NBA Cutting off its Nose to Spite its Face
Let’s be honest. When was the last time you cared about the Slam Dunk Contest? Gone are the days when Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins would battle from the honor of being the league’s top dunker. Or to go further back when Dr. J battled Larry Nance. Yeah, it was cute that Nate Robinson won a few years ago, but that had been done before. Spud Webb already played the little guy role, only he was shorter. 360′s, windmills, blindfolds, between-the-leg, free-throw line dunk, and the list goes on. They’ve been done before. The big stars don’t even participate anymore. Where’s LeBron, Kobe, and Vince Carter? You know the answer. They’ll be on the sidelines holding up #10′s when Gerald Green throws one down. That’s some excitement for you.
There is a big name participating this year though. No I’m not talking about the defending champion Green, rookie Jamari Moon, or the up-and-coming Rudy Gay. I’m talking about Dwight Howard. He’s currently 12th in the league with 21.7 ppg, 2nd with 14.4 rpg, 4th in FG% at 60.1%, 5th in blocks with 2.43 bpg, and leading the league with 45 double-doubles. Not only is he bucking the trend of being a Superstar to participate in the Dunk Contest, he actually came up with an interesting dunk. Only the NBA won’t let you see it.
For the second straight year Howard has requested to raise the rim to 12 feet for a dunk in the contest. Both Rudy Gay and Gerald Green say they would also like to attempt dunks at that height (actually Green says he’d raise it to 13 feet). The NBA’s response. No. Are you kidding me? I would actually be interested in the dunk contest if these guys were throwing down at 12 and 13 feet. I’m sure I’m not alone. When did the NBA become the No Fun League? Seriously. What possible explanation can Dictator…err David Stern come up with to justify squashing Dwight Howard’s attempt to breath life into this lame contest? I don’t want to hear that it’s unfair. Was it unfair that Michael Jordan could dunk seemingly pause in the air with his tongue out as he gracefully dunked it from the free throw line? If Howard can do it, I want to see it. I could see an objection if he asked to raise the rim during the actual All-Star game, but not the dunk contest. It’s an exhibition. It’s suppose to be a display of talent. What are you harnessing that talent? What’s the worse that can happen? Oh no, Dwight Howard just generated buzz for a contest that is dying for a pulse. We’ve got to stop that. Call out the fun police. You’ve guaranteed one thing with your decision Mr. Stern. I won’t be watching the Slam Dunk Contest.