You know what was really cool about Saturday night’s dunk contest duel between Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon? They made almost all of their dunks on the first try.
Remember the 2006 dunk contest, when Nate Robinson couldn’t do that to save his life?
Hard to believe it was 10 years ago that Robinson made a mockery of the dunk contest. The 5-foot-9 Knicks guard was a fan favorite as he gave us Spud Webb flashbacks — and even brought back the diminutive champ to help him — but Robinson’s awesome athleticism eventually gave way to his inability to nail his dunks on the first try. Or the second. Or the third.
At one point he missed seven straight attempts. But he was just warming up. On his final dunk, he needed 14 attempts. Fourteen.
If you can stand it, watch it all unfold in the video below (The brick-a-thon begins around the 8:30 mark.)
The misery went on so long, the TV analysts couldn’t stand it.
Magic: "It’s time to move on."
Sir Charles: "We need a Snickers bar ’cause we’re not going anywhere."
And yet as the misses piled up, Magic said, "Everybody’s OK with this because he has electrified this crowd."
I was not OK with this then, and 10 years later I’m still not OK with it.
When Robinson finally put down the dunk, two judges gave him 10s. And he won. HE WON!
The dunk contest had fizzled over the years, to the point where then-commissioner David Stern had been contemplating scrapping it, Magic said.
How this catastrophe didn’t kill it for good, I’ll never know.
But maybe the most unbelievable thing is that Robinson came back and won back-to-back dunk contests in 2009 and 2010. And 10 years later, the dunk contest is as relevant as it’s been since the Jordan-Dominique days.