The NBA recently announced this years contestants in the Slam Dunk Competition. While many have long given up on this portion of all Star weekend, I think I’ll always have a place in my heart for it. I’ve seen every one since the early 90’s, for better or worse. Last years was a huge success with the arrival of Blake Griffin, while this years contest consists of more lesser known young talent like Derrick Williams, Imani Shumpert, Paul George and…Chase Budinger. And here’s my problem…
It’s no secret that the NBA is always looking for it’s next big thing. Preferably, that thing be white. David stern knows that middle america goes nuts for a nice all american white boy who can ball. We’ve been Waiting for Larry Bird 2.0 for decades but Dirk Nowitzki is as close as it gets and he’s basically a villain from Schindler’s list.
One way the NBA has always tried to big up the white baller is by trying to highlight him in the Dunk Competition. Sure they could just revel in the three point competition but that would be too easy. Instead, they throw one white guy into the dunk competition every few years cause they can. The problem is that the white guys they’re picking are simply not up to par with the other contestants. They could easily pick 4 black dudes who are all better than that one white guy but they like to throw all the secret racists in the US a bone and let them root for the white dude…or laugh at the white dude, depending on your angle.
Now, I’m not saying these guys are terrible dunkers. Not at all. These guys can dunk quite well. But are the showtime dunkers? No fucking way.
The one year a white dude won (Brent Barry in 1996), not only was it one of the worst dunk comps ever, but his whiteness definitely tipped the scales on a year where anyone could have won it. Other then that, the competition has seen people like Chris “The Birdman” anderson (who I love as a player), who had one of the more embarrassing miss-a-thon’s of all time where he spent what felt like 20 minutes trying to complete a dunk that wouldn’t have been that great in the first place. The video for that is above.
Or All Star Tom Chambers, who’s in-game dunk on marc Jackson is one of the best dunks ever
But still, he wasn’t cut out for a competition of creativity and athleticism.
Or how bout Rex Chapman? Of all these guys listed here, Chapman actually had a little swagger to his dunks. But , again, when pitted against some dudes who could REALLY dunk, he was a non-factor.
I suppose I could throw in Rudy Fernandez cause, even though he’s spanish, he’s still a euro guy to me. To be honest, I didn’t even know he could dunk prior to hearing he was in the contest. It was no surprise when he was quickly bounced from the contest in 2009.
My point in all this is to just stop it. I’m sure a time will come when some freakishly athletic white guy will emerge
(kinda like this
but also with the ability to play in the NBA and not just dunk) but until then, let’s just stop pushing the issue. We get it. White men can jump. It’s cool. Let’s just not be silly about it. Let the best dunkers available dunk. Don’t worry . David Stern, I’m sure some insanely athletic white guy is making his way to the NBA right now..and he will dunk super good for you, bro. Until then, you got Jeremy Lin*. Be easy.
I’d just like to add that I know Budinger is a pretty athletic guy who was in dunk competitions in college. I wish him the best. i really do…but he’s not winning this contest. Cause I’m pretty certain he can’t do this
*not a knock on Lin at all. He’s awesome. But, let’s be honest, if he were black and not playing in NY this would be a much smaller story. Still, GO KNICKS AND GO LIN!!!!