From a hotel balcony in Orlando, Skeets and Tas are left to pick up the pieces of the dunk contest from the good (Evans, Williams) to the bad (invisible dunks) to the ugly (Kevin Hart). All that, plus Kevin Love’s busy night, Tony Parker’s slow win, and why Allan Houston should still be in the NBA.

LINKS: TBJ Facebook | TBJ Store | TBJ F.A.Q. | 2012 All-Star Weekend

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Comments (35)

  1. Suggestion for the Dunk Contest:
    1) Make it head to head, 8 players total.

    2) Each round each player gets only one dunk, winner will be determined by bringing the judging system back.

    3) The final round would consists of either 2 or 3 dunks. I don’t care. 2 would make the overal total to 4 dunks. If you just had 1 dunk for ALL 3 rounds I feel its not enough.

    4) No props you cannot find in a gym, meaning you can take out a stupid car/motorcycle/any other lame promotional item. The teammate element is fine.

    5) Raise the prize money to 200K at least. I wouldn’t mind it if they stuck some logos on the Jerseys, or just made some special sprite dunk jerseys for them. Just make sure there’s enough prize money at stake so these younger guys can get some extra $.

    6) Ban Shaq from the broadcast. He was useless the entire night. All you heard him say was “I call this the Vroom Vroom dunk” or “I call this the Tron dunk” and “Hi Puff Daddy”. Dude get a linguistics teacher and learn to speak properly.

    • It would be pretty cool if they combined the D-League and NBA dunk contest together.

      I say have 2 D-League guys, 2 of the regular young NBA guys, and…..2 veteran players (not former just older).

      If they did it this way there’s an embarrassment factor of losing to a D-League guy or to a veteran etc and it would make it a little more competitive and also more fun to talk about (“look how high the old guy can still get up” or “wow, who’s this crazy dunker from the D-League showing up the NBA guys”).

      Imagine having Vince Carter in it again for example or Jason Richardson.

      The problem is none of the players care to really do this. The league needs to somehow bribe the appropriate players to get involved.

      Or another idea could be that there are designated things to do for each round.
      Maybe round 1 they all need to show off their best windmill, then their best 360, etc. Then they could be more easily compared and it could allow it to be less subjective as well since you’re not comparing a 360 to a windmill and things like that

  2. I think the free flow dunk thing might work for a limited amount of time, but not for the entire contest. Dunking takes a lot of energy, so if you have guys scrambling to get their dunk off in time, they will get tired. That is a good idea for a round, or to reduce the field to the finalists. But a bad idea for the entire contest. But I’m a fan of the free flow idea, it is just like what people do after basketball practice ends. People just take turns trying to put down a sick dunk.

  3. I also like to add that, for the final round, one of the two dunks must contain a certain element randomly picked from a box of moves.

    For example, lets say the element is “windmill”, that would mean the finalists would have to do a windmill dunk head to head, but the wrinkle being that they can get creative within that context. One player may do a windmill off the bounce, while the other might get a teammate to bounce it off the side of the backboard. This wrinkle would help add a parameter to judging and make it less subjective.

    • “I also like to add that, for the final round, one of the two dunks must contain a certain element randomly picked from a box of moves. ”

      ewww … they tried that before with the magic wheel. It was really dumb and blunted creativity.

      I have no problem with the format this year, the guys just weren’t that impressive. Maybe a wider field would solve that but otherwise no biggy

  4. I do think the biggest problem, and you guys mentioned it, is that everyone is expecting something new. What out there is left that has not been done? If someone tries a free throw line dunk, everyone will just say “Oh, that’s been done several times. Why can’t you do anything new?” Sure, there is a percentage of basketball educated fans that realize how incredibly difficult that dunk actually was. But for the most part, these guys definitely have pressure on them to come up with something new or different so they don’t have to hear “MJ did it.” or “Vince did it.” And this is where the props come in. What object can I jump over that no one else hasn’t jumped over? People have jumped over 6’4 teammates before, but no one has ever jumped over a 5’10 rapper.

    Agree with you guys, though: They’ve got major problems with this contest. Fans’ lofty expectations may not be fixable, but several other aspects are. If seeing large people flying through the air and throwing down dunks isn’t fun to watch, something is very, very wrong.

  5. I really like EDub’s head-to-head idea.

    Another wrinkle that I think Bill Simmons wrote about a few years ago is the ‘high dunk.’ Start off with the rim at 10’6″ and raise it 3-6″ every round. Whoever can dunk with the rim the highest wins.

  6. Just wanted to say : the Big Lebowski is the guy in the wheelchair… You’re thinking about the dude…
    I mean, it’s kinda the whole point of the film but, whatever, it’s just, like, your opinion, man…

  7. The real issue with Kenny’s speeches and all that drama is that it takes away some of the surprise (which wasn’t a problem for the good dunks).

  8. I think you should really do a head-to-head tournament out of this.
    Here’s how it should go:
    1) Get 8 Players picked by the fans. If Lebron would drop out of a fan-vote he would be more of a pussy than if he just says “I’m not gonna get in it”
    2) Put 2 or 3 minutes on the clock and let them dunk head-to-head. Maybe even add a dunk-clock with 20 or 24 seconds. If you haven’t done anything in this time, it’s the other guys turn. If you can bring your “props” on in this time: fine. If you can’t: suck it.
    3) Either get the judges back or have a head-to-head vote with texts and twitter and nba.com and stuff. Count the votes live up while they are actually dunking.

    That would be so much better than the shit that we had this year…

  9. Sorry for the multipost.

    One other issue is that all those sponsored shit and fan voting makes the Dunk Contest more profitable even in the wild event that no one would be watching (like, for instance, because it sucks).

    E_Dub has great ideas there, but I fear that a head-to-head format would make fan voting way to appealing to the NBA.

    Shaq could be banned, so could Reggie, so could Kenny… But who wants to listen to Chuck the whole night?

  10. Four guys. Three dunks. One round. One prop dunk. Two minutes on the clock. Five judges. Zero silly fanvotes.

  11. There is something rotten in the All-Star…and in the NBA. This year I’ve only watched the highlights, too much effort to stay up at night for what they offer.

    1.- Cheryl Miller out. I’m sick of her half smile when she does that lame interviews (even thought the interviews are gonna be lame whoever does them). She thinks she is funny, but she isn’t, IMO.

    2.-Kenny Smith and Shaq, out too. Agreee with E-Dub about Shaq. He got money, get a teacher or something. And they end up not being funny. And the problem is that everyone is always telling them how good they are as broadcasters.

    3.-No All-Star game as usual. USA vs. Rest of the World. That would ensure a minimum level of competitiveness. I hate this All-Star games where the players are jogging from one end of the court to the other, just waiting to jack a shot when the ball gets to them. I am not saying hard-nosed defense, playoff style, but not this boring games we have nowadays…

    4.-Too many “contests” in a too long schedule. The NBA really really needs to do something about the contests. As you guys say, the only ones that are still entertaining are the 3 point shootout and the shooting stars (please, skills challenge out immediately, and a big overhaul for the dunk contest is needed too). Big names are needed for the slam dunk contest. Which takes me to..

    5.- The NBA schedule needs a revision. First of all, I have always thought it was too long and hard for the players. Back in the ’99 lockout, many people thought that even without a lockout, a 52 games regular season would not be a bad idea. Well rested players and all the games matter. In a 82 games schedule, a lot of games are crap because the players prefer to lose that and take a rest. Maybe if the players were more rested, more of them would think of doing something in the All-Star instead of begging for some rest.

    Come on, think about the product you offer, and take that into account even more now with the crisis we have here, where people thinks twice before spending their money. The first weeks of this regular season have been awful, a lot of mistakes in execution, bad play level…very bad.

    David Stern is getting old (as a comissioner, I mean), he does not realize (or does not want to realize) all the mistakes he is doing. Even though ratings have been good lately, apart from the playoff, the game has been bad. It is not a good basketball product.

    Excuse me for this rant, but I have held this thoughts for too long, and I couldn’t help rambling here. Sorry guys.

  12. Going with the spontaneity thing, it was important to the show when guys like Vince Carter or Michael Jordan did the dunk contest, and they were just sort of playing it by ear. Part of the legend is Vince feeling his arm before he puts his elbow in the rim, stuff like that. If he had done the story line/build up thing, it’s not nearly as memorable. Paul George’s dunk last night was not much worse than either Vince or J-Smoov’s 360 windmill, but it’s lost because of the stupid build up and hype that has usurped the actual nature of the event. Guys feel too much pressure to know exactly what they’re doing, when really it’d be a lot more fun if they just sort of pulled things out of their ass. It’s a shame

  13. Two small tweeks that’d make a lot of sense:

    1. Bring back the judges, allow the fans go to NBA.com to vote and be the fifth judge
    2. Subtract one or two points per missed dunk

  14. Shaq needs to get off TNT asap, he dishes jabs but can’t take one himself. It makes the viewers uncomfortable.

  15. I posted this on facebook and decided it was worth a mention here. Spencer Hawes tweet last night about wanting to be in the skills competition was hilarious and gave me a great idea. Why not have the skills competition featuring all goofy white centers? Lets be honest, would you rather watch Deron Williams and Tony Parker or the likes of Spencer Hawes, Robin Lopez, Chris Kaman and Kosta Koufos trying to make their way through that obstacle course?

  16. Skeets Lebowski – Amen to that ;)

    Why dont´t let this guys dunk really “against” each other – at least in one round? So there is one guy defending the basket while the other highflyer try to punch the ball in his face.
    Imagine Blake Griffin killing Lebron and vice versa… This would be the most brutal sport since American Gladiators…would end in a royal rumble probably…

  17. One thing about dunk contest you didn’t mention : misses have to count. You sudstract points for every miss, you only allow a certain amount of tries, whatever. But there’s nothing worse for this contest than seeing a guy trying 10 times his dunk and missing.

    Remember back in the day they didn’t have that 2 minutes luxury. Of course some blew it and didn’t pull anything. But it was short and soon forgotten with the next dunker…

    and +1 on Shaq. I’m so glad team Chuck won. Charles is talking nonsense but at least he’s funny and has a heart as big as his belly ;-)

  18. ok i agree with Tas no twitter voting. i agree with skeets, let the fan vote be 1 of 5 judges im ok with that. no props bring it back old school. i understand what you guys are saying by fans always wanting something new but once the dunk is performed that all goes away. my point is….even if its a between the legs bounce ball dunk…..if done on the first attempt people will go nuts no matter that its been done 20 times already. a sick dunk, is a sick dunk, period. people will always appreciate that.

    end kenny smith as the on the court hype man. this isnt rucker park. his stories ruin it. last year was a complete joke when he brought out the choir then the car come on man. hiring shaq was a horrible move as well, hes the comedy relief guy but he isnt funny.

    anyway the only thing i actually look forward to is the 3point shootout. i still love that event. i think the skills challenge is just corny.

  19. preach skeet preach

  20. The new dunk contest

    The new dunk contest should become a real contest of dunking ability. Have 5 or 6 mandatory dunks for example the one hand, then a two hand dunk, then a one foot takeoff, then a two foot take off, then a free throw dunk, each player could add his own originality to the dunk but would have to complete them all. Finally have one or two original dunks, one with a teammate and another alone. To speed the pace up have them go in a line, if they miss the first attempt they go to the back of the line and get a second attempt but if they miss the second they can’t receive points for that dunk. Include real life judges keep a running total. No gimmicks, no hosts, introduce the type of dunk, line them up play some music and let them dunk. The Results a contest that will measure if they can dunk off one foot or two, if they can dunk from far away, and if they have any originality.
    Make it happen

    Jamie McBride

    Originally from Milton Ontario but living in South Korea

  21. 3 or 4 guys dunking 2 times each (ensuring no lame dunks). Only your best dunk counts (ensuring you could try something difficult without repercussions for a miss). 1 minute to execute your dunk (build-up, props preparation, and whatnot counting against your time). Good judges (no goofballs), not afraid to give an 8.5 for Evans 2 balls or a 7 to Williams Backboard 360.

    Very simple, no radical changes, fixing the problems

  22. Instead of a simple “Dunk Contest”, let’s make it a “Dunk On Contest” where each round the dunkers have to dunk on a defender. The defender gets tougher each round, so for example we could go first round an athletic guard (Westbrook?) second round an athletic forward (Trevor Ariza maybe?) and then the final round a shot-blocking center (JaVale McGee or DeAndre Jordan). You dunk on em, you advance. You fail, you’re out.

    I’ll be honest, I just want JaVale McGee to be involved in any way possible

  23. did skeets just say “anti-climatic”?

  24. They could make the Shooting Stars an all-legends competition. Let’s face it, no one cares about WNBA stars or current ‘stars’ (nothing personal, Chandler Parsons or Jerry Stackhouse), but imagine Allan Houston had Spree and Larry Johnson to go along with him and them copmeting against the Heat with Tim Hardaway, Thunder Dan & Jamal Mashburn.

    Or they could restore the old rivalries and make the teams (say 3-on-3 would be enough) go against each other. Wouldn’t you wanna see the Celtics (Larry, McHale & Ainge) play against the Pistons (Isiah, Joe D & Rodman) or the Bulls (Jordan, Pippen & Grant)

  25. Why not just rate the in-game dunks? They’re always infinitely more entertaining than anything we see in the dunk contest, the game almost always de-evolves into an impromptu dunk contest anyways, and you’re automatically guaranteed to have all the league’s top players involved.

    I’d love to see LeBron throw down a monster jam and run by the dunk panel glaring because Cheryl Miller only gave him an 8. Tell me the next time down the floor he’s not going to try and top his last dunk, or that Durant won’t try to get a 9 on the next possesion just to show LeBron up.

  26. Some variety of free-flowing format could definetly make things exciting again!

    Progression in difficulty of the dunks will ascend naturally with each dunk attempts and the crowd reaction will be amazing. It’ll create a battle-like setting and the intensity of reaction after each dunk alone could bless the champ. And the equally riled up judges can officially crown the obvious choice. People’s champ!

    I understand lack of super star power is more troubling.. and this free-flow format has its disadvantages it needs to kink out(dunker’s fatigue, lack of Twitter/SNS involvement, etc) but something needs to be done to make the dunk contest exciting again for us…

  27. most of these have been mentioned already:

    - max 1 prop dunk each
    - bring back judges
    - punish misses or only allow 1 miss per round
    - big prize money for the charity of each dunker’s choice
    - get rid of the apathetic crowd, get actual fans in

  28. How about making it into a Fast Break Contest?
    The in game dunks seems to be much more exciting than the contest itself nowadays.

    NBA selects 4 passers and 4 finishers. Each player anonymously chooses from other group. A pair is made if they successfully choose each other.

    Not only do we get great action, we can get great story lines like who chooses who, and which guy gets passed up till the end.

    To make it a little competitive, we can have them go against 1 or 2 of the top defenders in the league, depending on how hard you want the fast break to be.

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