The dunk contest stunk.
One of four contestants, Jalen Green was more than a quarter of the problem. The Rockets rookie repeatedly missed dunks and, maybe even worse, kept jumping then coming down without trying to slam the ball. Those didn’t count as attempts, allowing him to start the process over and over. His big idea of wearing a gold chain with a phone showing an NFT of one his dunks had nothing to do with his All-Star Saturday Night dunks. He gave the phone to judge Isiah Thomas to hold then proceeded without wearing the chain.
“I for sure need a run-back,” Green said. “I messed up. I need to run that back next year. We’ll figure it out.
“Next year. I’ll be here next year.”
But Toppin, though the deserved winner, didn’t exactly inspire this year. It’s hard to see much appetite for bringing back any of this year’s participants – especially beyond Toppin.
Among the dunk contest’s problems: Stars rarely compete. The field needn’t be only stars. Other players using the contest to make their mark can be thrilling. But it helps when it happens against a star or two.
Though he has struggled this year, Green still holds star potential. If he comes closer to realizing it next season, that could go a long way in welcoming back to the dunk contest.