The dunk contest is back, my friends. Thanks in large part to Super Man Dwight Howard. The dunk contest originated in the ABA in 1976 but because of the merger with the NBA later that year, it was the only year the ABA had the contest. In 1984 the dunk contest was introduced into the NBA at its All Star Game.
Julius Irving was the first winner of the dunk contest, winning with his famous dunk from the free-throw line. The dunk contest was highly popular throughout the '80s with winners such as the human highlight film Dominique Wilkins and the shortest contest winner Spud Webb. Michael Jordan validated himself as the greatest dunker ever with back-to-back wins in '88 and '89.
The dunk contest waned in popularity in the mid 1990's. Come on, when someone like Brent Barry wins the contest (1996), it is apparent the contest is in need of a tweek. After Kobe won the contest in 1997, the dunk contest took a two-year break.
The contest was back in 2000, gathering great excitement with participants such as Tracy McGrady, Steve Francis, and winner Vince Carter. The contest was lame again until 2005 when Amare Stoudemire took a soccer ball like pass from Steve Nash, and winner Josh Smith donning a Dominique Wilkins jersey flying over a seated Kenyon Martin.
The last years of the dunk contest have been incredible with winners such as Nate Robinson, Gerald Green and of course Dwight Howard.
Who should be in the contest this year?
Ten players that should be in the dunk contest this year are:
(1) Dwight Howard- Reigning winner of the contest, this player is amazingly talented, athletic, and creative, which makes for a very competitive contestant in a dunk contest. What Dwight Howard brought to the dunk contest was exactly what the NBA needed him to do.
(2) Ronnie Price- At 6'2" this kid has hops. Dazzling Jazz fans as the back up for Deron Williams, Ronnie Price does everything on the court with energy and style. Who can forgot the block he had against Luke Walton last year and the dunk he laid on Carlos Boozer while with the Kings.
(3) LeBron James- King Lebron has turned down past invitations to participate but who wouldn't want to see this guy in a dunk contest. His strength , speed, and agility would all bode well for Lebron in the contest. Lebron is so entertaining in most games his highlights alone could make up SportCenter's Top 10 plays.
(4) Gerald Green- Green won the contest in 2007 and was runner-up in 2008. (who possibly could be Dwight that night) Green still has a lot to offer to the contest.
(5) Ronnie Brewer- Another Jazz player but this kid is a human highlight film. Ronnie taking the ally-oop from Williams is one of the most entertaining plays in the game today. Full of energy and athleticism, Ronnie could be quite the competitor in the dunk contest.
(6) Josh Smith- It would be strange to not have a competitor representing the Hawks. The Hawks have had the most slam dunk winners at four.
(7) Kobe Bryant- It's been over 10 years since Kobe has participated in a dunk contest but Kobe could still be one of the best dunkers in the contest. Kobe has skills that no other player in the NBA has today.
(8) JR Smith- Participated in 2005. Smith is helping the Nuggets to win this year with his entertaining style of play—he could bring that same entertainment to the dunk contest.
(9) Andre Iguodala- The 76ers—maybe underacheiving this year, but Igudala is always a pleasure to watch. This young player has improved every year in the league.
(10) Rodney Stuckey- The surprise rookie last year for the Pistons has much to offer. Stuckey played great in the playoffs when Billups was out. Stuckey, a high-flying above-the-rim player, would be another great small contestant.
There are many players that could make the slam dunk contest popular still. Who else should be included?