After Paul George did his Vince Carter SDC tribute this weekend, people were calling for the MVP candidate to compete in the NBA dunk contest…which he has already done and was robbed in. Then reports came out that George already got that call from the league offices and he declined the invite to participate in the 2014 contest…along with the skills challenge and 3 point contest.
This morning we have news that George has not declined the dunk contest but he’s waiting to see who else will be participating because he only wants to compete against the “good competition.”
“No, I haven’t declined. I’m keeping my options open. It would all depend on who’s in it,” he stated. “I want to be in it when the competition is good.”
“Good” is the keyword here because the NBA and most fans want to see “good players” in the contest more than “good dunkers” that are not household names. That’s why the average fan is so excited to see Paul George compete this year but didn’t care about what he did when he competed 2 years ago eventhough he was already doing better dunks back then.
So here’s the problem. The dunk community was complaining for years that the contest became too gimmicky and even accused it of being fixed to make sure big marketable players won. So last year the NBA gave the dunk community their wish and invited many of the league’s “best dunkers” even if they were not very well known. The field included James White, Gerald Green, Jeremy Evans, Eric Bledsoe and Kenneth Faried and the result was disastrous. Disastrous enough that the NBA has gone back to calling big marketable names like past dunk contest winner Dwight Howard and some of the last year’s participants want to distance themselves as far as they can from the event.
“I hate talking about the dunk contest.” replied Green when asked about possibly doing the event in 2014. “I’m just so sick of the dunk contest. I’m done with that. That point of my life I’m over with. Last year I tried to do a dunk no one has ever seen before. I wasn’t successful in it. That was the end of that book. I close the book, threw it in the treasure (chest), locked the key, threw it in the ocean and will never see it again. I’ll never be in a dunk contest again. I don’t ever want to be a part of it.”
Dwight Howard, who won the contest 4 years ago, got the call last week and didn’t have to think much about it before also declining.
“Couldn’t do it,” Howard said. “If I wasn’t so old. I’m getting up there in age, man, I tell you. I got a lot of years.”
Surprisingly the NBA also invited big man DeAndre Jordan. DJ has the skills to be exceptional in the contest but he’s not an All-Star and that’s the problem to DJ.
“I just told them I wanted to see what happens,” Jordan said. “I’m not trying to disrespect them. But I want to be in the All-Star game as a player and not just as a dunker.”
There’s a lot of talented big men in the West this year so it’s unlikely that Jordan will be attending All-Star weekend as a player so hopefully he says yes to being there as a dunk contest participant. Hopefully, he also says yes ASAP so we don’t have a Catch-22 with other talented players like Paul George saying I’ll do it if so and so does it while so and so says I’ll do it if George does it.
ROOKIES: VICTOR OLADIPO & BEN MCLEMORE
The two high flying rookies have stated almost as early as training camp that they would like to be in the contest and have been throwing down impressive dunks in games, practice and even on Twitter, Vine and Instagram. The fact that they haven’t got the call yet goes back to the Catch-22 but I think the league is waiting to see if the “stars” say Yes first before asking the future stars. I think it would be a big mistake to not let the two rookies, who actually want to be there, compete in the contest.
You would think the defending champion should be an automatic invite but if there’s one thing that is certain with the NBA and how they treat the dunk contest it is that they have no idea what they are doing. But from the sounds of a recent interview with Ross, he doesn’t sound 100% sure he wants to do it.
Raptors Republic: So I have to ask the question…dunk contest?
Terrence Ross: Yeah, I mean…
Raptors Republic: The people want it, man.
Terrence Ross: I know , but at the same time it’s gonna be a lot on my legs. I was thinking about trying to do the 3-point contest but I don’t know how that goes. Who knows?
Raptors Republic: You working on a couple dunks just in case?
Terrence Ross: Yeah, I got a couple things. I’m always thinking about stuff. I don’t know what I’m gonna do.
Raptors Republic: Can you give me a scoop on any?
Terrence Ross: DeMar has some stuff for me. It might be a little similar to last year but at the same time a lot different. Who knows?
Who Knows. That’s the best way to sum it up this article. I would say don’t be surprised or disappointed with any upcoming news about the event but I’m sure you all are used to feeling that way by now.