Saturday, February 17, 2007

Defending the Dunk Contest [David Stefanini]

I have heard a lot of people this week say they are not excited to watch the Dunk Contest and think the event is overrated. People say the rules are bad and it is not conducted in the proper fashion. I could not disagree more. This is the best All-Star game/weekend any sport has to offer (biased aside). The Dunk Contest is the most exciting part of the weekend behind the game itself. Does this years Dunk Contest bring an abundance of excitement, of course not, but that is not because the Dunk Contest is bad. It is because of the players who are participating. Ever since they went to the idea of "Rising Stars" the event has lost it's swagger. The way they pick the players now we will never again see the 2000 Dunk Contest, or anything close to that. Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, and Steve Francis put on a show the competition has never seen. Then in the following years they did not show, but guys like Jason Richardson and Desmond Mason stepped up.

Last year Nate Robinson had one very impressive dunk and then a bunch of, eh they were okay, dunks; including the last one in which it took him 60 tries before finally nailing it. The Dunk Contest does not have to change the rules or the way it is conducted, the NBA has to get people like Kobe, Carter, and LeBron into this event. Most of these players have their teams barking in their ears not to do it, which is why the NBA should offer the winner some serious cash. We all know money makes the world go round and if they offer the right price for the winner then they will get the right kind of competitors they need.

If a rule is to change they should impose it should be to only offer the competition to Guards and Small Forwards. I do not think Dwight Howard has a shot at this event tonight. He may go out and make me look stupid, but the odds are in my favor. Remember Amare Stoudemirea couple years back? Sure he had a good dunk, but that was only because Steve Nash did his best Pele imitation. The rest of Amare's dunks were not impressive. Guys like Howard and Amare are great in-game dunkers; neither of them are great dunkers when it comes to a fast break, just them and the rim.

Bring back Vinsanity to these events and the artist formally known as KB8 and this event will once again recapture it's swagger and mystique.

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