NBA All-Star Weekend is filled with pointless events that leave fans bored and enthused. The Skills Competition and Three-Point Contest have never been exciting to begin with, but the the Slam Dunk contest used to be an exhilarating event that caused fans and other players to jump out of their seat. Of course, the glory days of Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, Julius Erving and Vince Carter that made the event so significant is over. Now, the contest is a complete and utter embarrassment to the NBA.
The dunks that the players show-cased were not the problem on Saturday night, it was the format and the organization, or lack thereof, of the event in its entirety. The Contest started off with a free-style round that only brought confusion and awkwardness to fans. All three contestants would work together to put on a little show. It was horrible to watch. Plus, the camera angles were so bad that if a player dunked from the free-throw line, no one would have even noticed. No one knew what the heck was going on, and besides, the Slam Dunk Contest isn’t exactly the best event to promote teamwork.
Then, individuals would put on a little show of their own and showcase their own stylish dunks. It was three players of the East vs. three players of the West. Some of the dunks were actually the best dunks we’ve seen in a long time — Ben McLemore‘s dunk was terrific, but he ruined it with his foolish entrance and his kingly robe; Paul George‘s dunk was absolutely ridiculous and John Wall, the winner of the contest, had a most impressive dunk. But honestly, the format was so terrible that it took away from the miraculous dunks. It was completely disorganized and awkwardly amusing.
What happened to the panel of four or five former Slam Dunk Champions holding up numbers to rate each dunk? Instead Wilkins, Magic Johnson (Why is he judging this event again? He’s already a joke of an analyst), and Julius Erving held up their savvy iPads that flashed the word either “West” or “East” to signify the winner between the two sides. Because Wall and George were both from the East, they couldn’t go head-to-head in a second round when they clearly had the most spectacular slams. The two best dunkers of the night could not even show off what else they had up their sleeves in another round due to the moronic format.
Enough with East vs. West nonsense. The Slam Dunk Contest is about individual showcasing and performance. This year’s format ruined what could have potentially been the best contest in the past decade.
The contest will never again be as exciting as it used to be in the 80’s and 90’s. The 2000 Slam Dunk Contest featuring Carter marked the end of the glorious and exciting contest days. The true winners of the 2014 Dunk Contest were the ones who spent their Saturday night wisely and didn’t watch All-Star weekend in any way, shape or form. The glory days are over and it is just a matter of time before this event becomes extinct.