With the All-Star festivities just around the corner there is lots to be excited about as a Raps fan. Chris Bosh will be playing in the big game while Raptors rookie DeMar DeRozan (if healthy) will be lacing them up for a chance to become the 2010 NBA Dunk Champion.
A long time ago the Raps had one of those...
Just a short while ago it was announced that DeMar DeRozan wouldn't be invited to take part in the annual Rookie-Sophmore game at the upcoming All-Star festivities. This news has come as a bit of a surprise to some and one has to wonder why he was left out of what is arguably the most fun game to watch over the weekend.
Of course it's not all that big of a deal considering DeRozan will have every opportunity to shine. The Raptors rookie will be in the first ever dunk-off against Eric Gordon of the LA Clippers to secure a spot in the big event against the likes of Shannon Brown, Gerald Wallace and Nate Robinson.
It's not a star studded line-up and when Lebron James decided not to man up to his word and sit this one out it left many, including myself, wondering just how entertaining this contest could be.
Then it dawned on me.
For a Raptors fan it could be REALLY exciting.
The last time the Raptors had a player win the dunk-contest it ended up electrifying a city and launching a certain player into superstardom.
It has been a decade since that unforgettable night.
Who says lightening can't strike twice?
DeRozan has, even since he popped-up on NBA radars been known for his arial acrobatics and his pure atheleticism always left scouts drooling. Some of this seasons best Raptors highlights have been provided by DD.
Like this one...
And this one....
From a statistical standpoint Vince Carter's rookie season was much stronger than DeRozan's (to date) and when Vince was in the dunk contest he was in the middle of his second season where he averaged 25.7 ppg. As we all know however, dunk contests are not about stats. They are about getting people out of their seats, doing something new (preferrably on the first try) and taking the air out of the building in a split second.
Electrifying a crowd is not an easy thing to do now a days. People always want more...and there are only so many things you can do with a basketball and a 10' net. It is not impossible, but it will be a challenge.
Carter, in his prime was arguably one of the best dunkers EVER and there is reason to doubt both whether DeRozan has the creativity or the ability to hang in the air like Vince. It's fair to have these doubts, but there is evidence to suggest that, provided his ankle allows it, DeRozan might just be up to the task.
If DeRozan does win the contest it could really put the Raps back on the NBA map. With the team seemingly on the right track and creating some buzz around town, a win in the "big event" might finally cast this team back into the lime-light.
More lime-light means more ESPN and TNT appearances. It means more opportunities for the Raps to shine. Perhaps more importantly it also gives CB4 one less reason to leave. If the Raps can suddenly become a fixture for nationally televised games in the US then exposure is something Bosh doesn't need to worry about. It would also be nice to get Hubie Brown's take on this team.
All-Star Saturday night could be a forgettable night, or, it could be the launching point for Air Canada 2.0.
I'll be watching...and hoping for some of this...