Let me preface this by saying that I like Gerald Wallace.
Wallace is a gritty player. He gets after it. He’s aggressive and he attacks. I’m sure that every team out there would jump at the chance to land a guy like him, and I’d love to have him on mine (if I had a team, which I do not [… from Seattle, and so on…]).
However, whoever put him in the Dunk Contest last year needs a “stern” lecture (get it?!).
Wallace is the classic example of a guy who has some nice, powerful, in-game dunks that get some sort of reaction and energize a home crowd. For some reason, NBA officials thought that would translate into a worthy performance on the eve of the All-Star Game. What follows is that performance (note: you only need to watch the first minute or so):
What in the hell? Just a LITTLE creativity and some sort of captivating finesse is a must if you want to go far in one of these deals. The only way around the aforementioned abilities is to simply be really small, but Gerald Wallace is a lanky 6’7″. There’s no excuse for his efforts, unless we later find out that he is blind or playing with an artificial spine or something along those lines.
The first dunk is an abomination. It’s a poor man’s Harold Miner impersonation. Scratch that – it’s a dead man’s Harold Miner impersonation. No snap at all, and the attempt to really “spice it up” comes after the jam, when Wallace sort of does a half pull-up. The second is equally as stupid.
By making a few calls and checking with a few sources, I managed to obtain a copy of what was to be Wallace’s contest-winning dunk, had he advanced to the final round. Below is his actual artistic rendition of the dunk, reportedly drawn on the plane ride to Dallas:
I mean, Jesus Christ – if you’re so creatively uninspired that you can’t come up with anything even remotely interesting, then you might as well go for some sort of comedic appeal. Unfortunately, the judges are all former greats who have high standards and, more importantly, seem to hate the idea of “fun” about 90% of the time. Play a drinking game where you take a shot every time MJ, ‘Nique, or Dr. J smiles during the dunk contest and, unless it’s something really strong, you’ll be more than capable of driving home immediately after the thing goes off the air.
Back to Wallace. Amazingly, his composite score was 1 point better than Shannon Brown’s (whose dunks were also featured in the above video and also left a lot to be desired). At least Brown jumped REALLY HIGH on his. I don’t know – I’m willing to give the selection committee a pass for his inclusion because he does some utterly breath-taking stuff on a fairly regular basis. Conversely, I doubt anyone outside of Wallace’s immediate family was looking forward to his display, and if you can find me video evidence of ANYBODY voraciously pacing back and forth in front of his/her television in anticipation of his contributions, then I will buy you a yacht.
The only positive is that this year CANNOT be any worse, and there’s a 100% chance that one of Blake Griffin’s MISSES will score higher than Gerald’s makes.
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