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Old 02-27-2013, 08:29 PM
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Default LeBron James & The Dunk Contest

So this has been a hot button topic on ESPN for a while now. LeBron has sent out a few cryptic tweets, hinting at participating in the future, and as we all know, nothing happened this year. More fuel was added to the fire, when video footage and the knowledge of LeBron's pre-game warm-up dunks surfaced. "If he can do it in warm-ups, then why is he so hesitant to do it in the actual dunk contest?" His detractors seem to share this same line of thinking, but I think it's a non-issue. He's just having fun, and it was pointed out on various ESPN shows today, but Heat tickets are fucking expensive (they also jacked up the ticket prices after the Shaq trade). So I don't see a problem with LeBron giving the early crowd a little show.

Personally, I think it's an issue that's being blown out of proportion. If LeBron wins, what could he possibly gain from a victory? More sponsors and commercials? Whether he wins or loses, people will find something to gripe about regardless.

The dunk contest during NBA All-Star weekend hasn't been worth watching in years. Dwight Howard's Superman act was horribly overrated, and Nate Robinson had his little run, but the recent dunk contests don't have the same wow-factor from past contests with Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, or Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan. Those days are long gone, and if the NBA decided to scrap the dunk contest from All-Star weekend, I wouldn't miss it one bit.

So, should LeBron participate in the dunk contest?
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:40 PM
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Not if he doesn't want to. Back when he was 20, 21, 22 it would've been a better idea. Now that he's going to be 29 he'll have better things to do then try to win the crowd over with some dunks. While I think it'd be great if they had a combination of him, Griffin, Dwight, and Nate Robinson (former winners + biggest star), it's not gonna happen. Nor should it if he doesn't want to. I can't believe the dunk contest is getting as much attention as it is.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:31 AM
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Basically what Megatron says...and....who cares? It's one lousy night people don't care about anyways. If LeBron wants to, great. If not, great. It's amazing the lengths people will go to in order to bash the greatest player of our generation.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:07 AM
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As far as I'm concerned, this is a non-story. ESPN rides Lebron James's jock so they've made this into a story. I'm not a fan of the guy BUT Lebron James can do whatever the hell he wants to do. It really makes me mad that so many people have this sense of "entitlement" in sports. This guy should take "less" money, that guy should play through injury, etc. etc. Whatever his reasons are for not wanting to do the dunk contest, that's fine. He doesn't HAVE to do it, unless NBA rules or his contract requires it, which they don't.


I can't believe I'm defending Lebron James.
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Connor View Post
The dunk contest during NBA All-Star weekend hasn't been worth watching in years. Dwight Howard's Superman act was horribly overrated, and Nate Robinson had his little run, but the recent dunk contests don't have the same wow-factor from past contests with Vince Carter, Kobe Bryant, or Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan. Those days are long gone, and if the NBA decided to scrap the dunk contest from All-Star weekend, I wouldn't miss it one bit.

So, should LeBron participate in the dunk contest?
Your points are right but that's the problem.

Every great player who has been regarded as an elite dunker has performed in this contest, except for Mr. James. But I don't expect Lebron to compete in a contest with nobodies where there is nothing to gain.

The contest doesn't have the "wow factor" you speak of because of the lack of name value.

Here's the simple three part solution to revive All-Star Saturday's supreme selling point...

1) A new format where no props are allowed:
The most you can have is one teammate as a helper, and you aren't required to use them. They can throw you the ball, you can dunk over them, whatever, but only one designated person and one basketball. Period. This makes the contest feel more in line with the earlier contests between the likes of 'Nique and MJ and prevents a player like Lebron from losing out to some ridiculous gimmick. The idea- the best dunker wins.

2) Find a sponsor willing to donate an extreme amount of money(like $1 Million) to the charity of the winner's choice:
Winning large sums of money for their chosen charity is the one way to entice rich athletes/celebrities to participate in something they would normally refuse to. The built-in PR is too much to let pass.

3) With these prior two provisions in place, now pitch the contest to a select group of the league's top dunking stars:
First this is contingent on getting Lebron(because if not, who gives a fuck anyway), after he is on board, you extend invites to the likes of Griffin, Gay, Westbrook, Howard, Josh Smith, etc. and assemble a group of 4-6 guys that people will care about. This way all guys are all-star caliber and don't have to feel like they have everything to lose by dunking against guys who are non-rotation players.


If they put the first two changes in effect players would have little reason to hold themselves out and the third domino becomes a realstic possibility, leaving us with the first dunk contest in years that is destined to peak the basketball world's interest.
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