Sunday, February 17, 2008

Your name is Kal-El...

"... You are the only survivor of the planet Krypton. Even though you've been raised as a human, you are not one of them. You have great powers, only some of which you have as yet discovered."

Dwight "Supe" Howard is your 2008 Slam Dunk Champion. He leads the NBA in dunks so far this season and scored a perfect 50 on every dunk that he executed. He was "flying for real" according to Kenny Smith. Every dunk of Howard's was memorable and creative: there was the behind-the-glass-dunk, the Superman, the Volleyball and the Mini-Hoop. The only single-contest performance that even comes close to this is Vince Carter's from 2000. That comes close to this. But, for my money (and I did win a few bucks taking the 11-4 odds on Howard to win), this was a better performance. After all, Howard is almost seven-feet tall and a physical specimen the likes of which the dunk contest has never seen before. And, don't bring up Larry Nance, who was 6-10. He wasn't doing anything like this in 1984.

To go a step further, I actually think what Dwight did was more impressive than what the little guys (Nate and Spud) have done. To be that big and be able to hang and contort one's body like that is amazing. Like Superman.


Gerald Green had a heck of contest too. He just picked the wrong year and ran into the Howard buzzsaw. The birthday cake thing was clever and would have been the biggest recipient of the Mutumbo face in most other years. Just not last night.

Karl Malone and Magic Johnson were both judges. Dr. J was the only one sitting between them and I'm going to imagine that this was not enough of a buffer zone for the Mailman. It was Malone who famously refused to play on the same court, or even in the same league, as an HIV-positive Magic. The cameras didn't catch them speaking to one another.

Jason Kapono won the 3-point shooting contest for the second time. Is he the next Craig Hodges? And, why did Miami let him go in the offseason?

Deron Williams won the skills competition, which I forgot about in my All-Star game preview. He beat Wade, Kidd (who now just looks hilarious in a Nets uniform), Nash and Chris Paul. Kidd dropped out because he couldn't hit the jump shot, which makes sense. Wade didn't last because the wheels just came off his bid, sort of like the season in South Beach. Fittingly, the Final Round was contested by Paul and Williams, who navigated the course perfectly. He won the competition and set a new record.