The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883

The Vermont Cynic

Filed under Columns, Sports

NBA Slam Dunk Contest has lost its importance

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It’s time to officially abandon the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

The Slam Dunk Contest has often been seen as the marquee event of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, where recently four NBA players will appear on center stage to show off choreographed slam dunks that all look vaguely similar.

The contest has turned away from what made it great in the recent social media age, and has become borderline unwatchable for basketball fans in the last few years.

Players tend to bring out the biggest celebrities they can find and somehow incorporate them into their planned dunk, and following with ridiculous celebrations to gain a bigger following on social media or to become a more recognizable figure in the NBA.

The best players have started to refuse to participate in the event, watering down the talent level of the event to mostly players who are generally unknown to those who aren’t diehard basketball fans.

In the early years of the Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA’s best players participated in the event, making it a good opportunity for players to challenge themselves against their peers, and made it enjoyable for the common fans of professional basketball.

Legends Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins and Kobe Bryant all participated in and won a contest during their careers.

These early contests all were based on raw physical ability and a certain degree of creativity, as there were no props or overly complicated dunks performed.

Recent contests have long been ridiculed for the participants’ dunks, which have included jumping over a parked car, dunking a ball suspended above the rim from a drone, and jumping to dunk over DJ Khaled while he takes a selfie of the whole experience — I can’t make this up.

Many of these elaborate dunks take more than one attempt to perform, which takes away from the appeal.

Essentially, the Slam Dunk Contest was great when the best and most athletic NBA players wanted to take part in it.

Now, players are using it as their platform to make a name for themselves in outlandish ways because their play on the court isn’t necessarily good enough to do that for them.

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
NBA Slam Dunk Contest has lost its importance