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LeBron: Dunk Contest Needs to Be 'Cleaned Up'

Feb 18, 2009 – 5:10 PM
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Will Brinson

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LeBron James made arguably the biggest noise of the entire All Star Weekend during the dunk contest when he told Cheryl Miller that he was "preliminarily" committing to the 2010 Dunk Contest in Dallas. He followed that up the next day by throwing down an absolutely Earth-shattering, off-the-backboard yimyam that got everyone thinking about the future possibilities.

And, lest you think he was bluffing, he confirmed his early entrance to the contest while explaining that the whole process needs to be "cleaned up."
"It's got to be cleaned up, they have to go back to maybe the '80s with [Michael Jordan] and Dominique [Wilkins]," James said. "You can't have so many chances at dunking the basketball. The whole anticipation of a dunk contest is one or two tries and that's it. If not you get (a score of) 30 or 35. Guys are getting 10 opportunities to do the same dunk, by the time they complete it, it is like ... 'OK, we've seen it.'"
I couldn't agree more, frankly. While it's almost never possible to have every dunk go smoothly on the first try, limiting contestants to one or two attempts is a vastly superior solution to letting Pau Gasol try his behind-the-back flip pass to Rudy Fernandez 40 times. Or watching Nate Robinson awkwardly win (in 2006) after attempting his dunk approximately 452 times before actually hitting it.

James went on to elaborate on his entry, stating that as of right now "I am going to be in it" and taking some prelim steps to entice other "big name" contestants by making sure we know he will "get a few guys." Yes, it's a little early to get too enthusiastic, because plenty of things could derail the 2010 contest. But as of right now, there's no reason to think that it won't be the best one we've seen in 20 some years, "cleaned up" or not.
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