As he proved last night, Russell Westbrook is very good at dunking. He’s strong and can jump high, so all his dunks are powerful. He’s small enough that it’s still crazy-looking when his head is near the rim. All things considered, Russell Westbrook seems like the perfect candidate for the dunk contest.

But then you remember that all these things were true of Shannon Brown last year. And then you remember how terrible he was in the dunk contest. And then, because you’ve been taking gingko biloba and never forget anything anymore, you remember how sad you were that Shannon Brown was so bad after you had supported the Internet campaign that landed him in the dunk contest.

And that’s when you realize it’s OK that Russell Westbrook has already turned down his invitation to this year’s contest, especially given his reasoning. From the Oklahoman:

[Here's] why Westbrook is hesitant. He just doesn’t see himself as a dunk contest type of dunker.

“I don’t really have trick dunks and all that,” Westbrook said. “I just like games. The dunk contest is totally different from what it used to be. You got to do a lot of different stuff to get points. You got to flip and bring out a lot of different (stunts) to get some points.”

Works for me. Shannon Brown was a huge disappointment, and it seems like Westbrook would be more of the same. I’m fine with just enjoying his monster dunks in the course of a game. Plus, if him passing opens up a spot for a lesser star like Nick Young, then I’m all for it.

All in all, no Russell Westbrook in the dunk contest is probably for the best, even if he says he will be in it “one of these years.” The guy’s a rising star and a mediocre showing at All-Star Weekend could damage his reputation. For now, he’ll have to settle for the title of best in-game dunker 6-foot-3 or under, which is a pretty chill consolation prize.

(via Daily Thunder)

Comments (4)

  1. Westbrook is right. The dunk contest has been ruined by capes, cup cakes, costumes and cut outs! Andre Igoudala was the last person I can remember that did actual dunks!
    Everyone else used props, and were rewarded for it. Dwight Howard’s Super Man slam was a result of him thinking he could jump farther than he actually could, FORCING him to throw it down, and that got a 10?

    They need Westbrook and other REAL dunkers to bring it back to what it was in the past.

    Judges need to stop rewarding stage props with points.

  2. @Mike – totally agree on the Iguodala comment. I still think he got snubbed (i forget which year that was) but Nate Robinson won it after like a billion attempts on one of his dunks.

  3. You’d put Westbrook over Rose? (for 6’3″ dudes).

    Rose might be the best two-handed dunker… ever.

  4. [...] won’t be in the contest, we need to brainstorm our ideal candidates. Russell Westbrook is out, unfortunately, so leave him off your list. Blake Griffin seems like an obvious choice, but big [...]

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