Tuesday , Jan , 13 , 2009 J.N.

The NBA Dunk Contest died. Time to be reborn. Here’s how to fix it.


The NBA Dunk Contest died. Time to be reborn. Here's how to fix it.Not even Dwight Howard with his Superman dunk and Soulja Boy dance can save this thing. No, Magic Johnson, the contest was never back. Vince Carter brought excitement back since MJ and Nique. Jason Richardson brought a slight bump when he was in it. Ever since then it just died a miserable death.

Kenny Smith once said, “It’s over!”

I agree. In the current form, the dunk contest is wack. We can all sit here and blame The Birdman Chris Andersen and Nate Robinson for ruining the thing with endless attempts that kills any excitement that was already built up. Many people might have written how to fix this steaming pile. I’ll give you the definitive format on how to fix it once and for all. Before I even do that, let’s examine what’s wrong with the damn thing in the first place. In no particular order:

  • Limiting it to only 4 contestants.

This is stupid. They shut down the many options around the league. There’s not much variety either by doing this. It’s like telling someone, “We have donuts here, but only 4 kinds.” What? I’m not stepping into that donut shop ever again.

  • Changing the format almost every year.

This says that the NBA doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing. They lack direction. This inconsistency messes up everyone. It’s good to change things up, but not every year. Perhaps once every five years is better, but not this crap. Timed, no time, number of attempts, the spinning wheel of crap and the other gimmicks they come up with is utterly retarded. Since the contest jumped the shark, might as well have a player jump over an actual shark filled with electric eels to get his dunk off.

  • Player can only have, at most, 3 years of NBA experience to be in the contest.

What? I’m not sure if they still use this, but WHAT? Why? Who thought of this? What if Jason Richardson wants to do it again? What if Lebron, all of a sudden, wants to do it to prove something to the haters? I’m not sure where this prerequisite stemmed from. Somebody from the NBA’s front office has to explain the logic behind this.

  • No incentives.

The Slam Dunk title is meaningless today. Steve Francis once said that the dunk winner should get some kind of sports car. I disagree. The dunk contest is not that prestigious to get something like that. That type of awards should only go to the defensive player of the year, the MVP, and Finals MVP. Try to think of something else that will still provide motivation to participate; something meaningful.

And here’s how to fix the contest for good. Before you kill me with insults, I’m thinking outside the box to entirely turn this thing 180 degrees upside down. Someone has to so it might as well be me since I want to shake this up entirely. The best NBA dunkers in general do not want to participate in this thing. The best NBA players don’t even want to do this either. We usually want to see Vince Carter, Kobe, Lebron, Jason Richardson, Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, and Josh Smith to participate; those type of dunkers. Rightfully so, they’re the elite names of names. In reality, that never happens though. So what to do?

  • Like the All Star ballot, have the NBA select a group of names and have the fans vote up to 6 contestants to do it. Nate Robinson and Chris Andersen should never be on that list.

What if player doesn’t want to do it? Before the season starts, the player has to tell the NBA that he doesn’t want to do it. That way he wouldn’t be on the ballot. What If he gets voted in, changes his mind, and doesn’t want to do it? Get the next player on the ballot with the next largest number and so on.

  • No time limit, but dunker can only get 3 attempts.
  • Like the championship ring, the dunk winner wins a diamond ring with “Slam Dunk King” inscribed along with the season and place he won it in. Now that’s motivation to dunk.
  • The champ always has to defend his title at least once.

I thought about another dilemma. What if the NBA doesn’t get enough interest from any player to participate? Do they shut down the thing entirely? No, that’s the wrong thing to do.

Here’s an alternative.

To borrow something from EA’s Madden videogame tournament, the NBA player gets to pick someone off the streets to represent them in the dunk contest. Not just any regular Joe. I mean a real streetballer type dunker that can really get up. I highly recommend each of the Team Flight Brothers to represent any of the 6 dunkers voted in. They have better dunks and ideas than any current NBA player. Here’s some of their work.

The Flight Brothers are not alone either. There are many unknown ballers who can get up and do crazy stuff like Justin Darlington for instance.

It’s sad that with that dunk, he won a piece of shit $2 trophy. Borrowing from the Madden concept, this kid can easily represent Jamario Moon of the Toronto Raptors since Darlington is from Toronto. If Jamario gets voted in, but he doesn’t want to do it, just throw Justin an authentic Moon jersey to rock and get it done out there. Have Jamario Moon introduce him.

Yeah, I know. They’re not in the NBA. In the end, I really don’t care. Outsource the thing if the NBA players themselves can’t get it done. Some of them don’t even want to risk injury doing this. When you have Rudy Gay calling out people on Youtube to get ideas, we have major problems. Gay couldn’t even perform the dunks he received from Flight Brothers anyway. It’s time to turn this 180 upside down. The NBA dunk contest is dead. This is an unique way to pump new life and fresh ideas into it.

ESPN, ESPN2 and NBA TV can have shows profiling these guys participating to get their names out leading up to All Star weekend.

The remaining competing NBA dunkers can compete against these guys if they want. They better be prepared to get embarrassed though. This is NOT about being an NBA player. This is about dunking. That’s it. Many guys who are not in the league can probably outdo Lebron or Dwight in this dunk contest if given the chance. My idea gives them that ability to compete directly.

Would my idea become a reality? No. It’s probably way too radical and David Stern is not ready for this. On second thought, they already have Lebron and Dwight coaching the Rookie-Sophomore game, they might as well just do this, too. If they did, I saved the dunk contest. No thanks needed. Just give me my money. You heard it here first.

Tell me. How would YOU fix the dunk contest?

[image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jjaani/583992968/]