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Posts Tagged ‘Blake Griffin’

2013 NBA Slam Dunk Contest – An Epic Failure by the NBA and TNT

In Sports on February 17, 2013 at 11:11 am

Terrence Ross Slam Dunk

Remember the days when the NBA Slam Dunk Contest featured the stars of the game?  Those days are seemingly over, but if the NBA wants to make the contest relevant again, they better do something to get actual stars to compete in the All-Star Weekend competition that people look forward to the most.  After the competition was over, Kenny Smith talked about how the contestants were great dunkers, but that they were nervous.  To which Charles Barkley replied…“The reason those guys were nervous…they actually got in the game.” 

Get the hint NBA?  No one wants to watch relative unknowns dunking, no matter how good they might be.

Of course, if you live on the East Coast, you may not have heard the post-game analysis because it ended at a ridiculously late hour thanks to TNT’s attempt at prime time scheduling.  Anyone who planned on watching the competition on their DVR better have recorded “Sir Charles at 50” because that is where the final dunks and the announcement of the winner took place.

TNT may do a great job of covering the NBA during the regular season, and even the playoffs, but their coverage of the Slam Dunk Contest was abysmal.  It started much too late on the East Coast and there was a lot of unnecessary filler.  Aside from the friends and family of Fall Out Boy, does TNT really believe that any basketball fan tuned in to see their awful musical performance?  Was it really necessary to delay the Slam Dunk Contest further to squeeze that in?

Nick Cannon may have some talent, but his innocuous questions in the middle of the competition did nothing to add to the coverage. In fact, it made it worse.  If he had asked a meaningful question, the audience at home wouldn’t have heard the response because the audio quality was terrible, and Cannon’s microphone work was shoddy at best anyway.

With LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Kobe Bryant and the like watching in street clothes, NBA fans were treated to Eric Bledsoe, Kenneth Faried, Jeremy Evans, Gerald Green, James White and the winner of the competition, Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors. Of the six contestants, only Faried is an NBA starter.  In retrospect, perhaps TNT scheduled the event so late in the evening so that they had scapegoat for poor ratings.

There were some impressive dunks in the competition, but nothing that will ever be remembered years from now, or even talked about by basketball fans by the time that they return to work this week, especially those who have off for President’s Day.  At one point in the competition, Shaquille O’Neal jokingly called Ross “what’s his name” to get under Barkley’s skin because the “round mound of rebound” was clearly disgusted with the lack of star power in this year’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

The lack of star power was not the only problem with the Slam Dunk Contest.  The format is absolutely absurd.  It’s doubtful that there is a single NBA fan that cared about the East vs. West competition.  The NBA got lucky that two of the better dunkers were on opposite teams, but if there had been two dominant players on one side, it would have been a travesty to have only one of them advance to the finals because of some arbitrary, dumb format.

If the NBA and TNT cannot figure out a way to get the stars into the competition, they might as well cancel it, especially if they are going to show it so late in the evening.  The competition – which was once the highlight of NBA All-Star Weekend – is quickly becoming as relevant as the NFL Pro Bowl.  If the true NBA stars care about this competition, they need to step up and participate, and put the back-ups back on the bench where they belong.

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NBA Slam Dunk “Contest”: Blake Griffin’s Win Very Harlem Globetrotter-esque

In Sports on February 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Blake Griffin is a great dunker.  There is no arguing that.  In the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, Griffin had two memorable dunks, but only one of them was great, and it was NOT the one with the car and the choir.  That dunk only served to prove that the NBA planned on Griffin being in the finals and winning it all along.

Not since Curly Neal, Meadowlark Lemon and the rest of the Harlem Globetrotters toured with the Washington Generals, has the outcome of a basketball “contest” been so anti-climactic.

Griffin was the Harlem Globetrotters to Javale McGee, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka’s Washington Generals.  McGee, DeRozan and Ibaka never had a chance, which is a shame, since they all were impressive in their own right.

When Griffin’s very ordinary second dunk in the first round scored a 46, even the most casual fan had to suspect that the fix was in.  That dunk followed Ibaka’s creative and impressive dunk which only scored a 45.

Once Griffin was in the finals, with the fans deciding the winner, there was no way that anyone else was going to win unless Griffin totally missed his dunks.  The whole contest ended up being a mockery.

Griffin’s coach, Kenny Smith, served no purpose on the court other than to ramble on endlessly.  During the early round, his puffery about Griffin not needing props like the others ended up looking downright stupid when Griffin rolled a car onto the court for his final dunk.  The car was bad enough, but the choir that came onto the court as Griffin’s supporting cast turned a supposed sporting event into a joke.

Even the camera crew didn’t seem to know what to do with the choir, as they missed Griffin’s running start while showing a choir singer on camera.

While Smith was somehow able to orchestrate a pre-dunk standing ovation for Griffin which surprisingly included the judges, it doesn’t seem like everyone bought into the hype.  Charles Barkley openly mocked what was going on, serving as the voice of many fans watching on TV.

It came as no shock to anyone when Griffin was announced as the winner of the contest.  The obvious favoritism that was shown towards Griffin has turned this competition into an exhibition going forward.

LeBron James has resisted showcasing his skills in the dunk contest, but if he ever changes his mind and participates, they should just present the trophy to him before he or his competitors attempt their first dunk, since the presentation is nothing more than a formality anyway.

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