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The Dunk Contest



So Sunday Letters are evolving into something else I think. Last week it was a lengthy bit on the future of sports media, this week Q and I go back and forth on the dunk contest. Bear with us though, we’ll figure it out at some point. Until then…

Q: I got up this morning and started watching all of the festivities from last night. Fast forwarded through the first event, I don’t need WNBA players participating in any part of All Star Saturday night. Then I fast forwarded through all but Westbrook in the skills challenge, though I did see CP3 miss a layup to start his turn, which made me chuckle. I saw KD throw up a 6. Is there any doubt I could have posted a 6? Literally, I’d bet my house on the fact I could post a 6, even from the NBA line. I fast forwarded and honestly didn’t even see who won it. I was so disappointed.

Pistols Guy: You don’t enjoy Swin Cash and Tameka Catchings running the floor with hall-of-famers and living legends? Oh, and you couldn’t even put up a 2-spot from the NBA line. I’ve seen your J and as “pure” as you think it is, you’d be so amped balls would be flying into the first row before you got settled in. And by that point, on the third rack, your arms would be spaghetti (I’ve seen you work out too) and you’d need the kid whose stuffed animal Ibaka rescued to run it to the goal for you, so no, you wouldn’t post a 6+.

Q: Funny you say that because I hit two threes from an NBA three point line on Friday. It was pure. Am I better than KD? No, in the understatement of mankind. But did he choke last night? Yes, and I’m sort of glad one more reason for him to “prove” himself the rest of the season. And, lastly, working out for you means pushing the cart for mrs pistols at hobby lobby. Don’t bring that weak sauce to my table. On to the dunk contest. Let’s just say this to start, if you thought Blake wasn’t going to be in the finals you need to reevaluate how you analyze professional sports.

PG: I didn’t know we were in the business of evaluating the way we analyze professional sports to begin with?

Q: Whatever, it was inevitable, and further if you thought he wasn’t going to win, you’re probably just as disillusioned. That being said, I honestly think Blake did the worst job of the four. I’m not kidding. Both of DeRozan’s dunks were better than the four dunks that Blake completed, and it wasn’t even close. Serge got screwed on the 15′ (actual distance) 1st dunk and the Rumble dunk lost some luster because he didn’t get it on the first try, but it was still impressive. The dunk of the night for me was McGee’s two basket dunk. That was insane. Honestly, he got hosed worse than Serge or DeRozan. His four dunks were better than Blake’s by a landslide, which leads me to this…can they really calculate all those text messages that quickly? Did they even go off of the text messages? I say no and no.

PG: Haha, well last time I checked text messages arrived fairly immediately so I don’t think that was the issue, I just think people hate art and love artists.

Q: What does that even mean?

PG: What that means is that DeRozan and Serge both got jobbed. Blake won because he was Blake, like you said, and not because he was the most aesthetically invigorating dunker. When I watch the dunk contest I want people to do stuff that makes me say, “wow, I’ve never even thought of somebody doing that and I’m not sure if anyone else in the league could do what he just did.”

Q: I agree, McGee’s two basket and three ball dunks did that for me. His last one was atrocious, obviously. But his windmill that he completed going away from the basket, whilst contorting his head to avoid the backboard was maybe the second most difficult dunk of the night.

PG: The degree of difficulty on that one and the second DeRozan one was off the charts. I liked Blake sliding the rim up to his elbow as if putting on a button-up shirt and I’m not sure anybody besides the backboard manufacturer has ever touched the spot he threw that oop to himself off of.

Q: But he shouldn’t have been in the finals. His dunk where he caught it off the side of the backboard and just windmilled after missing about six of them was terrible. As a general rule, if I could complete the dunk on a 7 foot goal it’s not that difficult.

PG: Can you complete anything on a 7-foot goal?

Q: I could complete the following: one hand off of each foot, two handed off of each foot, 360, 180, reverse, bounce pass off the backboard catch and dunk, between the legs in the air, and catch a pass from a teammate off the side of the backboard and windmill it (or as I’ll call it from now on, the Blake Griffin).

PG: The 180 is a little intuitive when you can do the 360, no? Also, do you realize how ridiculous this makes us sound?

Q: Unfortunately, I do. The point remains though, how Blake got in the finals on those first two dunks should be investigated…and I’m guessing the word Kia has something to do with it. There was no chance that car wasn’t coming out on the floor or the Crenshaw choir. As for the dunk itself, is there a current NBA player, who is capable of dunking a basketball on a 10′ goal, who couldn’t have jumped over the hood of the car and completed that dunk the same way he did? I say no.

PG: Kevin Love?

Q: I think Nolo could have done it. Don’t roll out a car and have him jump over that and tell me it’s great. It wasn’t. Barkley said it best, and Mrs Q. loved it, “if the girl is pretty, but she’s dumb it doesn’t matter”. And, it’s true…we all wanted so much more from Blake than what we got. Even his first dunk, it was going to be insane, but go back and watch it the first couple of attempts are not nearly the same as the dunk he ended up completing. He didn’t swing the ball around nearly the same.

PG: The problem with the Blake factor is that 2/3 of his schtick is the cast of characters joining him on all his posters. The dunk contest is difficult from an entertainment standpoint. It’s you and 20,000 people and they’re all expecting something from you that they can’t do themselves. That’s why we watch movies and listen to music and go to games isn’t it? Here’s what I loved about Serge, and @freedarko alluded to this in a tweet last night, he told a story with his performance. It wasn’t necessarily “this is what I can do” but more “hey 20,000 people of Los Angeles, this is who I am.” I’m not going to pretend to read into the stuffed animal dunk any further than KD and Westbrook thought it up on a cross-country flight, but if you had 18 siblings and were in America because you escaped Congolese civil war, I mean…you’re telling some sort of tale are you not?

Q: I hadn’t thought about that with Blake, that really is what makes his game dunks so great. That gets lost in the translation of the dunk contest.

Until next year…or next week, whichever comes first.

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