Slam Dunk Contest: On the Brink of Extinction

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By: Travis Thayer

Every year I like many others look forward to NBA All-Star Saturday. Each event is supposed to showcase the talents of NBA superstars. There is one problem thought, where were the superstars? Outside of Kyrie Irving’s performance in the Three-Point Contest, NBA All-Star Saturday was embarrassing and very tough to watch. The night’s premiere event was the worst of them all. The Slam Dunk Contest has become unbearable. I truly thought that this year would be different, and the likes of James “Flight” White and Gerald Green would be able to resurrect the historical event. Both men were huge disappointments, and it appeared to me that the lights were on a little to bright. The fact of the matter is that the individuals who participated in the Dunk Contest were out of their league. None of the participants have ever done anything great in the NBA, so how could we expect them to do something great in the Dunk Contest. If the Dunk Contest doesn’t attract the games biggest stars, and it doesn’t go back to it’s original format then I’m afraid the event may cease to exist. There is only one man who can save the Dunk Contest, and that man’s name is LeBron James.

Many people in the sports world have been clamoring for LeBron to enter the Dunk Contest. I for one have never thought LeBron has to do the Dunk Contest, until last night. Most people want him to participate in the contest so we can have one more thing to compare him to Michael Jordan. The real reason he must participate in the contest is to save it. The event itself was an instant success because of the star players who chose to dunk. We no longer see the Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant type of player participate in the Dunk Contest. Therefore, the sentiment is that the Dunk Contest has lost its luster. Nobody wants to watch no-name players try to put on a show. We want to see the very best players showcase their talents on a night that is designed to give us memories we can relive forever. LeBron James has the power to generate excitement about this event. If he announced today that he will participate in the Dunk Contest next year the whole NBA fan base would go bonkers. More stars would be more likely to join in if LeBron got the ball rolling. The solution is quite simple, LeBron needs to compete in the Dunk Contest. He can provide instant credibility to the contest, and other great players will follow suit. Under the new East versus West format there is room for six players. I suggest that the East squad be comprised of LeBron James, Derrick Rose, and John Wall and that the West squad be comprised of Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, and Andre Iguodala. All six men have a unique dunking style, and all six men are considered great players by their peers. So I beg you LeBron James, enter the Dunk Contest and save this precious event.

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