars that even the casual fan could identify.

Different Judges

Why would we have Magic Johnson judging the dunk contest? The only thing he has dunked in the last 20 years is a donut. The NBA drags out all of these old fossils, among who are Dr. J and Darryl Dawkins, who are behind the curve.

It is like getting Suzanne Somers to judge the Hooter's swimsuit competition. Yes, she used to be hot, but times have changed

Alright, fine, she is still pretty hot.

But we should have non-partial NBA players, or semi-recent previous champions, like Jason Richardson or Desmond Mason, to judge because they are more knowledgeable than the current old guys.

Just think if Dwyane Wade disses LeBron and gives him an eight. Do not tell me LeBron would not be a little irked. Of course, he would do all he could do to posterize Wade the next time they play.

I sure hope that the dunkers this year put on a decent show and hold down the fort until we can get these changes in place.

For now, consider me uninterested. If Dwight Howard doesn't win it, it will be the upset of the decade.