Not Blake Griffin. Not JaVale McGee. The winner of last nights Slam Dunk Contest was Kenny Smith (Griffins slam dunk "coach"). Let me tell you why...
Let me just say now that that was one of the best slam dunk contests that we have seen in a while. Each contestant brought a new and exciting dunk to the table. It was fun to watch and was worth staying up for. Seeing Serge Ibaka take off from the free throw line and throw it down was amazing (even though he only scored a 45 out of 50). We witnessed JaVale McGee dunk not one, not just two, but THREE basketballs at once. Also, watching Serge Ibaka retrieve that little boys teddy bear was heart warming.
But Kenny Smith was the real winner last night. If you judge the competition based on DUNKS (because it is a slam dunk competition), JaVale McGee should have won. But since they leave the finals up to the fans, there was no doubt who was going to win. Griffin did not do anything impressive. He jumped over the hood of a car and dunked the ball. He didn't do a windmill or any other special dunk. Just a boring every night two handed stuff. What made it impressive, was Kenny Smith. He arranged to have the car brought in and arranged to have the gospel choir come and sing "I Believe I Can Fly".
Are you kidding? How cheesy can you get? The car was cool. The choir was interesting. But the song choice? Really? Whatever. Back to the dunk (because that's what the competition was...a DUNK contest). Blake Griffin showed off little athletic ability. Every NBA player should be able to jump over the hood of a 2011 Kia Optima. At least JaVale McGee did something interesting with his final dunk.
So congratulations to Kenny Smith. He put on a great show. Since it's a fan vote in the final round, it really does not matter how cool the dunk itself is. It's all about presentation. Take the car and choir away and Blake Griffin had just about the lamest dunk ever done in a slam dunk competition. He had great dunks in the first 2 rounds. His Vince Carter impression was unbelievable. But the final round had little to do with his athletic ability. It had everything to do with presentation.