by E. Spencer Kyte, Bugs and Cranks
The lineup for the 2008 NBA Slam Dunk Contest has been announced and finalized and all I can say is... Who Cares?
The dunk contest is dead to me. It has been for a while. In one year it was brought back to life and laid to rest forever. That year was 2000, the year Vince Carter murdered the Slam Dunk Contest.
Even the NBA knew the Dunk Contest was dead, having pulled the plug on the spectacle at the 1998 All-Star Game, 10 years after the last meaningful competition.
'88 was the last year His Airness won the Slam Dunk Contest. Sure, 'Nique won in 1990, but once MJ decided he was done with it, it became a bit of a sideshow instead of the main attraction that it had been. I mean, who doesn't remember the battles between MJ and 'Nique or when Spud Webb shocked everyone by upsetting the Wilkins in '86?
But since then, everything was about gimmicks and the dunk contest went down for the count.
Dee Brown's "Blind Dunk," Cedric Ceballos' "Blindfold Dunk," Harold "Baby Jordan" Minor. C'mon!
I'll give Isiah Rider credit for impressing me with the "East Bay Funk" in 1994, but two years later came the death rattle. "The Ghostface Killer" Brent Barry won with his lame free-throw line dunk and the execs at the NBA knew they were in trouble.
The year Kobe won, the rules had changed and it was some "Do as many dunks as you can in 5 minutes" deal. I can't lie. I didn't even watch it. I had been out since '94.
Then came the Dark Ages, literally. One cancellation and one lookout gave everyone a two year break from crappy dunks by mediocre guys who get no burn because all they can do is dunk.
2000 changed that. People were hyped again. Big names were getting involved. Things would never be the same.
BVC - Before Vince Carter (stay with me people) - guys would come up with one "WOW" dunk, the one that brought Shaq out of his front row seat to focus his camcorder on you and TNT to run his expression over and over and over.
That night, ever dunk Carter delivered made people stand up and take notice.
The Corkscrew 360.
The Under the Rim Windmill.
The Bounce Between The Legs from T-Mac.
The Honey Dip.
The Two Handed, Mid-Circle Finale.
(just click and enjoy the memories)
AVC - After Vince Carter - Who Cares?
Do you remember who won the Dunk Contest in 2001, the one right after Vince brought it back to life and killed it in five dynamic dunks?
Desmond Mason. Exactly.
Sure, Jason Richardson did some pretty nice stuff winning back to back in '02 and '03, but none of it was on par with VC.
Fred Jones? Are you kidding me? If I remember correctly - and I do, trust me - he nearly missed his last dunk and he kinda just threw the ball in the hoop. It wasn't so much a dunk as a line-drive shot from 6 inches away...
Even my man Josh Smith was nice, but not VC nice. I mean, he resorted to the old school hookiness that used to prevail in dunk contests past by busting out the Dominique jersey. Was it a nice little homage and kinda fun? Yeah, but it didn't make his dunks any better.
2006 was the final sign for me that Vince had actually killed the Dunk Contest, because not only did AI2 get robbed of a crown he rightfully deserved, he got robbed because Nate Robinson got to try the same dunk 438 times before hitting it without penalty. How's that work?
All I know of last year's Dunk Contest is D12 slapping a sticker 12'6" up the backboard. Seems Gerald Green won. He even broke out the Dee Brown "Blind" thing again. Schmaltz!
This year's lineup features Green defending his title, D12 coming back, Rudy Gay,who has been soliciting dunks on the 'Net and Jamario Moon, the first Raptor to enter AVC.
Who's going to win? I don't know. I don't care. The Dunk Contest is dead to me. Thanks VC.
by E. Spencer Kyte, Bugs and Cranks