Last night’s Slam Dunk contest pained people to watch. While the world celebrates Michael Jordan’s birthday, we also realize that the event made famous by MJ’s high-flying, death-defying free throw line finish is lacking the elements that made it must-see TV in the first place. The league’s All-Stars were sitting on the front row, clad in black leather and shades instead of warming up in uniform, waiting to wow the crowd. In their places, a group of no-name players who tried, but failed miserably in maintaining viewers’ attention. They weren’t bad, as each of the players is talented and play a key role for their team. They were terrible, a group who seemed plucked from the D-League.
“The Tallahassee Democrat’s Corey Clark notes that since there were 36 missed dunks and only 15 successful ones the competitors managed to shoot less than 30 percent from the field in a slam dunk contest.” [Deadspin]
As Whitt stated a few days ago, we sat and watched “hoping for is a transcendent individual performance that will change the way we think about what can happen on a basketball court.” Those performances never materialized.
Instead, they were replaced by more misses than makes. More waiting for wows than actual wows. More cries for the NBA to either revitalize the contest or put it of its misery. On more than one occasion, I watched judge and legendary leaper Clyde “The Glide” Drexler hide his face behind his scorecard as he sheepishly awarded shitty dunks an eight or better, knowing damn well they weren’t worth it.
Congrats to Toronto Raptor Terrence Ross* for winning eventually (because Toronto deserves to win something, right?). We pray he doesn’t suffer the fate of previous stars who won boring Dunk contests before watching their career stock plummet.
If you missed it, here’s the full contest below but you may want to watch this quick clip composed of all 36 misses, just so you know what you’re in for.
* – I know I’m alone in this but every time the camera focused on a smiling Ross, I realized he held a close resemblance to Danny Brown and kept waiting for Ross to say “whatup doe” during the trophy presentation.