Tuesday, February 19, 2008

One word: Socks

Dwight Howard seems to have gotten his revenge for being slighted in last year's dunk contest. He claimed that the judge's did not entirely understand his dunks, and punished for simply being big.

This year, Gerald Green should have a beef.

The belief that every single one of D-Howard's dunks deserved a 50 is simply wrong, unless the criteria we are judging upon is charisma, hype, and prop usage.

The popular notion is that Dwight Howard's dunks showed us something we've never seen before while Gerald Green's were just modifications of earlier dunk contests.

This is just flat out wrong.

Dunk 1: This was basically the hang as AI2's dunk last year, except that AI2 had a passer and got much more air.

Dunk 2: We've seen this done a million times, most recently about 10 minutes before Howard did it by Jamario Moon. The only difference is that Howard did it with a cape on and didn't actually jump far enough to make it to the hoop.

Dunk 3: Alright, I admit this one (self-alley oop) was ridiculous...

Dunk 4: Wasn't this just a normal windmill? Does the addition of a mini-hoop make it that much harder?

On the other hand, Gerald Green's dunks are feats of both creativity and athletic ability. Prior to the contest, everyone was screaming about the possibility of a "kiss-the-rim" dunk, but Green one-upped us with his "Birthday Cake." Green's second dunk, the windmill, was easily better than Howard's last one as he took the ball (from McCants) from higher in the air and threw it down with much more power. For some reason, when Howard receives a pass from above the backboard, it is ground shattering, but when Gerald Green does it to change up the between-the-legs dunk, it is unspectacular.

And finally, we come to my favorite dunk of the night: Socks. The biggest complaint that this dunk got was that it was boring, "Why'd he just do the same dunk?" Let's rewind to 2000, when Vince Carter gave one of the most memorable dunk contest performances ever. His first two dunks are essentially both 360 windmills done at different angles. His second two dunks are of the between-the-legs variety, one running, one standing. Why isn't Green elevated to this elite status?

If Vince's standing BTL dunk deserves a 50, then Socks definitely does. Green, after taking off and signing his sneakers, calmly walks up to the hoop and out of nowhere, explodes off of the ground with what seems like jetpacks attached to each of his calves.

Green is not a victim of his size, like Howard was last year, but of his scowl. When the day is over, the dunk contest is just a popularity contest, and Dwight Howard was prom queen. Even before the dunks were thrown down, Howard had this in the bag. Riddle me this, if in an alternate reality, Gerald Green did Howard's dunks and vice-versa, whose would look greater? The answer is Howard's, and it's not even close.


Anonymous said...

I'm tired of all these dunks with lame props. The birthday cake dunk was weak. Yes, his head was at the rim, but otherwise it was just a routine 2-handed dunk.

Green's 2nd dunk was pretty lame too, and didn't deserve a 45. Again, his head was at the rim, but otherwise it was a routine windmill dunk.

I can't believe those 2 dunks were enough to get him into the final round. I don't know if I'm more disappointed in Green or the judges.

The Superman layup was probably the 2nd worst "dunk" of the night. That definitely wasn't worth 50! Howard's 3rd dunk was tight, so I gotta give him props for that. Too bad I saw it on youtube a few days before the contest. Howard's final dunk was unbelievably weak!

I was hoping to see Jamario vs. Howard in the final. Unfortunately, Jamario didn't read the freaking rules and didn't know he had to use a teammate for one of the 1st round dunks.

Hopefully, Jamario will be healthy next year and will be invited back. Overall, this year's dunk contest was pretty disappointing considering all the hype leading up to all-star weekend.