Engrave today’s date in your head, as tonight’s slam dunk competition could be worth remembering.
NBA All-Star 2014 marks only the second time that the Sprite Slam Dunk competition will feature three All-Star Game participants.
In recent years, fans have become accustom to doing a web search on half of the players in the competition.
In the year 2000, Vince Carter rocked the rims and probably had the best dunk contest of all-time. In 2003 we saw Jason Richardson score perfect fifties. A few years later the era of Lil Nate, Nate Robinson, shook the stage and brought many fans back to the Spud Webb days. In 2008 Dwight Howard became Superman and flew across the court throwing down one of the most memorable dunks in the history of the competition (without even touching the rim). And in 2011 Blake Griffin jumped over a Kia, that’s cool too.
But looking at the last two dunk contests, what do you remember? Nothing! Exactly.
The calibre of talent in this event had seemed to diminish and the dunk contest became less exciting than the celebrity game without Kevin Hart.
Maybe we owe a thanks to new NBA commissioner Adam Silver, or maybe it’s great timing, but this year’s dunk contest is almost an All-Star lineup itself.
Paul George, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Harrison Barnes, Terrence Ross and Ben McLemore are preparing to highlight NBA All-Star Weekend’s most popular event.
The Sacramento Kings rookie is looking to give fans something to talk about. McLemore turned 21 last week, (in New Orleans I’m sure he’s keeping busy) he is excited about this and legitimately wants to win.
— Ben McLemore (@BenMcLemore) February 15, 2014
Saturday night these six players will have a worldwide audience on them. And for a player like McLemore, who’s still unknown to many, can make a name for himself with just one dunk.
The league has a chance to save the legacy of the slam dunk contest. This event was on life support, it’s not where it should be yet, but this is a very good start at rebuilding.
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Brett Poirier is a contributor to Sheridan Hoops. Follow @BrettNBA