The Student News Site of Weber State University

The Signpost

The Signpost

The Signpost

The Signpost

Latest YouTube Video

Opinion: Dunking on the dunk contest

When people think of the Dunk Contest, they think of Michael Jordan jumping from the free-throw line, Vince Carter’s 360 Windmill and the battle between Aaron Gordon and Zach Lavine in 2016. This year was the worst dunk contest in history.

The NBA dunk contest has been a staple of All-Star Weekend
The NBA Slam Dunk Contest is a staple of All-Star Weekend.

Rocket Mortgage Field House in Cleveland, Ohio, held the NBA All-Star Weekend this year, where the expectations were high for the 75th anniversary of the NBA.

The NBA Slam Dunk Contest has been the staple of All-Star weekend, and in recent years it has not lived up to what it once was.

Some say that every dunk has been done, but dunks still need to be executed well. There were a lot of missed dunks in this year’s contest. Once you see something the first time, it excites you. When you see failed attempts more than once, it negates excitement. It didn’t seem like any of the contestants had practiced this year.

The most exciting dunk contest in recent years was 2016’s. The creativity between Lavine and Gordon was terrific. The hoverboard, mascot and unique techniques they used were amazing. They spoiled it for us because we expect it to be that great every time. Excitement is everything, and I feel like dunkers have to be more creative.

Sports journalist Stephen A. Smith suggests that it should be a national slam dunk tournament. We find the top 10 dunkers, and we get NBA players to sponsor them and have people off the street who will be in the dunk contest. Doing this won’t put pressure on the players, and you will have professional dunkers who can become known to the world. This is an idea that I agree with, as well.

Obi Toppin won this year's dunk contest.
Obi Toppin won this year's dunk contest.

Elite players haven’t been in a dunk contest in years. There are many stars who would be great, though, but none of them want to participate. Imagine having Ja Morant, Zion Williamson, Lavine and Gordon all in the dunk contest. That has the potential to be the most fantastic one yet!

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry has changed the game. People see 3-point shooting as more exciting than dunks. Many people want the 3-point contest to be the last event of the night just to get the dunk contest over with so they can see something exciting. I feel like doing that diminishes the dunk contest, and we have to reinvent the event somehow.

I feel like the best way to get the dunk contest to be the most exciting part of Saturday night is by having the premier players in the league partake in it. The thing about that is that they won’t. We all wanted to see LeBron James in the dunk contest, but that has never happened. He’s one of the most athletic people to ever play the game, and it’s a shame that we haven’t seen him in the dunk contest.

Obi Toppin won this year’s dunk contest, but was it a win? You can’t see it like that. I feel like the NBA Slam Dunk Contest has to develop into something more unique or create excitement.

Next year, All-Star Weekend will be held in Salt Lake City, and I’m curious to see the changes they will make to the dunk contest after this year’s awful display.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Rayshaun Baker-Lynch, Asst. sports editor