Featured Gallery, NBA / Dec 8, 2010 / 3:00 pm

Let Them Dunk! The Ultimate 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Field

Blake Griffin (photo. Nicky Woo)

The NBA’s All-Star Weekend dunk contest has become somewhat of a broken record. What is supposed to be the most exciting event of an exciting weekend is slowly becoming more monotonous each year.

I’m not sure whether or not the participants understand that the concept is to go into the contest with dunks that you have done before — or at least dunks you know you’re capable of — but the fact of the matter is they need a reality check. Hyping up the crowd is cool and all, but did Josh Smith really think he could dunk from the top of the key? Going out in front of a packed arena and doing the first dunk that comes to mind is ruining a very precious NBA pastime.

Frankly, the NBA needs to start doing the dunk contest justice and turning it back into what it used to be, and players need to start taking it more seriously. Fans don’t want to sit through 15 dunk attempts only to be rewarded by a pedestrian “I don’t know what else to do” finish. Then what kills me about the entire thing is that those pedestrian dunks are still getting 10’s! With the exception of Dwight Howard‘s “Superman” campaign and Nate Robinson‘s “Krypto-Nate” outing, the dunk contest has been lacking the memorable performances that my generation grew up watching. Thankfully, a few players have proved capable of putting on a memorable show thus far this season. Here are my early picks for the 2011 dunk contest:

Shannon Brown (Lakers) — Despite a disappointing performance in last year’s contest, Shannon is without a doubt one of the NBA’s best dunkers. I don’t know if he just didn’t practice last year, but it looked as if Shannon wasn’t quite sure how to display his incredible athleticism. Now that he has his feet wet on the big stage, look for him to be a little more comfortable out there if he’s selected. Anyone who puts up jaw-dropping jams like the ones Shannon delivers has a chance to put on a pretty good show.

Terrence Williams (Nets) — Although he has had a rocky season, recently being sent down to the NBA’s D-League, T-Will’s reputation as a high flyer is notorious. His athletic ability has been compared to greats like LeBron and D-Wade; electrifying jams are T-Will’s specialty. A big part of the selection process is choosing players that will put forth their best effort, and there is no question that T-Will will take it upon himself to put on a show for fans around the globe.

Eric Gordon (Clippers) — Who knew Gordon could jump like this? Sure, he could always jump, but when did he make the transition from being a good dunker to an exceptional dunker? Among guards in the League, Gordon is getting more highlight dunks than anyone this season, surprising those who thought he was just a shooter. The dunk contest needs Gordon because he is one of those players capable of adding creativity to his athleticism. Having agility in the air is a key factor, and Gordon has that, too.

Blake Griffin (Clippers) — If there is one obvious choice for the 2011 dunk contest, it’s Griffin. Freak athleticism and power like his is exactly what fans are looking for in the dunk contest. I don’t think anyone knows how high Griffin can really jump, because it seems like he just gets higher and higher on his jams. His compilation of highlight dunks this season have been some of the most incredible ever for a rookie. People were beyond impressed when Dwight Howard threw the ball through the rim in his superman cape during the ’08 contest, but Griffin did it in an actual game when he put poor Timofey Mozgov‘s head right under his crotch as he soared through the air for the throw-in. Who knows what he could bring to the table under the bright lights of the dunk contest.

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  • Large

    Igoudala and Derrick Rose need to be included.

  • Large

    & J.R. Smith.

  • Rafa23

    What about Westbrook? guy is an animal…

  • ConneX

    Derrick Rose doesn’t get a mention and Eric Gordon does?…

  • http://www.roidrage.com Chicagorilla

    Terrance Williams is the only one from this list i would choose. Im a huge Blake Griffin fan but the dunk contest is not for him. Not this year at least. He was in the Mcd’s contest and wasnt impressive at all. Shannon is my homie and all but he has no style at all. His dunks are plain stiff with no body movement. And please no one mention DRose, because as high as he jumps, he also lacks creativeness. Here are the guys id like to see; Andre Igudola.- angry dunker who has creativity. TWill- carbon copy of Iggy. Russell Westbrook- if not for dumb fans voting in Rudy Fernandez, Russ could have a dunk title already. Lebron – i dont think hes creative at all, but he kinda needs this at this point of his career. Chase Buddinger- if he can do what he did at the McDs game then he could win. The guy gets up. Rose and Griffin are guys that would need to study TEAM FLIGHT Bros Youtube clips before they enter a dunk contest. They have the vert and body control though.

  • DH

    Why not have a big man contest and a little man contest? McGee, Howard and Griffin would be sick for the big guys.

  • haslem

    Shannon Brown shouldn’t his dunks are amazing but not very creative. Creativity is key.

    I say take McGee he’s not too creative either but he’ll make up for it by jumping over the backboard

  • JAY

    If that’s the best field Dime can come up with, maybe the NBA should just cancel the Dunk-off.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Derrick Rose has already said he’s not a contest guy and wouldn’t do it.

    @Chicagorilla — Didn’t Blake win the McD’s contest?

  • Pugz

    @Chicagorilla You’re basing everything of the McDonald’s all American game are you dumb? That has absolutely nothing to do with the NBA dunk contest, stop hating on Griffin and trying to put in Chase Budinger.

  • where high ankle sprains happen

    like i said a couple weeks back when dime had the griffin dunk package up. Blake does not need to be in the dunk contest, he is by far a in game dunker. you put him in the dunk contest and ur going to be bored,example i gave was shannon brown, funny how he’s on your list too

  • stefan

    ok, so we have a disappointment from last year, then a guy that has to be called to the big league first, eric gordon which is an in-game dunker and griffin…
    now u just made so curious to see who’s gonna be in the contest

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Shawn Kemp did pretty good in the dunk contest when he was known as more of an in-game dunker.

  • King

    “His compilation of highlight dunks this season have been some of the most incredible ever for a rookie”

    Ummm Did you forget Vince’s rookie year

  • http://dimemag.com Chicagorilla

    @Austin, dont remember if Blake won, but he had basic windmills and off da glass stuff. Nothing to creative though. I would be shocked if he can channel Shawn Kemps creativity. Maybe you guys at DIME can show he and Shannon how to look on Youtube for creative dunks. Back in 2000 it was said that VC copied the “chicken wing dunk” from Jamel Pugh. Hoopstv/DIME even interviewed Pugh later that summer about it. If Blake or Shannon can try and copy/modify the dunks from Team Flight Bros then we can have an amazing contest. @Pugz, are you some kinda idiot or just being your natural d!ckheaded self. The McDs dunk contest was only a few years ago for Chase and Blake. And for LBJ and Shannon. Its also the only time any of them competed in a dunk contest (excluding midnight madness which isnt a contest). If im not supposed to judge them off of that then what do you use outside of game footage? Yeh thats what i thought idiot.

  • hakasan

    please blake, don’t do the dunk contest… your clippers need you to be healthy!! please don’t do anything that may cause a freak injury!!

  • JBaller

    I know it’s been said already, but I like Westbrook for the dunk contest. I also like Shannon Brown for the 3 point shootout as well as the dunk contest.

  • slickyrickyross

    HOW ABOUT SOME LOVE FOR MY BOY COREY BREWER??

  • ugly_fish

    Sam Young
    Sonny Weems

    Shannon Brown can jump and he’s athletic but when was the last time anyone see him do anything other than a “take-off far away statue of liberty dunk”??? He ain’t creative. But please no more Nate robinson…too gimmicky.

  • http://dung dung

    john wall anybody??

  • LMNOP

    The league should switch up the format. Have a single representative from The East and West All Star, The Rookie and the Sophomore Team enter it.
    That would get the big names back in it and if the players are repping something they might try harder.
    The trouble with the Dunk contest these days isnt that there aren’t loads of great dunkers, its that they Just Dont Give A Fuck.

  • Mtx

    Blake Griffin
    JeBron Lames
    Iggy
    Javale McGee
    Josh McRoberts
    Chase Budinger
    J-Smoove
    Hakim Warrick
    Russell Westbrook
    Rudy Gay
    Sonny Weems
    J.R. Smith

  • nizzio

    LeBron James should be in the dunk contest. That would increase his popularity in the league. I am also willing to put Shannon Brown back in. He should be more comfortable now. And why isn’t anyone mentioning DeMar DeRozan? He is incredible. He is the only plus side of last years contest! And no Blake Griffin. He’ll just be another Dwight Howard. Westbrook would be great though

  • Chaos

    They need to increase the size of the field again from 4 to 6 or 8 or have head to head match up tourney. If you have match ups then that will force the participants to be more creative…

    I say

    Andre Iguodala
    Terrance Williams
    Lebron (even if he doesn’t win, he will get respect)
    Sonny Weems
    Russell Westbrook
    JR Smith
    Nick Young
    Chase Budinger
    c

  • nbaman

    What about high flyers like Scal and Harangody?

  • Stunnaboy2K11

    Give me Nick Young, Russel Westbrook, Blake Griffin/McGee and T-Will. All guys wo got ups and can at least get somewhat creative

  • Let’s Go Hawks

    @Jamie Canterbury

    Josh Smith never intended to jump from that far. He did it to measure his steps. People misconstrued that and got excited for no reason and over-looked his dunk: a two-handed double pump from the free throw line. That is something that I’ve only heard of James White and Smith doing

  • alex

    This is a pretty shitty list. Fuck shanonn brown. he didnt do SHIT last year

  • nisizzle

    haha, yea terrence williams is gonna b in the d-leauge dunk contest. the most realistic yet entertainging would be:
    1) Blake Griffin
    2) Wes Johnson
    3) Eric Gordon
    4) and hopefully Westbrook or Rose instead of Nate

  • Mtx

    I’m pretty sure Rose won’t be in the dunk contest. He said he’s only been in one dunk contest and said he didnt enjoy it that much

  • Bing

    Winning the dunk contest is exactly what LBJ’s damaged rep needs
    Bring some fun back to the game, young man.

  • ricky ross

    i dont wana see shannon brown again. he was pathetic last year and no, its not cuz hes a bad dunker. hes an in game dunker just like westbrook and rose. hope i dont have to see either of them at the dunk contest this year. eric gordon.. well he was alright last year but ye sure give him another chance. definetly want to see blake grifin in it. and about about iggy?? he got snubbed the year nate robinson won while iggy put up amazinggg dunks. rudy gay? not sure if hes a better in game dunker but hes an option. and why the hell is sonny weems not mentioned in this article.. cmon dime!! hes proved himself since last year and has been jamming every opportunity he gets. give him a chance. and terrence williams.. haha let him stay in d-league. heard he got called back up.. but thats only until he gets sent back

  • neoy

    no Rudy, no Nate, No Griffin No rose/westbrook

    dunk contest died long time ago

  • JAY

    @Bing: “Winning the dunk contest is exactly what LBJ’s damaged rep needs.”

    Has anyone ever been booed at the dunk-off? There’s a first for everything.

  • http://www.hoopsstarz.hu kiri

    ronnie price!!!! :)
    blake
    gordon
    rose/wall
    jr.

    but no shannon,nate and 8feet tall centers,aight? shannon is wack for this competition -too, nate is pushed so hard for (almost) nothing,his vertical is nice, but everybody remember the last 3 weak dunk contest…
    and mcgee howard is a joke, they are beast but no place at DC IMO, cuz they too tall thats wassup,shame on big guys 2 go DC!

  • david

    @chicagorilla

    derrick rose has o creativity in his dunks? did you see his windmill dunk in a game in high school? he threw it down hard..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cIWrG5JGFE
    haven t seen westbrook doing that in a game or what about this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLsaXkMs9XE
    just saying DRose would be ice in a dunk contest, so does westbrook…

  • kingralf

    omg pls save blake´s body and don´t get him hurt in this kind of stupid contest. it´s the curse of the clippers, as soon as someone seems promising they´ll just lose some legs or something

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    @David,

    Come on man, I been watching Rose since his HS days and no he doesn’t have dunk contest dunks. A windmill is the most basic dunk anyone can do, and that ish don’t fly in the dunk contest anymore. Dominique used them all up lol. Westbrook has the balls to try ANYTHING, thats how you know he’ll be good in a dunk contest. Plus he tried getting in his rookie year but fans were too dumb and voted in Rudy F instead.
    And yes I saw Rose’s windmill, his back dunk in the dribble course AS weekend, and his double clutch cradle rock vs Boston last year. None of those would fair well in a dunk contest. If the ASG was in Chicago, then I think Rose would enter it, he kinda feeds off the crowd, so he would try it then.

    here is an example of what a dunk contest dunk should look like.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/Hoopmixtape#p/u/1/7pIICwLtC8k

  • Jane

    1. Blake Griffin

    2. Russell Westbrook

    3. Eric Gordon

  • Hoodrich Episode 1

    the real dunk contest gotta be between

    griffin/dwight
    jr.smith/weems/iguodala/j-smoove
    rose/gordon/wall/nate

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b41fKHP_cE