Something just didn't seem right Saturday night at the dunk contest. Let's look at how things went down.
Path to an elite dunk: Step 1) dunk face on
backboard. Step 2) regroup and re-evaluate.
Blake Griffin, the league's most talked-about rookie who had all the buzz around him leading up to the dunk contest.
His last dunk is over a Kia.
Along with the car, there's like, a miniature broadway production accompanying this dunk and the crowd goes crazy as he completes the dunk with one attempt (can someone verify this for me? I didn't see it live).
The car dunk ends up being the major highlight as Griffin wins the dunk contest in spite of more difficult dunks by arguably all other contestants.
So what's the big deal? This is just more wacky NBA theatrics, right? Ol' Blake just wants the spotlight maybe? I think maybe someone else wants him to have the spotlight. Please keep reading and I will explain.
The big deal, in my opinion, is that this thing was or at least really looked rigged. Now, you may say, "It's the dunk contest, who gives a damn?" but you'd be a fool. Anything like this that's meant to be a genuine competition and is faked destroys the faker's credibility, especially when done on national television. People place bets on this just like normal games, and when it's all over, in reality neither this contest nor a regular season game nor a play-off game is really very impactful to the fans. Sure it may affect us mentally or financially, but it's fleetingly temporary, and realistically to most fans it's all the same in the end. So if rigging an official NBA game can draw investigation from the FBI (as they have and continue to), so can (and should) this.
Why do I think this is rigged? Let's go back to the facts (and these numbered points correspond to the above ones).
Who would generate the most buzz as victor? Which contestant's victory would generate the highest ratings in the future? Griffin, who's high-flying dunks have been one of the big stories of this season. Who won? Griffin. That's good for the league, I'd say. Who lost? Oh that's right, no-names from teams with small markets.
For the amount of production that went into this dunk, you would think that the car would be a slick speedster or at least something exotic. Nope, Kia. Why Kia? Kia is one of the NBA's biggest sponsors, if not the biggest. Imagine if the NBA can promise Kia that one of their new models can be showcased on their all-star special, be part of the big finish, and have it featured on the major highlight of the night, giving them a free car commercial every time someone watches the clip on Sportscenter or online? I wonder how much that guarantee is worth to Kia?
So they had hype guys, they had the car, they had a chorus and music, lighting, camera angles, and production galore. Well what if he missed? What if he kicked the car? What if he hurt himself on the car? Boy that would have looked bad. Would they have to re-sing the song and everything for the second attempt? Well, I bet you there was no chance of that happening. They made sure it was a dunk he could do, and they even let him jump over the smallest part at the front end. Me, I'd be eating hood so hard that Baron would have to put that thing into drive and Kia me to the hospital, but Blake had no problem.
What about Derozen's show-stopper? Ibaka's insane IMPROVEMENT on Dr. J's FTL flight? Or his under-the-glass reverse one-hander? Javale's two-ball, two-rim? Nope, alley-oop two-hander from a reasonable distance wins. Sure the fans vote too, and supposedly the majority voted for Blake, but who counts them? How would anyone know if they lied?
I do love conspiracies, but for me, this just seems all too convenient from a league with a questionable reputation already, with this sort of thing. If we can't trust the NBA to put on a fair dunk-contest, how can we trust them to do anything legitimately? Well I haven't trusted this league for years. Part of me wishes I didn't enjoy the game of basketball nor have green and white allegiences, because I'd boycott the NBA in a heartbeat. And let me just say, I have no proof here, just observations. I can't say it was all predetermined, but I can say that I believe it was. And for the record, I thought Ibaka should have won, given the two dunks of his that I mentioned above (the prop-biting one was cool too, but the others were unreal).