There was certainly a lot of backlash against the NBA Dunk Contest Saturday night. There were some pretty good dunks, but it seemed a little anticlimactic at the end when Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz was named the winner. People lamented how the contest went Saturday night. Even ESPN's basketball junkie John Hollinger was prompted to tweet, that the "real winner of the dunk contest was Iman Shumpert, who at the last minute avoided having to be associated with it."
So what was the issue?
It wasn't the setup. This year's contest was much shorter. The time limit at a minute was good. The dunks were not bad.
Chase Budinger's dunk over P. Diddy was great and Phoenix Suns fans appreciated the blindfolded reverse in honor of Cedric Ceballos.
The issue is that no one cares for the players in the contest. Chase Budinger? Jeremy Evans?
LeBron James, one of the strongest dunkers in the game, has yet to participate. Blake Griffin did not come back.
What the fans want to see are their favorite players in the dunk contest. We all know they do this sort of thing in practice. Why not for the fans whose money goes to pay the players' salary?
There is certainly a positive element for the lesser known players to be in it and even win. Cedric Ceballos is a perfect example. But in the end, the biggest names should be the ones headlining the competition.
Until that happens, it will continue to lose the fans' interest.
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