Thursday , Jan , 06 , 2011 Christopher Sells

2011 Slam Dunk Participants Announced

 In years past, we’ve had to wait until right before the Slam Dunk Contest (at least in the preceding week and a half) to find out who would be participating in the once-entertaining finale to All-Star Saturday Night. It made life a little more difficult for guys like me since we didn’t have any idea who we’d be writing about. It made life annoying for fans because they had no one to look forward to watching.

This will not be the case this year.

The league has announced the participants in the Sprite Slam Dunk a full six weeks before All-Star Weekend. We’ll get to see Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, Brandon Jennings and JaVale McGee pull out their best aerial maneuvers (hopefully) in LA on February 19. 

After last year, I’m hoping that we’ll get a quality competition, but I’m no so sure. Griffin is a monster, as I’m sure everyone and their grandmother knows by now. I haven’t really seen him do anything contest-worthy, though, so I’m not certain how he’ll perform. He could always enlist some of the league’s opposing big men to come out and get posterized, but I’m guessing that won’t really happen. McGee has some great athleticism. I’ve seen him catch a person or two this year and there was a free throw line try that he almost put down in garbage time of one of the Wizards’ games. Ibaka seems to be quite the athlete, but I can’t recall him doing anything that would make me want to see him on ASW’s big stage. In the cases of all three of those guys, big men rarely perform well in these things. And of course there’s Jennings, who routinely lays the ball in.

I’ll probably watch the videos the league plans on making with each competitor in advance of the competition and hopefully I’ll have a better feeling heading into this thing. As it stands right now, I’m not sure what I’m going to get from the invited participants and I’m wondering why some others (DeMar DeRozan, most notably) aren’t involved. What used to be a surefire way to entertain the masses is anything but a slam dunk today.