Re: Blake Griffin does not plan to defend his slam dunk championship
I say this every year but I think two of the biggest things holding the dunk contest back these days is 1) the short list of competitors and 2) the subsequent short list of dunks. On top of everything else, the dunk contest is facing history every single year. It's always been that way. In the mid-90's, any dunk contest that didn't end like Jordan's and Nique's was declared a failure by many. Then, Vince Carter happened. After Carter's showing, more contests were considered failures because there was no Vince moment (granted, introducing the Wheel of Dunks was a failure in itself).
Essentially, ever since I was old enough to watch dunk contests live (1993), there's always been a strong contingent of fans who felt the dunk contest should be removed because they thought every dunk had been done or no one could perform any slam within the same area code of what Jordan and Wilkins did. However, regardless of how one feels, I never understood what ridding of the dunk contest accomplishes. Wouldn't folks at least like the opportunity to possibly see something awesome? You know what happened the first time it was cancelled? 2Ball. 2Ball happened. There's been a ton of great dunk contest in the 2000's. If we'd ended the contest and kept it ended, we would have missed out on too many excellent moments.
Last year's contest is remembered, unfortunately, for a choir and a Kia. But honestly, aside from those two gimmicks, it was a solid contest. In the first round alone, DeMar DeRozan threw down a between the legs dunk off the basket stanchion, Serge Ibaka made the furthest free throw line dunk in NBA Dunk Contest history (merely a toe on the line), JaVale McGee dunked two balls on two baskets, and Blake's first attempt nearly made me fall out of my chair (before he resorted to a safety finish). There was a lot happening and it wasn't all gimmick based.
But back to my primary point, I miss six competitors. Here's the breakdown:
2000: Six Competitors, three first round dunks per competitor (one using teammate), three finalists (two dunks a piece).
Total: 24 Dunks
2011: Four Competitors, two first round dunks, two finalists (two dunks a piece).
Total: 12 Dunks