I understand the whole paying homage thing. Honestly, I do. But it has gotten to be a little ridiculous and it is even more apparent after last night’s 2012 Slam Dunk Contest.
Chase Budinger re-created a blind-folded dunk. The dunk was originally showcased by Cedric Ceballos when he played for the Phoenix Suns in 1992. Ced assisted Budinger, who wore a throwback Ceballos jersey, in the same city where the dunk was first performed.
Derrick Williams jumped over a motorcycle. That would have been cool if last year someone didn’t jump over the hood of a Kia. They are both about the same height, however, you have to travel farther in mid-air to clear the car hood which would make that dunk more difficult.
Paul George paid his tribute to a man that has great stake in the franchise that he plays for. George slapped a head-shot sticker of Hall of Famer, and Indiana Pacers exec Larry Bird on the backboard while attempting a 360 windmill dunk.
It was a valiant effort, however, beings it took a few attempts and two stickers to complete it lost it’s appeal.
So by comparison to last year, the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest did not give the fans what they were hoping for.
Crowned champion Evans provided the only silver-lining of the contest when he jumped over a seated Gordon Hayward, who was on a stool, and slammed home two b-balls one after the other.
George almost stole the show by attempting to jump over his 7-foot-2 teammate, Indiana center Roy Hibbert. I say almost because George didn’t exactly nail the dunk due to Hibbert being forced to duck a little to allow for George’s clearance.
Hibbert might have anticipated the bow when it seemed that George’s non-dunking hand used Hibbert’s shoulder as a means of gaining a little more air time.
The new rule changes didn’t seem to have an effect on the contest because it really didn’t have the chance.
Fans were able to start voting for their favorite dunker after all four contestants finished their first dunk. However, fans were already booing the would-be champ Evans after his first dunk.
Fans also had to endure countless attempts by Williams on his final dunk, which he did not succeed.
However, to improve on this year’s contest, the NBA would have to have all four of next year’s contestants be high caliber players.
Only having one superstar would jeopardize the integrity of the voting now that the winner is chosen by the fans.
Think “Yao Ming Effect” if you are confused.