The contestants for All-Star Weekend’s Dunk Contest and 3-Point Shootout were announced last night, and NBA fans are not happy, with more than one controversial decision being made by the league. In both cases, there are contestants who most feel should not definitely not be contestants for two of the most exciting events in the NBA calendar. Let’s start with the Dunk Contest;
The line up for this year’s NBA Dunk Contest is as follows:
- Aaron Gordon
- Glenn Robinson III
- DeAndre Jordan
- Derrick Jones Jr.
Obviously the stand-out problem with this line up is no Zach LaVine, the 2x reigning Dunk Contest champion. And while LaVine has been throwing down some sick dunks in the regular season, and with most fans hoping Zach would battle for a 3-peat in an epic rematch with Aaron Gordon, the defending champ recently declined his invite to compete this year, although his reasons for doing so are unclear; perhaps he realised that Gordon should have won last season, and is allowing him to do so this year. Zach’s decision was obviously a let down for a lot of fans, including myself, who feel that the Dunk Contest is the most exciting event of All-Star Weekend, and were hoping for a rematch of one of the greatest battle of hops in NBA history.
A lot of you are asking, “who the hell is Derrick Jones Jr?” Well, those of you that don’t know, he’s a Phoenix Suns player playing in the NBA Development League. Yes, I said it, a D-League player is performing in the Dunk Contest. And from what I’ve seen of his in-game dunks, he’s not that special. I mean, sure the kid has hops, but his dunks are not spectacular. They don’t have the same aggression that we see from players in the NBA like Russell Westbrook, or the skill and degree of difficulty that we see from Aaron Gordon. If you were to ask me, I’d say to throw Terrence Ross in there instead of Derrick Jones Jr, or maybe Larry Nance Jr. Now maybe I’m wrong, as Jones did say that he’s got something we’ve “never seen before,” maybe this kid will come out and shock me, and if he does, all props go to the 19 year-old. But, for the moment anyway, I’m not expecting anything too amazing.
Normally I’m excited about the Dunk Contest, as it is my favourite event of this spectacular weekend. But this year I feel it’s just a bunch of aggressive dunkers, with the exception of Air Gordon, thrown together in a battle of power, rather than skill and difficulty. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I can’t imagine DJ high-flying over 4 players or throwing down a dunk which could match the skill we’ve seen from LaVine and Gordon in the last two years. Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Now, let’s move onto the 3-Point Shootout;
The long range snipers competing in the 2016-2017 3-Point Contest are as follows:
- Kyrie Irving (39.5%)
- Klay Thompson (40.4%)
- Kyle Lowry (42.7%)
- Kemba Walker (40.2%)
- Eric Gordon (38.2%)
- Wesley Matthews (38.1%)
- Nick Young (41.6)
- C.J McCollum (42.3%)
Like the Dunk Contest, there’s an obvious flaw in the 3-Point Contest; We’re missing a Splash Brother. Yes, Stephen Curry, who holds the record for most 3-pointers in a season with an incredible 402, who has revolutionised the way the deep ball is shot in the league, who is possibly the greatest shooter of all-time and is currently shooting 41.8% from 3, putting him ahead of everyone on this list aside from Kyle Lowry and C.J McCollum. I’m not a Warriors fan, or a Curry fan for that matter, but not having Steph in the 3-Point Contest is like not having LeBron in the All-Star game, it just wouldn’t make sense. But let’s not get too mad, because it wasn’t the league’s decision to bench Curry for the Shootout. No, much like LaVine in the Dunk Contest, Steph has decided to sit this one out, stating that he wants to make the most of his extended rest period before the All-Star game. This is why Wes Matthews, who isn’t even in the top 50 in 3pt%, is in the line up for the 3-Point Contest. Other than that, I feel these are solid choices, who are sure to make a splash come All-Star Weekend.
Keep an eye out for All-Star Weekend taking place between 17-19 Feb, only a brief period of time away. Let me know what you think about the decisions for both the Dunk Conest and 3-Point Shootout below, and follow my blog for more NBA posts. Check out my thoughts on the 2017 All-Stars and follow my Twitter for updates on my blog. Enjoy your day!