The 2010 Sprite NBA Slam Dunk competition was highly anticipated. Was, being the keyword there.
Spectators were ready to see if the hype would be fulfilled by the supposed best skywalkers that the league had to offer—instead it was dull, boring, and yawn evoking.
What happened to the days when the league's best would come out and show off their high-flying, jaw-dropping rim-rockers?
Dominique Wilkins released the hammer with his impressive windmills and tomahawk jams. Spud Webb laughed at those who thought he was too small, exhibiting breath-taking slams.
Vince Carter dazzled crowds with his fluid, yet powerful displays of animalistic artistic expression. Carter emobied the true spirit of what the dunk event is supposed to be about: originality, athleticism, and strength.
Surely Carter's dunk in 2000 is stuck in the memories of NBA fans, perhaps the most exciting showing in contest history. He's reportedly still hanging by the crevice of his forearm right now.
Michael Jordan and Dr. J (Julius Erving) flew (literally) from the free-throw line in competitions of old. Larry Nance cradled the ball and did more than throw it down, he brought that "mutha" (mother) to its knees.
Maybe we were just spoiled and expected more out of today's participants.
Nate Robinson made history winning his third title in so-so fashion. Robinson has shown in previous years what he's made of, in 2010 he simply won by not screwing up.
Gerald Wallace, what were you doing out there?! Wallace is no doubt a great leaper, but his creative side was nowhere to be seen. Your hair was more intriguing than your less than fresh proffer.
Toronto Raptor rookie DeMar DeRozan had the best single dunk of the night, and that's about it. If DeRozan can come up with better choreographed attempts in the future, he may do something special.
The biggest failure of the night was Laker Shannon Brown.
There's websites hyping the former Spartan as the man to beat—he was about as exciting as a wet diaper. Watching paint dry is more entertaining than the uninspiring, unoriginal, bland endeavors Brown served to the Dallas crowd.
With one the more prolific verticals in the league, Brown was expected to give the fans what they wanted, something new that would drop their jaws. Instead, they were given an average mid-air, right to left hand switch dunk. Opposed to being on the edge of their seats, viewers were leaning back trying not to fall asleep.
Brown has had better dunks in games than he had on Saturday night. He embarrassed himself on national television in front of millions of viewers. His performance won't damage his credibility as a player, but it sure will question his skills when it comes to laying the wood on the rim.
Congratulations go out to the New York Knicks' leaping little guy, Nate Robinson. Not that Robinson didn't deserve to win it, but consider the competition. He's probably not as impressed as when he took down Superman. He had the kryptonite that night, that's for sure.
Saturday night's contest is a sobering reminder that the likes of Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Jason Richardson (yes, he can still dunk), and even Dwight Howard need to compete. Big names will make it exciting once again, instead of having one player carry the event like on Saturday night.
Dear NBA elites, you know who you are, please save the lackluster slam dunk contest.
Watching an "old" Carter or Richardson dunk would energize fans more than Brown, DeRozan, and Wallace did.