CW & Bonk's 07-08 Slam Dunk Contest Recap
It's the All-Star weekend event that we've all been waiting for, the Wham Bam Thankyou Mam Slam Dunk Contest. Bonk and I will presenting you the
drunken ramblings very educated and insightful analysis from Saturday night's contest in all it's glory. Who had the goods and truly measured up? If you are reading this, you already know who won... but were they worthy of being crowned champion? After meeting the contestants, we've got our very own recap of last night's festivities below.
(Click "Read More..." for our review of this year's Slam Dunk Contest.)
Let's meet the contestants...
Contestant #1: Rudy Gay,
Rudy Gay can fly, that's not up for debate. But will he be able to pull off original enough dunks to wow the judges? Gay started all the online hoopla by issuing a challenge to fans: post your best dunks and Gay might pick one to try in the contest. He should have ample material to choose from, but will he be scorned for not having enough personal creativity? Odds 3:1
Defending Champion: Gerald Green,
If anything, Gerald Green will be well rested for the Dunk Contest; being that he rarely gets off the pine for the Wolves. The incumbent should have something to say about the winner of this year's contest, if these two videos are any indication. Odds - 2:1
Contestant #3: Dwight Howard, Orlando
The seven footer has almost unbelievable athleticism... so much so that it's almost not fair to the rest of the league. Does everyone remember his "Sticker Dunk" from last year's Slam Dunk Contest:
It's tough to throw down a dunk that will really impress the judges when he's so big, but this year he promised everyone that he has "some tricks up his sleeve." I think Howard took offense to his dunk getting overlooked at last year's contest, and will be back with a vengeance this time around. Odds - 3:1
Contestant #4: Jamario Moon, Toronto
The former Harlem Globetrotter and 27 year old NBA Rookie should not be discounted in this year's contest. He sure can jump, but will he bring the creativity and flair that is necessary to win? Odds - 4:1
And now... Let the games begin:
We were anxious for the event to start, after having to sit through the other competitions. Before the Slam Dunk contest started, Bonk and I bet $100 on the winner. I thought it would be Dwight Howard and he thought it was gonna be Gerald Green. So yeah, that worked out pretty well for me.
The voting panel was Magic Johnson, Dr. J., Chocolate Thunder Darryl Dawkins, Dominique Wilkins, and Karl Malone. Their voting was... inconsistent at best, throughout the night. I think Gerald Green was a bit underappreciated, and Dwight Howard was the crowd favorite from the get go. With that said, it was still a very awesome competition. Probably the best contest since Vince Carter in 2000.
Bonk stated how weird it was seeing Gerald Green with "Timberwolves" across his chest in the dunk contest. It almost looks awkward, and he's hoping that his confidence and swagger is still there like it was last year.
Here's video of everyone's first dunk in the first round...
Jamario Moon - I actually thought this first dunk was one of the best dunks of the night. The lobbed 360 one handed slam with a full extension was just beautiful. Bonk thought it was "HOT!" and that the score of 46 was pretty accurate. He also mentions that it's a good last name for a basketballer, which has little to nothing to do with the actual contest.
First Rashad McCants sighting of the entire night. We debate ways to end our lives.
On a lighter note, SILENT ABABU informed us that he was going to All-Star Weekend again this year "with Randy Foye." We have no reason to NOT believe him, as he showed us his plane tickets from last year's All-Star Weekend to Vegas. We are trying to see him in the crowd or something, but so far, it's been to no avail.
Rudy Gay - He missed his first attempt. That doesn't bode well, because it lowers the electricity factor. (cough cough Nate Robinson cough cough.) I don't even know how to explain his dunk... he ran on one side and kinda rocked it back and forth and dunked it with the other hand? The dunk was his last name, which is why it only got a 37.
Dwight Howard - Simply amazing. True, he missed the first time but it was so awesome it didn't matter. The fact that he dunks it from behind the basket with his head BEHIND THE BACKBOARD THE ENTIRE TIME is incredible. Everyone in the arena loves him, which prompts Charles to say "Ya'll the new Russian judges" which gets laughs all-around from us. Anyhow, he gets a deserved 50 for that dunk.
Gerald Green is next. What is he going to do? We are both nervous, but excited. I'd like to go back to this analogy from Britt Robson, which I think is fitting in any Gerald Green situation:
"I understand this is condescending, but I can't help but liken Green being in the game to a child holding a gun with a robber in the house: His family knows somebody is going to get hurt and they just hope they buck the odds and it turns out to be the other guy."
Honestly, Gerald could dunk from the 3 point line... or end up somehow killing a small child in the sixth row. Neither would really surprise me.
Gerald Green - We find out that he named this one "The Birthday Cake," which I thought was kind of odd since it was actually a "cupcake." But whatever, details-schmeetails:
As you can see from the video, McCants puts the cupcake behind the hoop, on the rim support and lights the candle. Gerald was apparently going to blow out the candle and dunk the ball... which seemed to us would be both mindblowingly awesome and incredibly dangerous at the same time (see above Britt Robson quote.) Gerald nails the dunk on the first try, and I'll be damned if he didn't literally BLOW THE CANDLE OUT! We were like, "HOLY ******* ****!" Bonk proceeds to text everyone he knows. We both agree that the last two dunks by GG and DH should both be 50's... however Gerald gets robbed by the judges and only lands a 46. This was one of the more creative dunks we've ever seen. I'm baffled that Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins would only give GG an 8. I mean, he knows a thing or two about dunking and I would have thought he could have appreciated Gerald's brilliance.
Here's video of everyone's second dunk in the first round...
Rudy Gay - He's first since he had the low score. Kyle Lowry with the "assist." He throws it off the basket support and Gay catches it and does a wraparound dunk. Kinda hard to explain, but that's what the video is for. It was pretty decent and creative, but I'm shocked he got a 48. Bonk, on the other hand thought it was one of the best dunks of the contest and thinks it will go down as being vastly overlooked. One of the few instances where we did not agree on the pimptasticness of a dunk.
Jamario Moon - He definitely blew this one. WHY did he put his tape 1 foot BEHIND the free throw line? He had no chance whatsoever of completing it from that distance. The dunk itself was decent, but he screwed himself with the tape. He ended up taking off about a foot in front of the free throw line. If he wouldn't have done anything with the tape at all, he would have probably gotten more points than 44. Also, if he could have truly taken off and dunked a lob from behind the tape, I think it would have probably been the greatest dunk in basketball history. I'm not sure what he did actually warranted a 44, and Bonk thought it was "disappointing. Warranted a 7... maybe an 8 tops."
Gerald Green - The badassness of this dunk was severely underrated. How did he only get a 45 when his eyes were above the rim? He could have done the mythical "kiss the rim dunk" that Dwight Howard is famous for doing in practice. McCants is sitting on top of a ladder positioned slightly to the right of the rim. GG takes off, McCants flips it up, and Gerald windmills it down. I think it would have been slightly better if McCants just held it up higher and didn't flip it... allowing GG to take it out of his hands and throw it home. That would have probably gotten a 50 from the judges. Still, his height on the dunk was amazing. The judges must not like him.
Dwight Howard - Pulls off the already famous "Superman" Dunk:
Here's an indepth explanation of his dunk , rather than me explain everything that you can clearly see for yourself in the video. D-Ho lands another perfect 50. At first, I thought this was the coolest dunk ever, and then I thought it was kinda lame... but upon further review I think I am coming around on it. It is true that he didn't dunk the ball, per se. However, he was so high in the air that he was able to "Thrunk" it. (A Throw-Dunk.) If you look at where he took off from (the dotted circle), and consider the fact that he had to first catch the ball at the apex of it's flight, it's pretty amazing to me. In terms of the creativity... he scores major points for his theme, as well as the Superman outfit and cape. You gotta admit, that is pretty dang cool. Have you ever seen a 7 footer jump like that? I know I haven't. I think his jump/flight is the most impressive part of the Thrunk. Bonk on the other hand, wasn't completely impressed. His issue was that the ball was Thrunked, rather than dunked. He's got a point, but upon further review was where I got sold on it. The judges are saying that the contest is over, but Bonk is not convinced. He thinks Gerald's got something impressive for the Finals. I'm just glad the judges had chances to watch replays this year before giving their vote... so that we didn't get another situation like last year, where they gave Howard a mediocre score for his "Sticker" dunk before they really knew what happened. Bonk thinks the announcers (Charles, Reggie Miller, and Magic Johnson) are exaggerating by calling this a "Top 3 Dunk of all time." I haven't decided yet if it is or not, but it will probably go down like that purely in terms of the orginality and Dwight's "showmanship" that was involved. Plus, it was obvious that the entire arena was loving Howard all night.
The first round ended the same way that we would have ranked them, with Dwight Howard and Gerald moving on to the Finals. The results were DHo (50), GG (91), Moon (90), and Gay (85). Gerald only got second place by 1 point, but the judging was pretty shady. We both agreed that Dwight's dunks were awesome, but Gerald was definitely not getting enough love. The score for the first round should have been closer between GG and DH than it was. Oh well, at least Green has a chance to redeem himself.
Here's video of the Final Round between Gerald Green and Dwight Howard...
Gerald Green - His first dunk was pretty awesome. After about 30 seconds of bad entry passes by McCants, we get to listen to a bunch of jokes about Gerald getting "someone that can actually pass" to help him with his dunk. I will admit that it was kinda funny at the time. His first dunk was nice, but it has been done before. If I had to rank it, I'd probably give it about a 47-48. Bonk thought it was "50 worthy" and Gerald should be leading. We are confused as to why there are no results from the judges, and then after a few minutes it finally sinks in that the worldwide Text Votes determines the champion. Definitely not sober.
Dwight Howard - Personally, I thought this was the best dunk of the entire night. I mean, wow. The Announcers are talking about how DHo "is a video game", but man, could you even do THAT in video games?!?! I don't think so. I mean... dang. He hit the ball to himself off the backboard and dunked it with his other hand! I give it a 572 out of 50. Dwight Howard has taken the creativity in this contest to a whole nother stratosphere. For his second dunk, he could just do a simple dunk of any kind... as he's already got this contest in the bag. Everyone absolutely loves him.
Gerald Green - Green loses his bout with creativity here. He takes off his shoes, signs them, and puts them on the judges table. Ummm... ok? He then does the exact same dunk he just did before, but in his socks. I thought it was pretty lame. His first two dunks of the night were far better.
Dwight Howard - Jumps from half court and dunks it! Holy crap!!! Ahhh just kidding. That would have been awesome though. His last dunk really wasn't that spectacular at all, but it didn't really matter at this point because he had already won. Jameer Nelson put a little mini nerf hoop on the backboard and they rested the ball in it. Howard grabs the ball out of it and dunks it in the real hoop. I really didn't think it was very cool but it didn't matter. He was already the champion based on his body of work for the night. It would have been way cooler if he put the mini hoop at 12 feet... or if perhaps he dunked a real ball in the real hoop and a mini ball in the mini hoop. Either one of those would have rocked my socks off.
In a last ditch effort to not lose his $100 bet to me, Bonk is texting in to vote for Gerald Green roughly 75 to 80 times. I voted for Dwight Howard once, secure in the fact that he decimated Gerald Green. Howard wins the judges votes with a clean 5-0 sweep. Each judge talks for a little while about his choice and then reveals it. Dr. J, god bless his soul, would not shut the hell up. He gave us a veritable history lesson about DHo winning. It was incredibly long. I thought he was never going to stop. The crowd was booing and Cheryl Miller was even fake snoring while waiting for him to get done. Very weird and very painful to listen to.
I hope for Gerald's sake, they don't show the results of the fan texting. Ooops, they do. Dwight Howard wins that 78% to 22%. Ouch.
Well, I win the bet and Dwight Howard is the champion. It was one of the better dunk contests that we've ever seen. Dwight Howard brought the creativity up to Gus Johnson-esque levels. Honestly, as a seven footer he had to go above and beyond to win... and he did. His dunks were brilliant and creative. Good for him, he's a cool dude in my opinion. With all that Dwight Howard manlove, I still think Gerald's dunks were underappreciated as a whole. Bonk did agree that Dwight was worthy of winning, but was just disappointed in the judges and announcers for being so blatantly on Howard's side. It seemed like they simply dismissed Gerald's dunks without even a second thought. I think the thing that hurt Gerald the most was the fact that his best dunks were in the first round, and he pretty much repeated his dunks in the Finals. Granted, you need to bust something out in the first round so that you ensure getting into the Finals, but he should have rotated one of his first dunks into the Finals and replaced it with the between the legs dunk. He would have still had enough to make it to the Finals in my opinion, and he would have had a much better chance at winning due to increased creativity and variety.
Regardless, way to represent Gerald... and props to you Dwight.
CW and Bonk