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Commentary: NBA needs a break from the dunk contest

Jacob Tobey says the lack of stars participating and unoriginality of the dunks have spoiled the allure of the All-Star weekend event.

DENVER — Did you watch the NBA dunk contest Saturday night at All-Star weekend? If you did, did you know any of the four guys who were competing in it?

I did but that's because I'm a sports nerd. But this year, and for the last handful of years, big name NBA stars have refused to participate. The days of Dr. J, Michael Jordon, Kobe and Vince Carter are long gone! 

Saturday night's winner was Mac McClung, a fringe NBA player. He was great, especially since he's 6-foot-2 and has major bounce -- but the buildup to the dunk contest just didn't have any juice because no one really knew any of the players.

Even when former Denver Nuggets players like David Thompson, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and JR smith were in the contest, it had more juice.

Credit: Charles Krupa/AP
New York Knocks Obi Toppin goes up for a slam during the dunk contest part of the skills challenge competition, part of NBA All-Star basketball game weekend, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, in Cleveland.
Credit: AP
New York Knicks' Obi Toppin dunks during the Slam Dunk contest during basketball's NBA All-Star Game in Atlanta, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

So the no-stars thing is one reason why the event has fallen off.  The other is the fact that there are only so many dunks you can do. Even Kenny Smith on the broadcast was saying stuff like "we've seen that dunk before."

So to me, I think taking a couple of years off from the dunk contest would be a good thing.

And when the stars of the game want to start competing against each other like the past legends did, then we can entertain bringing it back.



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