I didn't write much last night because I was having too much fun in the chat room. That was a fun crew, hats off to everyone that was in there.
Here are some final random thoughts on the Slam Dunk Contest:
- That first dunk off the side of the backboard was a nice next logical step from the Iggy dunk from last year. What gave it even more oomph was how very, very high he was when he flushed it. Amazing.
- I gotta give credit to Dwight Howard. As Henry Abbot mentions, "Hats off to 2007 Slam-Dunk champ Gerald Green, a worthy champion, but a year from now that sticker dunk is the one we're all going to remember." Sure, the dunk itself was no big deal, but if you think about the concentration it takes to put that sticker up there, catch a ball, and dunk it, that's pretty impressive and I don't think it got quite a high enough score. His other dunk, however, was a yawner. Gerald does those windmills in games.
- Tyrus Thomas net earnings for the night $6,125 ($16,125 for 4th place minus $10,000 for his comments). I hope he lost that on the slots.
- The TV crew made a good point about the "showmanship" needed to win the contest. It was an obvious choice for Gerald to pay tribute to Dee Brown with the shoes and jersey. However, we might have witnessed the last "tribute dunk." Josh Smith did it for 'Nique, Gerald did it for Dee, Nate did it for Spud Webb, Iggy missed his opportunity to do it for Dr. J, and I'm sure I'm forgetting someone else. Nobody is going to feel worthy to pay tribute to Jordan. Who is left to pay tribute to? Maybe some white dunker will wear their warmup and pay tribute to Brent Barry.
- I agree with Jesse Nunes that the Red headband was a nice, subtle touch. A cigar would have cheapened the legacy unnecessarily.
- I also have to give credit to Nate Robinson for being a good sport and letting Gerald dunk over him. Nate has become a very hated player for some reason, but he at least has kept a sense of humor and humility. I was glad that he finally got that last dunk down because I didn't want Gerald to win by default.
- That last dunk seemed a little anti-climatic at the time, but looking back, he really took off from a long way away. Just a step in from the free throw line. And he had plenty of height. The judges had time to see that distance because the table was a good point of reference. Also, he accomplished his stated goal on that dunk: Grace and poetry for the first 95% of the motion, and sheer power for the last thrust. Very cool.
- I'm glad that Gerald won this thing. He was made for this and we've basically been waiting for this for a year and a half. It would have been very deflating not to win. He should get some added confidence and noteriety from this but it is far from being a guarantee of future success. He'll have to keep working and proving himself as more than just a dunker. Thankfully he's an excellent shooter as well. As long as he doesn't fall into the same lurking-on-the-perimeter habits that Vince Carter has fallen into, he should be ok. I think he'll keep working on his game and getting more confidence as time goes by.
- Like I've said before, Gerald's main issue right now is consistency. I think he'll be much more consistent next year. Hopefully he'll be able to do it in a Celtics uniform, adding his talents to an improved and made-over roster. On the other hand, if he's needed to make a big deal happen, I guess that is the nature of the game.
- Here are Gerald's dunks on YouTube (via FSN)
Also, more pictures of Gerald
- Non-dunk highlights: Barkley vs. Bavetta and Shaq's dance contest