If you haven’t heard by now, the NBA and Sprite recently toured America looking for the best amateur dunkers in the country. In conclusion of the tour, 8 regional winners and 2 online submission winners were selected to be part of the final 10 contestants. From these final 10 dunkers, the top 4 vote getters (via public online vote) will be sent to the NBA 2010 All-Star Weekend in Dallas, Texas to participate in the NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest.
As a basketball fan, I view this as a great opportunity for some of these amateur players to get their name out there and receive a tremendous amount of exposure. These guys could have some sick dunks up their sleeves, which would bring some new excitement to the contest. Also, the chance to compete in the biggest Slam Dunk Contest in the world is definitely a story to tell the grandkids and the $10,000 cash prize wouldn’t hurt at all.
As an NBA fan, I am worried that this might scare some of the elite NBA dunkers away from entering the 2010 Dunk Contest. We all recently saw how much LeBron cares about his image especially when it comes to “dunking”. Would the opportunity for an Average Joe to outshine him in a dunk contest be too much for his ego? He did make a statement last All-Star Weekend saying that he would enter the contest.
LeBron is just one player, but what if defending champion Nate Robinson or other potential NBA participants are fearful as well? A $10,000 prize and a “slam dunk title” might not be enough to have persuade some of the NBA’s best dunkers.
In a perfect world, the NBA players would put their pride away and enter the contest simply for the thrill of competition. If they really are the world’s best basketball players, then they should simply just out dunk them and claim their throne as the best dunker of 2010. If an amateur ends up winning, it should be all in good competition and maybe the NBA players will come back with something more creative in 2011.
It’ll be very interesting to see which NBA players participate next year but here are my amateur picks (unfortunately James White still floats around in the NBA/D-League so he didn’t submit himself as an amateur):
Guy Dupuy –
Robert “Elevator” McKee –
Taurian “Air Up There” Fontenette –
Brandon “PS3” Stewart –
Who would you pick?