As Laker fans, it’s hard to forget about the disappointment we felt after Shannon Brown’s less-than-thrilling performance in the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest during last year’s All Star Weekend in Dallas, Tex.
Shannon came into the contest as one of the most hyped participants ever. He had only donned the forum blue and gold for just slightly longer than a year, but he had been forcing fans to jump out of their seats and cheer as if Kobe was a rookie again – when he was putting the ball between his legs or doing a 360 before slamming it home.
Whether in the arena or watching the game on television, whenever Shannon brown heads to the scorers’ table to check-in, there is an instant buzz that filters through the arena. Everyone knows what to expect, they just don’t know when it’s coming – and that makes the actual occurrence of a Shannon “Cannon” Brown throw down, that more exciting.
Unfortunately for Shannon, when his name was called to participate in the dunk contest almost a year ago, the outcome of his performance did not reflect the sense of anticipation and excitement of the fans filling the Dallas Mavericks’ arena. Whatever the reason(s) was for Shannon’s lackluster showcase, he did not live up to expectations.
Regardless, Shannon Brown is still a tremendous athlete and slam dunker; however, considering the fact that all of the dunks in the realm of possibility for NBA players have essentially been completed (and played out), the Dunk Contest has ultimately transformed from a display of athletic talent to an exhibition of creativity and humor.
While Shannon will not be participating in the dunk contest this year, another player down the hall from the Lakers’ locker room is, and he comes in as a participant with a similar story: a freak athlete, who is known for exiting, get-out-of-your-seat-and-yell-like-there’s-no-tomorrow throw downs, but has not had the chance to display a great deal of creativity with his slams.
This player is none other than rookie-sensation, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers. Despite having played only 34 games to date, the 21-year old phenom has generated an insane amount of buzz behind his powerful throw downs. So much buzz, in fact, that if you “Google” Blake Griffin, the most popular searched phrase that includes his name is: “Blake Griffin Dunk.” Thus, he was an obvious candidate to participate in the annual dunk-a-thon.
Although Griffin is not a member of the Purple & Gold, he has easily become a league-wide fan-favorite, who is well on his way to becoming a superstar in this league. Since he will be the lone representative of the Staples Center’s teams in this year’s dunk contest (which will be held in Los Angeles this year), here are a few tips for Griffin as he prepares for the contest, so he doesn’t experience a performance akin to that of Shannon’s last year.
Next: Creativity Counts