DAA Daily

The Downfall of the NBA Dunk Contest

Benjamin Turner, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint

The NBA Slam Dunk Contest is an annual competition held by the National Basketball Association during the NBA All-Star Weekend. The inaugural Dunk Contest was in Denver, Colorado in 1976.

Players such as Michael Jordan, Blake Griffin, Zach Lavine, Vince Carter, and current NBA stars are able to showcase their unbelievable athleticism in the NBA Slam Dunk contest, trying to stun crowds with different tricks.

However, in recent years it seems like the NBA Dunk Contest has dipped, both in interest from fans, and even interest from players across the league.

People may wonder why this is, and the answer is the players. Current day NBA Players are a lot more athletic than NBA Stars of the past, with developments in Nutrition, Training, and other information that has been found to help athletes compete at their best, this has made the Dunk Contest boring, with every dunk seemingly the same.

The old NBA Dunk contests used to be filled with storylines, and magnificent athleticism at the time, for example, look at the 1988 NBA Dunk Contest.

The headline was Michael Jordan against Dominique Wilkins, where the two duked it out in amazing dunks. 

These two are perfect examples of a rivalry, with Jordan being the smooth and confident guard against Wilkins, who was a powerful and dominant forward. This contest was a continuation of a duel they had in 1985, making both players invested in winning at all costs.

Storylines like this make the NBA Dunk Contest a lot more intriguing, for both the fans and the players, with them having an incentive to win the contest and a reason for fans to watch.

This has all changed in current times, where rivalries aren’t as fascinating anymore, and players think of the contest as an afterthought. 

Gone are the days of players making out of this world level of dunks, as now it seems like everyone can make crazy dunks, thus making the event a dread to watch through. 

The 2022 Dunk Contest was considered to be the ‘Worst Dunk Contest Ever’, with NBA fans all over scolding the NBA for the broadcast on Twitter, adding with demands to bring in rising star point guard Ja Morant to be in next year’s competition.

The fans are the driving force behind the dunk contest, with the contest being a way for them to see their favorite players show off their skills without the pressure of the game but now since it seems to be all the same, players and fans alike don’t take this historic contest seriously.

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