When was the last time you actually paid attention to the NBA Slam Dunk competition during NBA All-Star Weekend? If you’re like me, then it was somewhere between 12-15 years ago. The contest has been so forgettable that I can’t even pinpoint when I last snored and complained about it.
The lack of creativity, the multiple missed attempts, and the introduction of props turned the contest into some ridiculous, cheesy sideshow. It became more about the player’s antics, the props, and costumes (looking at your Dwight Howard, Nate Robinson and Blake Griffin) than the actual dunks.
That’s until Minnesota Timberwolves’ rookie Zach Lavine walked into the Barclays Center with his “Space Jam”, behind the back off the bounce, and a couple between the leg dunks.
He killed the contest. Unless he’s back next year to defend it, they should retire the contest for a couple years.
The 6-5 rookie electrified the crowd with his first two dunks, setting up expectations that Lavine couldn’t live up to in the second round. It didn’t matter, he still ended up winning despite his first two dunks being the better duo of the four.
Not only were all of Lavine’s dunks creative, they were made all the more spectacular by how he exaggerated the moves, the smooth transition of those moves, and how cleanly the ball went through the hoop when he dunked them. Nothing choppy, no rattling, no barely getting the ball above the rim — just straight up powerful slams.