NBA All-Star Saturday was on tonight, and overall it wasn’t a bad show. The Shooting Stars contest was won by team New York, (Why wasn’t team Texas just called Team Houston?) Tony Parker won the Skills Challenge. Kevin Love came out of nowhere to win the 3 point shootout, and late sub Jeremy Evans won the Slam Dunk contest.
I’ll start with the good. My friends and I each picked a winner for the contests before the show started to add some excitement to the night. It made cheering for the players somewhat exciting. The Skills Challenge has been an excellent addition to All-Star weekend and shows off the talents of some of the best guards in the game. I picked John Wall to win the thing, but he lost in a Tiebreaker to Celts gurad Rajon Rondo.
Kevin Love overcame the odds and won the Haier 3 Point shootout over Kevin Durant and James Jones; the winner of the 2011 shootout. I believe i predicted Ryan Anderson to win the event, but regardless I was wrong. I was 0 for 3 at this point because I also picked team Houst– I mean Texas to win the first event.
Anyway, on to the lowlight of the evening. The 2012 Sprite Slam Dunk contest was in my opinion the worst rendition of the Slam Dunk contest of ALL time. Jeremy Evans started off his night with a dunk that left the Orlando crowd as silent as a Catholic mass. Chase Budinger began the night with a scripted back and forth with P. Diddy, who figured saying Black Power on national TV was a good idea.
With that said, there were a few good dunks. Budinger did a 180 slam blindfolded, Paul George did a remix of Howard’s sticker dunk from 07, Derrick Williams dunked over a motorcycle (which wasn’t all that impressive), and Evans dunked two balls while jumping over teammate Gordon Hayward.
Evans’ dunk sealed the deal for me because I thought it was at least somewhat original, and also involved jumping over someone.
Needless to say, the contest needs to be revised. The Stars need to participate in this event because there was no excitement coming into the contest like there was in years prior. The dunks have become so gimmicky, the “dunks” are becoming a showcase of wackiness rather than pure athletic skill.
Call me an old timer, but I think the NBA needs to go back to the formula that made the dunk contest an NBA staple it had become. The fans want to see LeBron, Howard, Wade, Griffin, etc. showcasing their superhuman abilities in the dunk contest. Sure there were some good dunks tonight, but there hasn’t been a legitimate buzz about the contest in years.
The crowd tonight proved that the NBA needs to rethink it’s formula about the dunk contest. I think the superstars of the league need to do their part in saving what was one of the great events in sports. If something isn’t done soon, it will eventually go the way of the NFL Pro Bowl in being considered for the chopping block.