True Hoops

True Hoops

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Slam Dunk Contest

In the wake of Iman Shumpert, and therefore Jeremy Lin, having to pull out of Saturday's Sprite Slam Dunk Contest - there is little left to be desired in this year's event. Derrick Williams seems to be the only legitimate contestant and should be the favorite coming in. Dare I say that the Taco Bell Skills competition looks to be more entertaining? By the way, any chance they can get Jeremy Lin into that?

I've said it before, if the NBA was serious about the dunk competition, they would demand that LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, and Russell Westbrook face off. And just for good measure, the winner would then have a sudden death dunk off with Vince Carter (who can probably still put his thing down). What do we have to do to get this to happen? Do we have to talk some sense into LeBron and them?

Well, apparently the Clippers and Nuggets are as equally disappointed as I am, and therefore decided to hold an impromptu dunk competition last night at the Staples center. Of course in one corner, we had the reigning slam dunk champ himself, Blake Griffin. But in the other, as a challenger, we had obscure Nuggets rookie Jordan Hamilton.

Hamilton took the fight to Griffin early and looked to put pressure on the champ:

Not bad, not bad.
Nice usage of Reggie Evans as a prop.
All in all - "a little bit impressive."

So, how did Griffin respond?
Like a champ:


Lets take a look a the dunk check list.
Use of teammates: Chris Paul for the set up and DeAndre Jordan as an obstacle - Double Check.
Adequate distance from rim on take off: Dotted line - Check
Use of props: a recently vindicated Timofey Mozgov swiping at the ball, a helpless Andre Miller looking up in awe, and rookie Kenneth Faried's back as a mid-air seat cushion - Triple Check. 
Degree of difficulty: Switching from two hands to one hand several times in the air, finishing the dunk with the body almost in vertical position - Double check.
Finish/swag: Briefly sliding on the floor, then getting up and sprinting back on defense like he does this sort of thing on the regular - Check.

Do we even have to ask who the winner is?
You have to give Hamilton credit for having the gall to challenge Griffin on his home turf and serve up an odiferous facial slam. But the fact of the matter is, Blake's dunk was bigger, stronger, and nastier.

Come to think of it, this dunk off is a microcosm of what currently ails the Slam Dunk Competition. Yes, up and coming rookies and sophomores are eager participants that provide a certain level of cute entertainment. But it pales in comparison to the star power that the big boys have. They know how to turn the ordinary into flights of fantasy. They have the penash and it-factor to make us distort our faces in disbelief.

Here's hoping the NBA get's back on track.
If not, we still Have Blake Griffin during the regular season and playoffs.

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