Blog Entry

Top 5 NBA All-Star Weekend Paticipants, All Time

Posted on: February 13, 2010 5:41 am
1)  Michael Jordan -- Is there any list this guy doesn't top?  Not only did Mike turn the dunk contest into a Poster Party, he also competed in the 3-point Shoot-out and no one will ever forget that free throw line dunk -- Nike made sure of that....but honestly, does ranking MJ 1st ever need much explanation? 

2)  Larry Bird -- The Legend won the first three 3-point Shoot-outs, that fact alone easily gets him into the top 5.....but my favorite story is when he walked in that locker room and asked the other participants, "Which one of you guys is finishing second?"  Classic.

3)  Spud Webb -- At a mere 5'7", Anthony "Spud" Webb truly brought the Dunk Contest into it's best run, popularity-wise.  His array of lobs to himself which ended in dunks highlighted by his amazing air time were magnificent.....and, because of his height, it seemed he was in the air fffffooorrrreeevvvvveeeerrrrr

4)  Craig Hodges -- Like Bird, Hodges also won 3 Shoot-outs in a small feat.  Truthfully, after that first win, it seemed the contest was going to be his to lose for as many years as he chose to enter it.

5)  Dominique Wilkins -- The Human Highlight Reel -- most appropriate nickname ever -- 'Nique had more varieties of wind-mills than thought possible....and there was just something about his flair -- from jumping off two feet, to legs flailing, to those power the guy was 6'9"!!!!!   Freakishly awesome.

Wow, after looking at this list, one thing is painfully obvious -- the NBA's All Star festivities have lacked some, well, greatness lately -- let's hope the league also senses this trend and tries to get the 'stars' more involved -- it IS supposed to be for the fans

Since: Jan 28, 2010
Posted on: February 18, 2010 1:55 pm

Top 5 NBA All-Star Weekend Paticipants, All Time

Michael Jordan is the only player to ever record a triple double in the All-Star game, he won the Slam Dunk competition in an epic battle with Dominique Wilkins, and he is a three time MVP of the All-Star game.

Also, the year he had a triple double, he DID NOT win the MVP.

There is no way the Jordan is anywhere but his rightful place. At the top.

Since: May 20, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2010 5:23 am

Top 5 NBA All-Star Weekend Paticipants, All Time

You could easily shuffle in Vince Carter, into the top 5, although I'm not sure it could be #1.

First, you'd have to take out Hodges, who was a nice add to the list, as a multiple winner and someone, who I personally loved to root AGAINST in those contests, just because he was so good, but still kind of a 3rd wheel type of player.  He had great, individual performances, in the 3-point contest, although they aren't remembered so well, or were pivotal to the success of the contest.

Which brings me to Vince vs Jordan for a #1 debate.   As I noted in my post before, the Vince Carter win was the last peak/high for the dunk contest, Vince was amazing with a great show of ability, power, and swagger.  

BUT, Jordan's first win was the start of something special for the NBA. It's when the bell/light went off in the NBA's head that they should start marketing THE PLAYERS, more than THE TEAMS.  Sure, there were star players before this moment, but this is when the NBA began publicity campaigns of, "Come, to the games and watch, THIS GUY!"  Although, a case can be made that they started doing that when Magic and Bird, who were college rivals, got drafted in the same year, and built up a individual players.

 Dr. J had done Jordan's free-throw line jump in contest before, but that dunk by Jordan and that image of him doing it, became the calling card & rallying cry for the NBA.  And, that in turn started the huge popularity increase that the NBA milked for the next 20-25 years.  Vince had better dunks (in the contest), true, but no dunk was more important, especially to the NBA, than the one that Jordan did (how many freaking posters do you think were sold of that?).

That's why the dunk winners have been so heavily marketed afterwards, which has been a double edge sword, because some of those guys weren't great players (in personality and in play).  There could only be one, Michael Jordan, but that hasn't stopped the league from pushing each winner as the next one (at least up until the beginning of the new century).

And, yep, Wilkens was robbed, in one of those Jordan vs Wilkens battles.

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: February 16, 2010 5:57 pm

Top 5 NBA All-Star Weekend Paticipants, All Time

Except I would have to say that Vince Carter should be #1 on the list.Great point -- Vin-sanity was ridonculous that night....that dude did dunks that no one had done before, or since!!  Probably could find a place for him in the top 2 few arguments

Since: Sep 14, 2007
Posted on: February 16, 2010 7:01 am

Top 5 NBA All-Star Weekend Paticipants, All Time

I have to agree with the guy above.  Except I would have to say that Vince Carter should be #1 on the list.  That was the MOST IMPRESSIVE DUNK CONTEST EVER by one man.  He would of beaten any dunker that night, thats why he is the #1 dunker in NBA history in my books along with the dunk of the 7 footer in the Olympics a few years back.  But then I would have to say Jordan vs. Dominique even though I feel Dominique got robbed like Dwight Howard did a few years ago.  Bird lighting it up was great as well and also give some love to my boy Brent Barry, giving us the hope after Woody and Wesley shot down the idea that White Men Can't Jump lol...  I've never been impressed with the Midget dunk because they get some much more credit cause they are short and can dunk even though Spud's showing was much more impressive than that let me try this 25 times before I get it down act of Nate Robinson.

Since: May 20, 2009
Posted on: February 16, 2010 12:22 am

Top 5 NBA All-Star Weekend Paticipants, All Time

I have to totally agree, the NBA needs the star's back.

For the dunk contest, there were two moments that started the decline:

1) Dee Brown winning in 1991:  Up until that point it was ability, air time, and power; but Dee Brown ushered in the era of "gimmick dunks."  Pumping up his shoes, before every dunk, then doing the "no look" dunk, it all became a circus act, with circus atmosphere, more and more after that. It took the emphasis off the superstar dunkers, and onto the newbies...sifting through the new players to find "the next Jordan."  Every year, the winner was hyped like he was the "heir, air apparent," and every year, those players fell flat trying to live up to that expectation.

2) Kobe in 1997 and Vince Carter winning in 2000:  Kobe, a young but promising player wins, then after a two year absence, the dunk contest was back (Vince Carter wins), and in Kobe and Carter, the ability, air time, and power show had returned.  Here were legit athletes, with legit skills who could "maybe" evolve into the next Michael.    This was the peak of the dunk was all downhill from there.

Yes, there were moments of greatness, from great players (such as Dwight Howard), but overall, the contests, after 2000,  were more famous for the non-participating player's reactions or overreactions (See Charles Barkley's howls and "Madden" like comments, to Mutombo's huge smiles of delight), then what the winning dunks were, or more importantly who the winning players were.  

Dunk contests winners have to be the up and comers, the can't miss next gen (Durant), mixed in with the most feared All-Star caliber players/dunkers.  It's gotta be about hype, and then more hype, with some more hype dashed on; its gotta be a title that means something, that the top players look forward to (and will fight for), because they want to be the king of the hill.

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