The NBA D-League Slam Dunk Contest is this afternoon, which means we finally get to see all of our dreams realized — watching men not yet good enough to play in the NBA who are too old to play college basketball attempt to defy gravity (and logic) to entertain us. Yes, ladies and gentleman clear your schedule so you can watch the likes of Tony Mitchell, Josh Owen, Dar Tucker and Glen Rice wow you with skills NBA teams deem not yet developed enough to warrant a roster spot.
While it’s easy to hate on the NBDL Slam Dunk contest, we have to at least acknowledge that it’s going to involve men that are NBA rejects but still have more game in their right arm than we have in our entire bodies. That being said, anytime Shannon Brown is judging a contest of a skill he’s not particularly good at, it’s hard to take it seriously.
Anyone guy that gets a low score from Brown can just turn around and ask him how well he did in the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest in Dallas. The answer is not well.
Brown had a lot of hype entering his Slam Dunk contest but remained timid the entire time and fell flat with the judges. Now he plays for the Suns and is judging the NBDL Slam Dunk contest. So even though no one has ever heard of Dar Tucker, he (unlike Brown) still has his dignity and will likely put on a better show than Brown was able to.
So the real question that’s being asked here is what to expect from the NBDL Slam Dunk contest and the answer is it’s the NBDL Slam Dunk contest so not much.
But still, it’s Saturday afternoon and while the NBDL is one of the most agonizingly boring affairs on Earth, it still beats reruns of Jerry Springer and those infomercials where the guy with too much facial plastic surgery cuts through soda cans with his special knives. Think of it like going on a date with a really unattractive woman: if you lower your expectations enough you might just end up having a really good time.
Or at the very least it’s an excuse to drink.
But while it’s easy to make fun of the contest and push it off to the side like the sad event it is, I’ll leave you with some encouraging news that you might get to see something actually relevant. Back in 2009, James White represented the Anaheim Arsenal in the NBDL Slam Dunk Contest and four years later he’s preparing to participate in the actual NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
So there is a chance that if you watch the NBDL Slam Dunk contest, you might get to see a future Slam Dunk contest participant honing his skills.