NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Are Props Giving Contestants an Unfair Advantage?

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NBA Slam Dunk Contest: Are Props Giving Contestants an Unfair Advantage?
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Demar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors bashed the NBA on Tuesday when he discussed last weekend's slam dunk contest as part of All-Star weekend in Los Angeles.

When a reporter asked Derozan if he was robbed in not reaching the finals, he replied, "I think so."

There were a myriad of props used this year, from Serge Ibaka's teddy bear to Javelle McGee's second rim to Blake Griffin using a brand new Kia.

"I'm a dunker. Dunk contests, you go out there and dunk. I'm not into all the props and everything.  I try to come out with a creative dunk and do it and go from there. My fans liked it and you can see the reaction from a lot of people afterward," said DeRozan.  

So, does he have a point?

Let's rewind the tape a little bit here.  

Julius Erving sent a shockwave through the basketball world when he launched himself from inches inside the foul line and jammed home a dunk back in 1976.  This year, Serge Ibaka took flight from behind the foul line and received a 45.  

Vince Carter earned a perfect score with his famous "It's Over!" dunk when he went between his legs for the first time in 2000.  This year, Demar DeRozan took off from behind the basket, caught a pass off the support of the backboard, went between his legs, and jammed it home.  This dunk earned him a 44.  

Are props a good for the Slam Dunk Contest?

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Now, for the dunks that earned higher scores...

Serge Ibake captured a teddy bear in his mouth as he dunked.  This dunk earned a score of 45.

The two ball dunk by Javelle McGee netted him a 50.  

And, of course, Griffin's car jump dunk easily won him the contest.

So, is DeRozan right?

I believe he is.  The Slam Dunk contest has transformed greatly in recent years.  Rather than showing off incredible athletic ability, these dunkers are focused more on putting on a show for the fans.  There are not as many acrobatic dunks anymore as there are dunks involving props.

For example, Dwight Howard's two superman dunks.  Yes, they were good because of the show, but they did not have any huge tricks involved.

So, fans, say goodbye to the days of high-flying, twisting, turning, acrobatic dunks that we have all come to love in the Slam Dunk contest.  For now, winning is all about winning over the fans with props.  

DeRozan has already said that he will not compete again unless the All-Star game is in Toronto or the NBA bans the use of props in the contest.  

Looks like we won't be seeing DeRozan in any dunk contests any time soon.   

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