Sunday, February 14, 2010

How do we Fix the Slam Dunk Contest?

First off, the main problem with the Dunk Contest right now is that the big names don't participate anymore. Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, Larry Nance, Dominique Wilkins, and Dwight Howard were all A-listers in the NBA when they won. Nate Robinson? De Rozen? Shannen Brown? huh? Can we get some starters please? Even Jason Richardson, JR Rider and Spud Webb had significant playing time when they participated. The other competitions have the A-listers there. Nash, Williams, Pierce, and Billups. Best player in the dunk contest was Gerald Wallace. It's the main event of All Star Saturday. Surely the NBA can do better. Lebron? Durant? JSmith? Wade? There is a decent list of possible A-listers.

Next it seems most of what can be done without having to toss a ball, or with the help of a teamate or props has already been done. You can only do so much in the few seconds of hangtime you have before the slam. So players will really have to start thinking through their dunks with a little creativity and showmanship. Dwight's "Superman" routine was a blast. Nate using former champ Spud Webb from the crowd was awesome. Amare using Steve Nash's soccer abilities was cool. Jordan clearing the runway for his free throw dunk. There are lotsa ways to get creative. Nate actually could've done something with the Cowboys Cheerleaders since they were already there. So it seems to me, dunks really have to be practiced from now on. We can't have the "I just do it and let creativity take over once in the air" dunks. We've seen 'em all.

I don't know the solution to the third point but the judging has to be more exciting. Yeah the personalities are there but maybe we can have an American Idol type setup where the judges actually tell the contestants how crappy or great their dunks were. Maybe some pointers as well to save the fans for further boredome so the dunkers will know what to try next.
I'm sure there are other improvement ideas out there but it'll definitely be more interesting if any of the aforementioned 3 suggestions are implemented.


DumbGenius said...

Jude, raise the stakes. the dunk contest prize money of $25k was made in the 80's when the average NBA player made 500K a year.

in today's NBA where the average salary is $5M, if you make the prize money $250k it'll get a little bit of interest from the bigger names.

heck, make it a million dollars and im sure even the lebrons of the world will have to think about it =)

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