Dwight Howard, LeBron James: Put on True Dunking Exhibition Sunday Night

Kevin StanleyContributor IFebruary 15, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 14:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Eastern Conference goes up for a dunk against Tim Duncan #21, Amar'e Stoudemire #1 and Steve Nash #13 of the Western Conference during the second half of the NBA All-Star Game, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at Cowboys Stadium on February 14, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Following a dismal Dunk Contest on Saturday night, the two players who everyone wanted  to see ply their trade in the contest did their best to put on a show during the All-Star Game Sunday night. Along with Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and LeBron James threw in some memorable dunks that energized the 108,000 fan crowd in Arlington.

After LeBron put his name out there for the dunk contest at last years All Star weekend, fans were salivating at the thought of James evoking some of the best dunkers, including Howard to take part in a historic dunk contest in 2010. As the season drew on, James removed himself from consideration, and then Howard announced he would not be taking part either.

The contest was then left to some lower-level players like Shannon Brown and Gerald Wallace to make for a great exhibition. Shannon Brown brought some hype because of his excellent game-dunking ability.

Yet, the final product that was put on display on Saturday night was one of the worst displays in recent memory. Shannon Brown, who brought some notoriety and hype to the contest, ended up doing a plain alley-oop as his best dunk. Nate Robinson had one truly impressive dunk that propelled him to his third dunk title.

I personally think Vince Carter could've beat out the entire field on Saturday night with his two aging knees and nagging injuries.  

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Enter Sunday night, with all the lights shining on the biggest basketball stage ever, James and Howard brought their own personal dunk contest to the All-Star Game.

Howard threw in what seemed to be one of the highest alley-oop passes ever and brought the Arlington crowd to its feet during the second quarter. He then followed that up by grabbing a turnover in the third, proceeding to dribble down the court like a point guard, and then throwing down a monster jam from just inside the free throw line.

As if Howard's dunks didn't electrify the arena enough, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade started throwing alley-oops to each other like they were going through a layup line. James went on to make one of the most impressive dunks that's been seen in a while.

Coming down the court full steam, James caught a pass in mid-air and then proceeded to turn his entire body and throw down a reverse alley-oop. While James has yet to grace the fans with his presence in the dunk contest, he always does his best to bring an electrifying play any time he plays the game.

Sunday night was a great display in what seems to be another turn of the guard for the NBA. With Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, and Shaquille O'Neal growing towards the end of their career, the torch is clearly in the hands of the players from the 2003 and 2004 draft classes.

As James, Howard, Wade, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh hold the torch right now.

Sunday also provided a chance for the next wave of superstars like Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose to showcase their entertainment value to the fans. Even the rookie game showcased superior young talent like Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, and DeJuan Blair.

So All-Star weekend draws to a close and I must say, despite a lackluster dunk contest, this was one of the most entertaining All Star weekends in recent memory. Fans were in full force, talent was on display, and there was pure entertainment through basketball on display.

This past weekend was just another great example of why the NBA puts on the biggest and best All-Star showcase for its players and fans alike.

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