|Blake Griffin impresses in the 2011 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.|
After a disappointed and boring dunk contest last year, many people were hoping that this year the dunk contest would be one to remember. After performing classic dunks and new creative dunks, the contestants definitely made this year one to remember at the Staples Center.
After Atlanta beat out Los Angeles, Chicago, and Texas, Stephen Curry beat out, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, and others, and after James Jones defeated Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and others, the real thrill of the night was about to begin; The 2011 NBA Dunk Contest.
This year's dunk contest had a lot of hype going into the event, with many fans buzzing about rookie sensation, Blake Griffin. The other contestants were Javale McGee of the Washington Wizards, Demar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors, and Serge Ibaka of the Oklahoma City Thunder. These other contestants did not get as much talk as the favorite Griffin, but definitely shined out there tonight. DeRozan actually replaced Brandon Jennings, of the Milwaukee Bucks, after Jennings was unable to compete due to injury.
The first round set the tone for the night, having some very interesting dunks, some never seen before. Demar DeRozan completed a stellar through the legs dunk, via a pass from the side off the hoop from a teammate. Ibaka then called out some assistant to wave NBA Africa flags, as he jumped from BEHIND the free throw line like Michael Jordan and Dr. J did in the past. JaVale McGee brought back memories of Dwight Howard with a raised basket, but did something like never before. McGee dunked a ball into each hoops, the second one off of an alley-oop off the backboard. Griffin finished off the round with a 360 degrees two hand slam.
In the second round, McGee dunked three balls into one hoop, being the first person in NBA history to do so. Griffin responded with a dunk similar to DeRozan in the second round. In Ibaka's dunk, he rescued a stuffed animal with his teeth while dunking, while on his turn and DeRozan got a 50 on a spectacular dunk, but it was not enough to advance. After Ibaka and DeRozan couldn't match the quality of Griffin and McGee according to the judges, they were eliminated.
So the finals were set, the heavy favorite Blake Griffin, v.s. the so far exciting Javale McGee.
Griffin started the finals off with a powerful dunk, jumping high above the rim and sticking his arm in the hoop for a good 10 seconds. You could tell Griffin slammed it with authority after revealing a cut on his arm from the rim. McGee then had a clever dunk where he would do a reverse dunk, making sure not to hit his head on the basket. McGee slammed it backwards while still jumping the other way.
Griffin's final dunk would be a crowd pleaser.
Griffin brought out a brand new car and placed it under the basket. After listening to a choir preach "I Believe I Can Fly", Griffin leaped over the car and slammed home an alley-oop from Baron Davis, who was inside of the car. McGee could not come up with a dunk even close to that level and after fans voted, Griffin came away victorious as expected.
So although the events leading up to the Dunk Contest were nothing special or exciting, The NBA made up for it with a very spectacular show, the Dunk Contest. In the end rookie sensation Blake Griffin was crowned the king in his team's home city of Los Angeles.
As for the NBA All-Star game, it will be played tomorrow night. The East is lead by LeBron James, Derrick Rose, and Amar'e Stoudemire, while the West will be lead by Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, and rookie Blake Griffin.