Most Improved Player Rankings: Slam Dunk Contest Decidedly Unimproved

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dunksThis column is supposed to be about improvement, so let’s start it off by declaring that Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Contest was without a doubt the most un-improved thing in the history of All-Star Weekend.

Seriously, what the hell happened there?

After Paul George, John Wall and Damian Lillard – three bona fide stars in the league – actually decided that being considered one of the world’s best dunkers wasn’t beneath them, the league chucked a Snuggie into the Atlantic Ocean and then wrung it out all over the historic Smoothie King Center.

Wet blanket. That’s what I’m trying to say. It was a wet blanket.

And to think, I was excited for the Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night!

I rushed home from work, shunned the Olympics and the Florida-Kentucky game and flipped on TNT for what I thought was going to be a night of high-flying dunks, excessive laughing and 7-footers in expensive suits falling all over each other.

You know, the usual.

I would have been better off watching bobsledding.

It was like looking forward to a the party of the year at the lax bros’ house and then walking in to find out that they were playing Monopoly and serving 7-Up. Where’s the beer pong? Where are the keg stands? WHERE’S THE IRONIC DANCING TO MILEY CYRUS???

Who decided that a “team format” would make the contest more exciting? I mean, does anyone really care which conference is better at dunking?

I guess ESPN’s DJ Gallo was the only one who truly appreciated the new format:

 

To be honest, that was my favorite part, too.

The rest of it was pretty awful. The entire thing lasted a total of about 15 minutes. There were two rounds, the first of which resembled a layup line. It was unclear whether or not the players believed that round was just a warmup.

The second round pitted East vs. West and consisted of a total of six dunks, the last of which was the only exciting one in the group. Wall’s only individual dunk attempt of the night was pretty cool. Magic Johnson said it brought the dunk contest back.

And then the lights went out.

And it was over.

This tweet from Kings forward Jason Thompson pretty much summed it up:

 

 

One memorable dunk. And the trophy came out. Just when “Party in the USA” started playing.

Yo, Adam Silver:  Not cool, bro.

On to the rankings.

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Comments

  1. It seems that this was the only way they could increase the quality of the participants (name-wise). People like LeBron don’t want to be enter if they can’t be assured of winning. What they really should do is have 2 dunk contests – one exhibition for the “too proud” NBA players and a one where they are graded.

    And I DO share your confusion about why we should care about East vs West in dunking.

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