The NBA Slam Dunk Contest’s Death Rattle

Chances are if you even squinted at a Twitter feed yesterday, you saw a million or so people bitching about this year’s NBA All-Star Game slam dunk contest lineup, and they were all justified in doing so. Not only will the contest not feature the defending champion, Blake Griffin, but last year’s actual champion runner-up, JaVale McGee is also sitting this one out. Not because he didn’t want to, mind you, but because he wasn’t invited.

So who got the call? Chase Budinger, Paul George, Iman Shumpert and Derrick Williams, or as I like to call them: Who, What, Why and How? No real disrespect intended to those guys, but as the Washington Post pointed out after the league’s announcement yesterday, they’ve combined for 55 dunks on the season. Griffin and McGee, the league’s Top 2 dunkers, have nearly 3 times that amount between the two of them. In fact, the four guys selected aren’t even among the Top 40 dunkers in the entire NBA.

To make matters even worse, the contest has now been cut down to just one round and there will no longer be celebrity judges. Instead, the fans are in charge of the voting responsibility, which is bad news for Budinger, George and Williams, because none of them have the luxury of being Jeremy Lin’s teammate like Shumpert, who will be fed lobs by the New York Knicks’ new star. It’s not even fair, but even worse – it’s not even fun.

(Original banner image via Javier Tuana/Shutterstock.)