Citing that he doesn’t believe he’s an acrobatic dunker, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has decided to not participate in the upcoming Slam Dunk Contest when the NBA’s All Star festivities kick off on the weekend of February 20th. While the news has been accepted with some degree of personal sadness — blame my self-admitted man-crush on the OKC guard — it’s easy to understand Westbrook’s decision. He’s a power dunker who will mash it in your face during a game, but he doesn’t break out double windmills in the process.
In light of Westbrook’s decision, I figured this post would be a great place to feature a tribute to the kinds of dunks we’ll be missing out on:
Yeah, the 2010 Dunk Contest was pretty much a failure, except for Krypto-Nate. However, instead of trying to fix it, I have another suggestion: Get players that actually want to be in the thing. That, alone, would improve upon it, because then, you’d have other dunkers besides Nate Robinson who give a damn about the competition. Look, the dunks DeMar DeRozan put down were nice to look at. Hell, the dunk he threw down, courtesy of Sonny Weems’ pass off the side of the backboard might have been the best technical dunk of the evening.
Unfortunately, DeRozan delivered it with about as much charisma as an insurance adjuster.
While I still say Howard’s off-the-backboard dunk (the side of it) was better — remember kids, bring a finishing dunk to your dunk contests — Nate Robinson’s was on David Letterman, recreating his Krypto-Nate dunk, complete with the green Knicks uniform (St Paddy’s Day alternates?). This time, however, Robinson didn’t have to jump over a 6-11 manchild. Instead, Letterman offered his stage manager as the prop.
Krypto-Nate cleared him easily.
Surprisingly, the Knicks haven’t yet cashed in on their jumping-jack’s new-found fame. The green alternates aren’t available on the team site’s store.
So, which dunk was better? Nate’s “Jumping over Superman” or Dwight’s when he caught it off the side of the backboard? While Nate deservedly won — thanks to Howard’s lack of a strong closing dunk; he should’ve saved 12-foot dunk until last — I’ve been having a hard time separating the two. Some say Robinson, and because that dunk essentially won him the contest, it’s hard to argue against. However, if the contest were based solely on the following two dunks, who would be your champion?
The NBA Dunk Contest is Saturday night, meaning a lot of sports-watching males will probably miss because of Valentine’s Day duties. For those of you lucky enough to either have a partner who likes basketball, or if you are single, there’s been a Dunk Contest development to relay: Memphis high-flier Rudy Gay has been replaced by Denver’s J.R. Smith. Smith participated in a previous contest when he played in New Orleans, and as the above video shows, he does indeed have dunking skills.
A nice behind the back finish is always something to appreciate. With that in mind, who ya got? To assist in your decision, here are the dunk contest preview videos. After the jump >>
During last night’s Philadelphia 76ers/Miami Heat game (surprisingly, the Heat lost as the Sixers rolled), Dwyane Wade and Rodney Carney decided they would start next Saturday’s NBA Dunk Contest a little early. The results were tremendous.