Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm not one of those people who's saying that the Kobes and LeBrons of the NBA need to be competing in the NBA Slam Dunk contest during All-Star weekend. But I will say that this year's group--Gerald Wallace, Nate Robinson, Shannon Brown, and DeMar DeRozan--is the most lackluster bunch I've ever seen compete in the event. I'm rooting for Bobcats forward Wallace since he's the local guy, but I don't think he'll win. I predict that Wallace, who last competed in the Slam Dunk contest in 2001, will finish in second place.

I think Lakers guard Brown (who played for the Bobcats last year before being traded mid-season) will take home the trophy. I've seen some nice dunks from him on SportsCenter. Plus, as part of the Lake Show he's accustomed to being on a big stage--and there's never been a stage bigger than Cowboys Stadium, where the NBA All-Star Game festivities will take place in front of as many as 80,000 people.

Robinson won the Slam Dunk title in 2006 and 2009, and is trying to become the first three-time winner. Even though he won last year, I feel he took it because people were still in awe of the ups he possess to be 5'8". That won't be enough to carry him this year.

I--along with most people--don't know much about DeRozan, who won his way into the Slam Dunk contest by winning the NBA's first-ever Dunk-In preliminary round last night. He's a rookie for the Raptors. I'm sure he's happy to finally get some shine in front of a major crowd and television audience.

Wallace is the oldest and tallest of the bunch. I've enjoyed his high-flying moves over the years while watching Bobcats games. He certainly has the athleticism, but I don't think he has the creativity in his dunking repertoire to run away with the crown. But I think he'll make a good showing and impress a nationwide audience who probably isn't very familiar with him. He's just starting to get the respect he deserves, which is evident by his selection into tomorrow's All-Star Game.

NBA All-Star Saturday Night kicks off at 8 p.m. on TNT and includes the Shooting Stars, Skills Challenge, Three-Point Contest, and Slam Dunk. Visit for more details.


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