Blog Entry

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:55 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 2:13 pm
Kevin Durant wants to stop things like this from happening. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ben Golliver 

There's a consensus: something big needs to change so that the 2012 Slam Dunk Contest never happens again.

In the immediate aftermath of Saturday night's Slam Dunk Contest, which was marred by zero All-Star participants, terrible dunks, too many scripted stories, an absence of judges and a sketchy fan voting process, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant made a clear statement: The NBA's biggest stars need to participate in future Dunk Contests.

"It's time for LeBron James, Mr. [Russell] Westbrook, Mr. [Derrick] Rose and Dwyane Wade to get in the Dunk Contest," Durant tweeted.

"Not me but I agree with the others," Wade replied.

On Friday, James told reporters that he would consider participating in the Dunk Contest if there was a substantial winner-take-all prize.

Durant's list of participants for a dream Dunk Contest is interesting, but imperfect.

Clearly, James is the holy grail. In the heart of his prime at 27 years old, he is probably the NBA's second best in-game dunker, trailing only Blake Griffin. A master of catching lobs, finishing with authority and getting way, way off the ground, he's an absolute no-brainer. Imagine full-court alley-oops, broken rims, backboard slapping. He could even dunk a ball then dunk his headband with the other hand as a response to all his hairline haters. He needs to do a Dunk Contest.

Westbrook, Durant's teammate in Oklahoma City, is an excellent pick as well. He flies at the rim like a scud missile, taking off from deep and finishing with plenty of force. He's got the charisma and moxie not to stand toe-to-toe with James too. He wouldn't shrink. He should definitely be in.

At 30, Wade's dunking prime is probably behind him, although he's still capable of putting anyone in the league on a poster. He would be better cast as the teammate/hype man for James and, realstically, these two would never face off against each other under any circumstances. If the Alpha Dog stuff is bad now, imagine the outcry and headlines if Wade somehow managed to upset James in a Dunk Contest. Let him throw the lob passes and dish out the daps.

Rose's inclusion by Durant is questionable. His physical talents are beyond reproach but his specialty is finishing lay-ups in traffic and/or after drawing contact, not dunking free of obstacles. Would he be compelling in this format? His personality doesn't exactly scream Dunk Contest. He's a technically sound dunker but his efforts are more likely to make you go "mmm" rather than get off your feet and scream.

If James and Westbrook are in this and Wade and Rose are out, the final two spots should be filled by Griffin -- obviously -- and either Dwight Howard... or Durant himself. Howard has been there, done that with the Dunk Contest many times before, but he always seemed to back up the stupid costumes and props with memorable dunks. His flying Superman slam/shove dunk, for example, will stand as a classic for decades. One of the all-time "Wow" Dunk Contest moments. Who wouldn't trade all of Saturday night's contest for that one dunk? No one.

While Durant is not a prototypical Slam Dunk competitor, he has absurd length, good hops, a star's personality and a respect for the history of the game that would likely inspire him to new levels of creativity. If anyone is going to come up wtih something that's never been done before, it's Durant. His wingspan would allow for up and under dunks from the baseline or behind the backboard. Surely James Harden could be on hand to provide the necessary passes and encouragement.

But this is exactly the problem. Everyone, including Durant, wants to see the stars in the Dunk Contest. But none of the stars, including Durant, is ready to step up and nominate themselves to be thrown into the ring.

No doubt, some prize money needs to be involved here, given how central an event this is on the NBA calendar. But the stars should look back at what past Dunk Contests have done for the likes of Howard and Griffin and realize that the "there's nothing to gain and so much to lose" argument doesn't hold much water. Does anyone honestly believe that James would fall on his face during a Dunk Contest? Come on. He would kill it, just like Griffin did last year, and then he would profit off of it for years to come, just like Griffin is doing right now.

Hopefully Durant's Twiter plea is the first in a wave that will finally convince these guys to suck it up and get out there. Peer pressure, in this case, is a very good thing.


Since: Feb 18, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2012 5:28 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

Suck it.. lol

Your a funny guy, i'm not feeding in to this or that about YOUR OPINION. I stated mines and you gave your insight, greatly appriciated I didnt know that you knew so much more about Lebron saying that he still wouldnt be in the dunk contest. Which doesnt matter anyway the TOPIC is Star players being in the Dunk Contest which may or may not boost ratings for All Star Weekend, A player in that type of tax bracket WOULDNT compete for a extra million you silly little man. You should start your own column labeled "I know PISS about sports" then Maybe more would care about YOUR OPINION. lol

Get off your moms couch and go get a job, worry less about how some one else views the Dunk Contest and more about getting that stick out from between your ass..

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:57 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

Hey, fingerpointer - suck it.

If Lebron's making $30M a year, of course $1M matters.  If you're making $300K and you get offered a $10K bonus, it matters, just like if you're making $30K and you get offered an extra $1K. 

But what really matters is that he said he WOULDN'T do it - Golliver completely botched the story.  When the reporter asked James if he'd do it for a million, James said sure, then corrected himself and said no, he still wouldn't. 

Unless the owners were the ones in the dunk contest, the comment about guys making billions talking about making millions makes no sense.     

Since: Feb 18, 2010
Posted on: February 28, 2012 5:35 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

I love how everyone that normally comments on another persons opinion adds the fact that they are "ghetto" or use "slang" does that even matter?? Doesn't matter what type of race you are, or the your background. Your opinion is your opinion, atleast that's what I consider when I speak or write about a column i've read. Regardless NBA stars will never play in a dunk contest even if the the price was right. They dont want to risk losing to a sleeper that only makes 800k a year. lol

Cheers to having an opinion about a subject that none of us REALLY care that much about anyway.. lol

Since: Feb 18, 2010
Posted on: February 28, 2012 5:25 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

After D-Wade spent close to 200,000 on a Birthday cake. No I dont think a Million is alot to these players. I'm comparing owners that are in the billions not PLAYERS. Wasnt the NBA locked out because those in the Billions (owners) were fighting with those in the Millions (players). To be honest, a million extra dollars wouldnt matter in the least bit to Lebron James. Maybe it would matter to a Delonte West.. lol, just read about him being homeless sleeping in his truck.. And yes of course Jordan, Drexler and the rest would compete for a million. What kind of contracts did they sign when they played.. Were they worth 200 Million, thats just what NIKE and Addidas is giving to players besides the 100's of millions they get from the NBA.

Dont be a douche know what your talking about before commenting on someone else's opinion @Sqwakman77

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 4:53 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

No answer but silent ignorance.  Nice.  You lose, just like in life, notpullinout.  You're a pathetic excuse for a human being.  Scum.

Since: Feb 28, 2012
Posted on: February 28, 2012 3:21 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

Lets be real the dunk contest is a waste of time for a start. the way it is conducted now is horrible. I can try to dunk 30 times in a minute and half(after attempt two it has lost its flare). Also, people dont respect a good dunk. they wanna see you jump over the hood of a car to win even if its not the best dunk in the contest. Lets be real Blake is a hard and powerful dunker but dunk last year was hardly worthy of a dunk championship. Lebron would kill the dunk contest but no one would like it bc he doesnt want to jump over his 3 teammates or a tractor trailer......Dunk contest has always been for the young rising stars. Maybe some will come along sooner or later.

Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:44 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

Silly Monkey tricks are for kids

Since: Feb 22, 2012
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:31 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

Was nobody watching the rising stars game this year?  John Wall looks like he is a better in game dunker than Derek Rose and maybe even Russell Westbrook.  I would end this fan voting crap and bring back the ambiance of past winners doing the judging.  Then, instead of putting just 4 guys in it, do it old school with as many guys that want to participate. Id say 8 total. Turn it into the biggest event in allstar weekend history. Bring in a bunch of sponsors and come up with a prize these guys would be willing to play for. My list of targets would be in this order.

1 Lebron James
2 Blake Griffin
3 Dwight Howard
4 Kevin Durant
5 John Wall
6 Derek Rose
7 Russell Westbrook
8 Josh Smith
9 Andre Iguodala
10 Rudy Gay

The last thing that REALLY needs to happen to save the dunk contest is to cut out these ridiculous props.  No cars, motorcycles, chiors, celebrities, cupcakes, whatever! Now if a guy wants to throw down with to basketballs or on two rims, by all means let him. IF a guy like Howard wants to dunk on a 12 foot rim, LET HIM!  But if you think about the best dunks in most contests that we all wish would return, none that I can think of include silly gimics.  The Jordan, Spud, Wilkins era and the Vince Carter show, Jason Richardsons throw downs, Iggy and JaVale's performances (both were robbed) none included cars, cupcakes or choirs.

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:48 pm

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

If the Dunk Contrest was good for Dr. J, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Clyde Drexler, who says Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant can't participate?  Jordan owed some of his success to winning the Slam Dunk Contest.  Let's make it happen!!

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:48 am

Durant: LeBron, stars need to save Dunk Contest

LeBron said he would do the contest if there was a big enough incentive ($).

Kinda.  Sorta.  I guess.  But not exactly.  In fact, not at all.  Some clown reporter said 'if there was a million dollar prize, would you do it?"  James initially said he would, but immediately changed that to "no".

People really need to go a step deeper than taking what some sportsline "reporter" puts out, because it's not like this one was really concerned with the truth.     

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or