Saturday, February 18, 2006

Slam Dunk Scandal!

The Dunk Contest ended moments ago and while it was generally pretty exciting and managed to bring some of the flair of the event back, the whole thing wound up being a joke. Andre Igoudala, who had perhaps the most inventive and impossible dunk in contest history (jumping under the backboard), and who consistently rammed home spectacular dunks with very few misses mixed in, somehow ended up on the short end of the stick (no pun intended). That's because the 5'9" (more like 5'7") Nate Robinson took home the crowd despite missing over 20 dunks in a mere two rounds. He missed eight times in a row while trying to go through the legs, and it got so painful at one point that I had to pause it on TiVo, wait five minutes, and then fast-forward until he finally made a dunk. Just excruciating. Somehow he still managed a 44, so when The Other AI threw up a 50, it was still a ballgame. Sure enough, Nate pulled off the Spud Webb Dunk, scored a 50 and tied it up when Igoudala had his worst dunk of the night (and most misses) in response. This took us to the finals, where Igoudala went through his legs along the baseline and rammed it home on the second try, but was screwed with a 46. Robinson, on the other hand, took an unfathomable 14 attempts at a gimmicky throw-off-the-glass attempt. He finally had to adapt it, and when he finally made it, he somehow got a 47. Just lame. You know there is a problem when the "fan favorite" is met with silence and a smattering of boos because the superior performer got ripped off. Kobe looked ready to slay somebody, Iverson could be seen screaming "we were robbed!," and the whole arena felt dreadfully uncomfortable.

The bottom line is that while I like the fact that missed dunks no longer count as "zero," there needs to be some kind of balance. Perhaps after 3 misses, you can't get a 10 from any voter. Then after six misses, no 9's. And so on. That way, there is some sort of penalty for taking 10 minutes to put the ball in the basket. My only hope is that they take advantage of this new momentum, fix the rules, and that Igoudala comes out next year like Creasy in Man on Fire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The judges shouldn't have to be told to deduct points for numerous missed dunks. I think that anyone in their right mind would say, "Ok you made it after missing the same thing 5 times, you're getting an 8." I think the 50 should be reserved for the absolute best.