I didn't really care who was in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game in Dallas.
Professional basketball just doesn't do much for me.
The players always seem to have this lack of fire about them. There are some that are exceptions to this rule. However, many players could care less if their team loses or wins.
I can't exactly blame them. Some are making money in one season that many people will make in 10 years.
Despite this, I was looking forward to the festivities leading up to the All-Star Game, particularly the dunk contest. The past showdowns between Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks brought some of the competitiveness and creativity back to the dunk contest.
However, when I sat down to watch, I had my doubts.
First of all, when the lineup was revealed, my first reaction was disappointment.
"What? No Dwight Howard?!"
First of all, Howard is a freak of nature. His athletic ability is amazing, especially for a man nearly seven feet tall.
Secondly, "Superman" is incredibly creative. Over the years, Dwight has broken out the Superman cape, and even brought in a higher goal.
Also, Howard brought out the best in his 5'9" companion, Nate Robinson. The Kryptonite Knicks uniform was a nice touch.
Anyway, back to the 2010 edition of the dunk contest. As I watched the competitors revealed, my doubt in this year's contest began to increase.
DeMar DeRozan, Nate Robinson, Gerald Wallace, and Shannon Brown.
In a word, the revelation of the competitors was underwhelming. No impressive names, other than Robinson.
First up was DeRozan. A reverse dunk from underneath backboard eased my mind a bit. It was a prototypical first round dunk.
Then comes Brown. His dunk was one that I maybe could have thrown down. It was a simple dunk, changing the ball from one hand to the other in mid-air.
Gerald Wallace was next.
Wait. What was his dunk? I can't remember. Let's move on to Nate.
Robinson started with a nice bounce pass to himself, ending with a windmill. Just like DeRozan, his dunk was the typical first round throw-down.
Round One, Dunk Two
Shannon Brown led off the second group of dunks. His dunk featured an alley-oop from teammate Kobe Bryant. It showed off his hops, but was still unimpressive.
I think that this dunk needed a bit of a role reversal.
Gerald Wallace continued the yawn-fest by throwing down a simple dunk with an alley-oop from Flip Murray.
Finally, eureka! DeMar DeRozan reminded me what the dunk contest is all about. Sonny Weems threw the ball off the side of the backboard, leaving DeRozan to grab it and throw down a nice windmill dunk.
Nate Robinson was up next. He put a mediocre dunk home after a mid-air pass from teammate Danilo Galinari.
It took Galinari several passes to finally get it right. The other contestants used one of their teammates. However, considering that no one on the New York Knicks can make a pass, Robinson probably should have looked elsewhere. It would have added to the dunk's effectiveness.
Round Two, Dunk One
DeMar DeRozan and Nate Robinson were set to battle it out for the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest title.
Time to pull out all the stops, right?
At first, it appeared that Robinson was going to make the contest interesting by bringing out a few of the Dallas Cowboys' cheerleaders.
Instead, they were not even used in the dunk.
DeRozan pulled out Sonny Weems once again as a prop. Weems threw the ball off of the backboard and DeMar jumped over him to dunk it.
It's effectiveness was diminished by DeRozan's use of his hand to help him vault over his teammate.
Also, this dunk has been done hundreds of times. It's not exactly the definition of originality.
Round Two, Dunk Two
Robinson led off the second round of dunks. He threw down a decent dunk off the backboard.
In the past, we have seen Nate look a lot more spectacular.
Then, DeRozan appeared that he was going to try to dunk from the free throw line.
However, just like this year's New Jersey Nets, he fell short. Instead, DeMar threw down a simple dunk, with a slight windmill.
Ultimately, the fans voted Nate Robinson the winner.
However, in my opinion, there was no winner. Frankly, all of the dunks were boring. There was no creativity, no athleticism, and no flair. Everyone fell short in this dunk contest. Those who took the time to watch this display were thoroughly disappointed.
It is important that the Dunk Contest is incredible. There are some fans who just tune in to it, and may not watch another NBA game during the entire season. If the NBA wants to keep the casual fan interested, the All-Star Dunk Contest will need to be an amazing spectacle next season.