I'm just not understanding why the NBA has always, always felt a need to change the format of the dunk contest virtually every single year. The first big, random change I recall was turning each player's round into a 90-second routine, like figure skating, leading to tired players and rushed dunks (Rider '95: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvyttJXWLaw). Then there was the dreaded wheel in '02 which led to Steve Francis being required to complete a Stansbury, one-foot Statue of Liberty 360. This coincided with the reduction of possible contestants from 6 to 4 (despite more players wanting entry). This then led to the infusion of props leading to the current baffling decision to remove real judges and have just one round. Unbelievable.
Yall are all wrong, this will be one of the best contests in years. No BS props, no predetermined winner, no agenda.
Anyway, I remember seeing Chase Budinger in a high school dunk contest. He didn't do anything spectacular. Won the contest with a run of the mill windmill dunk. Then again, his competition wasn't doing much worth gloating about anyway.
I have doubts that this dunk contest will be noteworthy but I'll still watch it.
Correct. I'm probably nearing the level of conspiracy theorist with the number of times I've repeated this but:
2000 Dunk Contest
3 First round dunks per dunker (18 total dunks)
2 Dunks per finalist (6 dunks in finals) 24 Total dunks
2011 Dunk Contest
2 First round dunks per dunker (8 total dunks)
2 Dunks per finalist (4 dunks in finals)
Fan Voted Winner 12 Total dunks
We're getting half the total number of dunks we were seeing just 10 years ago. And here's where I might be in the minority, but even on slams as un-revolutionary as Jerry Stackhouse's 360 in 2000, I enjoy seeing the style each dunker brings to the table. It's not always about every dunker doing something brand new, it's about style, attitude, elevation, sincerity, all of that.
What do we remember about the 2000 contest? Vince Carter, of course. Others will also say they remember Steve Francis and Tracy McGrady. On top of those guys though, Ricky Davis also had quite the performance himself, finishing with a bounce alley-oop reverse between-the-legs dunk. With Vince's appearance, the 2000 contest would always be legendary. But imagine how lame it would have been if there were only four contestants and they were Vince Carter, Larry Hughes, Jerry Stackhouse, and Antawn Jamison (which would have been impossible since Hughes replaced Jamison, but for the sake of making a point ...)? You know what has a high probability of occurring when the NBA limits its competitors to four and lowers the number of dunks? 2010. 2010 has a chance of occurring. To refresh your memories: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA-suKCcTbA
All the props and gimmicks guys started using doesn't help either. Not just because it's cheesy and cheap, that's subjective, but they go through all the buildup of setting it up and hyping it and then when the guy misses (and misses...and misses) it just kills the flow of it.
Imagine if Griffin had missed the Kia dunk last year, that's catastrophe, which is why he just jumped over the front.
The 100% fan vote is a completely idiotic move. If Lin weren't involved, then cool, they're all young guys that don't have huge followings. But he is. Oh well, at least George'll get some exposure.
I still definitely disagree with the fan voting. I'll have to look closer into that.
The good news though, as I let things resonate a little, is three first round dunks coming from each player still brings about 12 total dunks, the same as last year. The format is still very, very broken, but at least they're not further limiting the number of finishes. Further, I'm thinking this rule may have been implemented to prevent the "robbing" of players from going to the finals. This way, everyone has a chance to delve into their repertoire. Then again, if the number of competitors was bumped back up to six, with 3 first round dunks ... dunkers would have a chance to delve in that regard too ...
Edit: I just read further about the fan voting (coming via Twitter, Text, and Online). It makes me vomit a little. Surely, the real judges used to make mistakes too (see: Jones, Fred - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2yfZ7yZ-XY) but at least we could safely assume judges would be judging player's dunks. With fans, I'm sort of hopeful Shumpert wins by default despite performing poorly simply by Lin association, so the ignorance in placing such a vote in the hands of the public is clearly realized.