The contest really was a special event from its NBA inauguration in 1984 (won by Larry Nance) to about 1992 (Cedric Ceballos winning it). I was going to extend it to 1994 since I was impressed with Isaiah Rider that year but the montony of Harold Miner (1993 and 1995) really began a downward spiral (yes Harold I know you could cuff the ball and do a spin and dunk). Today the simple fact is, there's really no dunks left to do.
There have been a handful of exceptions over the years. Vince Carter in 2000 was cool (that hanging by the rim from his elbow stands out). Gerald Green blowing out the cupcake was creative as well. But seriously how many windmills or off-the-backboard tosses can you see without getting sick? The artificiality of the crowd's "oohs and aahs" is embarrassing. Seriously no one's impressed anymore by seeing the same dunks they've seen a million times.
People who are down on the dunk contest nowadays point to the big name players not participating. Players like Dominique and MJ were past winners. People also said it was better when there were 8 contestants. I say this is all hogwash. It doesn't matter who is in the contest. The bottom line is it can't be revitalized after you've seen Desmond Mason and Jason Richardson do the same stuff, year after year. And face it if you put guys like Bean and LeBron into the contest, they couldn't do anything more spectacular than Fred Jones and that's not what fans want to hear.
Pro dunk contest folks will contest "Oh look at Dwight Howard, no guy who's 7'0 has done those types of dunks." First off Dwight is maybe 6'10 (anyone see him standing next to Kevin McHale tonight lol) and actually yes I've seen Larry Nance and Shawn Kemp do those dunks (they just weren't wearing a cape). And speaking of how short NBA players are today.
|Now I might watch this|
The NBA canned the contest back in 1998 (great idea) the year the game was played in New York citing that there hadn't been much creativity in recent years. Well NBA officials hear this: Unless you get creative, it's time to dunk it again, this time permanently.
This article was re-published from back in 2010 tb727 2/15/2013 09:00:00 AM Tweet Edit