Jeremy Evans beat Chase Budinger in the dunk contest, while the three-point contest had much more star power, with Kevin Love beating Kevin Durant for the title. Who cared? Not too many I guess, but Jeremy Evans, the 55th pick in the 2010 NBA draft, who plays 5.6 minutes a night for the Utah Jazz this season, deserved to win, although it showcased all that’s wrong with the dunk contest.
People jumping over people. People dunking off the glass. Innovation? Not this time. Star power? Ricky Rubio aiding Derrick Williams and P. Diddy letting Chase Budinger jump over him had more star power than the dunkers – Evans, Budinger, Williams, Paul George and Iman Shumpert. While having the people choose their champion via text and twitter, I preferred seeing Dikembe Mutombo jumping out of his seat while holding a 9 or a 10.
But this is normal for the dunk contest. There are those down years. It’s not the dunks. I don’t recall seeing much better dunks last year. But Blake Griffin made it interesting, made a show out of it. Serge Ibaka should have probably won it, but Griffin was mesmerizing.
Look, this isn’t some big problem with basketball needing to be fixed. It’s just a part of the show that isn’t as exciting as it once was. We’ve pretty much seen it all, and the only thing that separates the dunks and dunkers is their personality. I’m not saying Jeremy Evans isn’t a nice guy, but let’s just say that he doesn’t create too much buzz and interest around him. Neither did Chase Budinger, or even Paul George who might actually be an All-Star one day, unlike the rest of the troupe who contested with him.
Solutions? Stars, stars, stars. But they’re either afraid of getting injured, afraid of messing up some complicated dunk or the reason I once read about, saying they’re afraid they’d be recognized only as dunkers. I don’t know. If Michael Jordan had no problem, if Dominique Wilkins had no problem, during the late 80’s, when both were obviously much more than dunkers, than I don’t see why LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and others can’t give it a shot.