The 2017 NBA dunk contest was doomed from the beginning. After the hype of last year’s contest, which was arguably the greatest of all-time, there was no chance this contest could live up to the hype, especially without Zach LaVine, who declined the invite and then tore his ACL a week later. Aaron Gordon was back but had to face the pressure of trying to outdo himself; Derrick Jones was in it but nobody but hardcore ballislife fans knew who he was since he only has five made field goals in his NBA career; All-Star DeAndre Jordan was in it but most people don’t enjoy watching tall dunkers; then there was darkhorse Glenn Robinson III, who had 9/1 odds of winning it according to Vegas.
To be fair, I have to admit a lot of impressive and unappreciated dunks were made during the event. The problem was the dunks and event as a whole felt so underwhelming because most of the contestants missed multiple attempts and a few of the made attempts were rim squeakers. It was also disappointing to see the fan favorite, Aaron Gordon, get eliminated in the first round and Derrick Jones, who I have never seen miss any dunk more than once, miss a bunch of attempts and even fail to make a dunk during one of the rounds.
In the end, it was the son of the Big Dog, GRIII, still standing and getting crowned the 2017 NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion. And unfortunately, due to the amount of criticism the contest took, people probably won’t appreciate how impressive was Robinson was. Yes, he might have pushed off a little on some of his dunks but when you watch all of his dunks again and compare them to many winners of the past, he had a performance he should be proud of.
And I owe him a personal apology because I’ve been hyping Jones and Gordon over the few weeks and honestly didn’t think Robinson had much of a chance. And this is coming from a fan of his since the day I met him during his high school days and watched him perform at our All-American dunk contest in 2011. I even have a ball autographed by his father back in 1995 sitting in my office. So, to Glenn Robinson III: Congrats on the win, you deserve it, I’m sorry for doubting you.