NBA All Star Weekend is filled with all kinds of hype and events aside from the actual All Star Game. Truthfully, I actually don’t know anyone who has ever sat through them all. The festivities kick off for real on Friday night with the highly anticipated debut of Blake Griffin in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest
Gone are the days of the stupid dunk wheel, and thank the stars that Nate Robinson will not be in the dunk competition, missing any more dunks this year. The NBA has been trying to find ways to make this particular event more exciting like it used to be during the days of Jordan, Spud, Vince and Jason Richardson, among many others. In recent years it has become more of a sideshow than anything else, and last year was the ultimate disappointment.
This year has been heralded as the year the dunk contest makes it’s comeback. Much of the hype is all about Blake Griffin. Griffin is seemingly more than just a mere mortal when he steps onto the court. At 6’9, it’s hard to remember a man built like that in the league who could fly with the grace and power like Griffin. Two names come to mind, Larry Nance and Shawn Kemp.
Joining the Griffin show in the NBA Sprite Dunk contest will be Serge Ibaka, JaVale McGee, and DeMar DeRozan. This year the NBA is hoping to make sure the viewers get the show they’ve been waiting for by assigning a dunk coach to each player, the coaches include Kevin Durant, Darryl Dawkins, Chris Webber and of course, Kenny Smith. Kenny Smith will be coaching Griffin and for the first time in a long time, I’m getting excited about the dunk contest.
Most sportsbooks aren’t giving the other contestants any chance compared to Griffin who was a whopping -272 favorite, with DeRozan trailing him at +275 at the Bodog Sportsbook.
Rookie Challenge, Celebrity Game, D League All-Star Game
These three games are fun to watch, that is if you don’t mind sloppy basketball. Again, is there a rookie or second year player that you would love to see other than Blake Griffin?
Foot Locker 3 Point Contest
The only other All Star weekend event that’s worth talking about is the 3 point competition. This year the competition will feature Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Durant, James Jones, Dorrell Wright and Daniel Gibson. I’m almost more excited to watch this event than the dunk competition. Ray Allen is the favourite to win this event at 2/1 odds by most sportsbooks, but this event more than any others is always up for grabs. If a guy like Kevin Durant or Paul Pierce gets hot, it could be over. Sleeper pick, James Jones, shooting threes is all he does.
Who do you think will win the Sprite NBA Dunk Contest? Who will win the Foot locker 3 Point Contest?