FanPost

How to fix the dunk contest

I think we can all agree, the dunk contest could use a major refresh on format for three reasons:

- It's too boring watching guys attempt their initial dunks - we want guys to test themselves but this is tv after all.
- It's too difficult to come up with something 'new' - and it's hard to imagine a player breaking new ground on athleticism alone at this point (great if you have it, but can't count on it every year)
- It's got no personality. You want to showcase players' personalities as much as their skills.

This format addresses all those issues, plus gives something to all types of fans, from the purist who really knows a good dunk when he/she sees it, to the casual fan who just wants to be entertained and see something new, to the kids and fanboys who are as concerned about who's wearing which shoes as the dunks themselves.

Dunk 1 - The Playground Dunk
Format: Jam session (all the guys are just out on the court taking turns, like layup lines except dunking - used in snowboard comps)
Theme: "Just watching amazing athletes having fun, challenging each other, and pushing their limits."
-Dunkers line up and just attack the rim one after another for 5-10 dunks each
Criteria: This is a display of raw athleticism, agility, dexterity, power, and creativity on an NBA rim, court, etc. Lobs and self pass allowed. No props, no interview. Judges score the dunks and keep the top two for each dunker.
Judges: non partisan collection of tv commentators/ex-players (would be great to mix a few small market guys in with the big names, cross networks)
Why?: The format would avoid the dreaded 'Watch one guy attempt the same dunk 7 times' scenario. The pace would be fast and more entertaining. Also it would take pressure off the players, put them in a comfort zone, give them a little breather to get ready for their next attempt, also promote competitiveness as guys try to one-up each other.

Dunk 2 - The Throwback Dunk
Format: Traditional dunk contest, attempt dunks on a timer
Theme: "Respect to the greats"
-Dunkers perform any dunk contest dunk of years past in tribute of basketballs great dunkers. (eg, the MJ free throw line, the Vince arm in the basket)
Criteria: The dunk must be recognizable to the judges, so points are given for that, points are given for adding their personal flair, execution as far as doing as good or bigger, higher further than the original.
Quick interview to give respect afterwards and/or introduce the dunk before (though it might be fun to have twitter followers calling out what it is)
Judges: previous dunk contest winners
Why?: People love seeing throwback anything from jersey's to dunks - many times players' try classic dunks and it is a favourite. Also, it would make an easy one to prepare for. You can tell that many dunkers do not know how to prepare for the contest.

Dunk 3 - The Hollywood Dunk
Format: Traditional dunk contest, attempt dunks on a timer
Theme: "NBA players shows their personality"
-Anything goes. Props invited, costumes, helpers, monkey with the rim, court, whatever. Combine a non-basketball talent somehow with a dunk. Do a skit, sing a song. Big rockstar like intro and interviews, celeb involvement.Degree of difficulty not important, unless it's an 'athletic challenge' dunk (e.g. dunking on extra tall net or two baskets at once). Fun factor, creativity, should be considered equally BUT guess who the judges are.
Judges: The fans! Points are assigned depending on rank of most fan votes.
Why?: Besides potential for being ridiculously fun seeing players acting goofy and get to know the fans, this would just be a chance to give the audience a spectacle and guarantee there is a climax to the event.

Other notes:
All dunkers do all dunks, so less pressure early on and no ones preparation is wasted.
6-10 dunkers
No elimination rounds, judged events, highest score wins
Each player gets 3 dunk scores out of ten
Three scores are added, top score wins!!

In conclusion:
I think it appeals to a lot of varied types of fans from purists to those who just like the spectacle.
Also I think it would honour the game and be entertaining as hell.
Plus it would be faster paced and easier to sustain without needing a format change for a while.

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