Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 3:33 AM ET, 02/20/2011

JaVale McGee never had a shot against Blake Griffin, but still put on a show

By Michael Lee

And a one, and a two. (AP Photo/Mark Ralston)


Blake Griffin certainly had the most choir-singing, scene-stealing, crowd-screaming, show-stopping, car-hopping dunk of the night. But overall, he was probably the third-best dunker in Staples Center on Saturday. Griffin was the most entertaining -- which is what the dunk contest is all about -- but the best two dunkers were JaVale McGee and Toronto Raptors swingman DeMar DeRozan. Both McGee and DeRozan have a legitimate argument that they were robbed from an opportunity to be slam dunk champion.

Not hating on Griffin, just calling it how I see it.

The odds were severely stacked against any participant not named Griffin, since he had the hype, the fan support and most famous name in the competition. He's an all-star who has been a force since he was allowed to play for the Los Angeles Clippers after taking a year off to recover from a knee injury. But when word began to circulate a few hours before the contest that Griffin had planned to dunk over a car, the other competitors really had to start preparing for second place.

I mean, Griffin had the NBA's official vehicle, the Kia Optima, with a Sprite Slam Dunk sticker on the side. That meant he had to make to the second round, because a prop that elaborate, and possibly expensive, was not going to waste.

I happened to be seated near the tunnel, where Baron Davis was resting on the hood, so I knew what was about to go down before Kenny Smith grabbed the microphone, begged people to get out of their seats and said, "We're going to bring the pageantry to the dunk contest."

To top it off, Griffin had the Crenshaw Elite choir come out to sing, "I Believe I Can Fly." No way McGee was going to follow up the dunk with anything better. McGee joked afterward, "Nothing's going to beat the car unless I bring a plane out or something."


Can't touch this. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

McGee certainly tried his best to overcome a second-or-nothing situation, as he brought out two dunks that had never been attempted before in the slam dunk contest. His first dunk -- or rather, double dunk -- was so ridiculous that I thought he was a tad too ambitious. He had originally thought about raising a prop goal to 12 feet, so that he could dunk flatfooted off the vertical.

But after McGee practiced it on Thursday, he didn't like how it looked, so an observer suggested he dunk with two basketballs off both rims, separated by a few feet. He tried the first time and got it to go down. So he decided to add it to his arsenal.

He needed almost the entire two minutes on Saturday to pull it off, but when he did, it was rather incredible. He basically did a no-look left-handed dunk and tossed it off the backboard to dunk with his right. He got a 50.

"He created that two rim dunk and only a seven-footer with his wingspan could pull that off," said McGee's mother, Pam. "I was shocked."

Pam McGee was enlisted for his second dunk, but only after JaVale McGee flinched and was forced to change his plans. A few weeks ago, McGee came up with the dunk in which he snatched a piece of paper out of the net with his teeth before jamming. He had added a tweak for the competition but was unable to attempt in when Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka -- who earlier had a severely slept-on foul line dunk -- pulled a doll off the rim with his teeth directly before him.

"Serge had did a dunk that was similar to the one, so I switched it around so that I could get a high score," JaVale McGee said.

JaVale McGee had pulled off his three-ball dunk earlier this week in Orlando. Hilton Armstrong was the passer and he put the ball in the right spot for McGee to get it on the first try. McGee brought out John Wall on Saturday and Wall needed a few attempts before McGee could throw them down.

McGee got a 49, only because Brent Barry gave him a nine. I predicted a 50 when I saw it on Wednesday, but Barry should know, as a former champion, that dunking three times while in mid-air is not the easiest thing to do.

McGee had his mother involved, as she walked down an aisle, carrying a red, white and blue ball in a box and wearing her old Los Angeles Sparks warmup from her days in the WNBA. Afterward, McGee let it be known that it would've been better used in the final round.

"Definitely was trying to get the crowd into it, we knew they was going to be text voting, too," he said. "Most of the people in the world are women, so we felt it was good to get those texts."


Thanks, John. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

McGee earned his trip to the final round, but DeRozan really has a reason to be upset. DeRozan had the disadvantage of going first, but he started out the competition really well, as his Raptors teammate Amir Johnson threw the ball off the basket support and DeRozan jumped underneath the basket, brought the ball between the legs and dunked. He got a 44. It was at least a 47. Canadian exchange rate or something?

The judges made up for it some, when they gave him a 50 for a really nice jam in which he caught the ball of the bounce, brought it down below his waist and nearly banged his head on the rim as he did a reverse dunk.

Now, Griffin's first dunk was a two-handed 360-jam, but I was surprised that he got a 49 right after McGee got a 50 for dunking on two rims. I didn't think McGee's dunk, given the degree of difficulty and creativity, could only be one point better than Griffin's. But it was no biggie, since I wanted to see McGee battle Griffin in the final. I just didn't know that Griffin would get ushered in with some questionable scoring.

Griffin wanted to catch a pass from Davis off the side of the backboard and do another 360-dunk, which would've been insane. But he had to settled for catching the ball of the backboard and throwing down a windmill. It was nice dunk, but certainly not better than DeRozan's between-the-legs 44. Griffin got a 46, giving him the extra point he needed to advance.

Granted, Griffin plays for the Clippers, but DeRozan is born and raised in Los Angeles -- and went to USC. He still got no love.

Griffin brought back Vince Carter's arm in the rim dunk in the final round, and make no mistake, it was difficult, considering he threw it off the backboard first and bruised the inside of his arm in the process. McGee added a more complicated take to Michael Jordan's famous rock-the-cradle. McGee's third dunk may have been his best of the night, given the dexterity required to pull it off. He drove baseline, dipped under backboard, kept his head from avoiding the padding, rocked the ball and dunked it on the other end.

The irony of the competition? Coach Flip Saunders always criticizes McGee for being a style over substance player, yet McGee was upended because he had more substance than style. Once the decision was left up to fans with cellphones, then McGee had no shot at winning a popularity contest. Most people hadn't heard of the guy until he showed up on Saturday. Griffin trumped McGee with 68 percent of the vote.

On his decisive jam, Griffin had the assistance of two great showmen in Davis and Smith, a former slam dunk champ. "It was actually my idea to use the car," Griffin said. "When they first came to me with the dunk contest idea, they said there was no rules. I was like, 'So I can jump over a car?' Kind of playing around.

"I got the dimensions and all that. Figured I could probably clear it and Baron came up with the choir and Kenny and they all put everything together," he said. "I was actually going to jump over the choir separate from the car, and then Baron was like, 'Why don't you do it together?' So we had the choir position around the car, and then people came in and said you can't cover up the car."

When Griffin hurdled the Kia, Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett waved his hands across his neck and yelled, "It's over." And it was. McGee was so shook after that dunk, he could've dunked from halfcourt and not turned a head. It was a tough act to follow. But Pam McGee still has her own opinion about the real champion.

"In my opinion, my son won the dunk contest," she said. "The dunk contest is entertainment. I think JaVale accomplished what he wanted to do. If you don't know, you better ask somebody, you know who JaVale McGee is now. I think hey, he did a wonderful job."

McGee was happy with his performance and said he would likely compete again. Maybe he can jump over a truck. "Hey," he said. "I might."

By Michael Lee  | February 20, 2011; 3:33 AM ET
Categories:  Hilton Armstrong, JaVale McGee, John Wall  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Poll: Will John Wall and/or JaVale McGee win?
Next: JaVale McGee, mother, on slam dunk contest

Comments

If he jumps over a truck next year, it will have to be the truck made by the event's sponsor - and it will have to take place in D.C.

We can't deny Griffin's nutty ability to throw down. We can deny, as did C. Barkley, that he wasn't the best dunker tonight.

My hope is that J. Wall starts throwing more of those crazy alley(s) to Javale's oops.

At least this weekend a couple of Wizards made names for themselves, if not their team.

I guess it wasn't unlike the probowl where all the Skins kept intercepting and one won the MVP.

These aren't the games where our guys should really shine.

Posted by: scheermadness | February 20, 2011 3:53 AM | Report abuse

Good for McGee. I was afraid he was going to crumble under the pressure. I've only seen highlights, but he did well it seems.

Griffin winning was kind of a farce. I believe Barkley when he said Griffin shouldn't have won. I get it's entertainment and for the fans yada yada, but for the sake of making it a somewhat legit competition they should only allow ex champs to vote for the winner along with the panel.

Anyway...

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 20, 2011 4:28 AM | Report abuse

couldn't agree more.... its a complete sham as is all star voting in general.

Posted by: bbachrac | February 20, 2011 5:21 AM | Report abuse

That was clearly fixed. It was not a dunk contest, it was a Blake Griffin car commercial

Posted by: cilp33 | February 20, 2011 5:41 AM | Report abuse

I agree that JaTravel's dunks overall were better than Blake's, but blame Les BouleS for JaTravel losing. Where's the hype machine that should have been built to support JaTravel. I thought Leonsis was some sort of marketing genius. Nobody had ever heard of JaTravel prior to this contest, and that's why he lost.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Nice work Mcgee! He had a very high degree of difficulty but executed everything under more pressure than the Wiz create in their games. He and Wall got a little positive press for the beleaguered franchise...I'm sure Ted is happy about it.

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2011 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I think it's stupid leaving the final to the fans. Those same morons that voted an injured-hasn't-played-a-minute Yao Ming in to the All Star game.

Having said that, Griffin's showmanship on the final dunk won him the contest. McGee would have needed something special to win it (or Griffin would have had to fail to complete the dunk).

Posted by: tundey | February 20, 2011 9:04 AM | Report abuse

He was robbed. However, such is the spoils of winners.Maybe the two young participants will be EVEN HUNGRIER when the see the difference between being in the league, and being the future of the league. The positive is that they still have time. #tic...tock...tick...tock

Posted by: orpheusgroupent | February 20, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"Good for McGee. I was afraid he was going to crumble under the pressure."

The announcers kept telling him to "slow down." I thought that was funny because we tell him the exact same thing watching him play. :)

Javale's first dunk was the best I have seen since it was first conceived. Griffin deserved the win on the last dunk, but Javale did wonderfully.

Wall and McGee did represent very well for DC this year, I'm proud of them both as a fan.

Now if Sacramento would only trade us Cousins.....

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | February 20, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Jatravel is a terrible nickname. Like Ruthlessbanger for Roethlisberger is great because it gets your insult in there without changing the whole pronounciation of the name. (I would think Travale would be better)

I thought going in that Vale had to be perfect to beat the hype around blake. His last dunk was his worst (or least great depending on how you look at it). But after I saw the voting (68-32%????) I knew that the winner was decided before either of them walked in to Staples.

Posted by: poconnor | February 20, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"I agree that JaTravel's dunks overall were better than Blake's, but blame Les BouleS for JaTravel losing. Where's the hype machine that should have been built to support JaTravel. I thought Leonsis was some sort of marketing genius. Nobody had ever heard of JaTravel prior to this contest, and that's why he lost.Posted by: DC_MAN88"

An interesting use of language -- the writer uses the nickname to disparage McGee and the post to disparage Leonsis and the team.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"It was not a dunk contest, it was a Blake Griffin car commercial.Posted by: cilp33"

Well, sure. And Sarah Palin shouldn't run for president. And the sun rises in the East...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I knew that the winner was decided before either of them walked in to Staples.

Oh, no doubt about that. What's funny is that Chuck openly calls out the whole thing as a fraud...so the sponsors get what they want while those watching hear what they want to hear.

Mchale was saying earlier in the week that for young players, just being there over the weekend for one of these ancillary events often gets them hungrier to become part of the league's elite. Let's hope it goes the same for Mcgee and Wall

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Mike Lee used the correct term. This entire weekend was nothing but a coronation of the next great superstar. David Stern has definitely been paying attention to Vince McMahon and the WWE on how to correctly market and showcase talent. The key word is "talent". Even though Blake was probably the 4th best dunker last night, he is by far the most talented. Same thing happened last All Star weekend with Kevin Durant's coronation. Its easier to market someone avg 22 and 10 than it is to make a star out of a guy who is regularly out of position on defense. Who'd rather leak out for a dunk than grab a rebound. I hope Javale uses this slight as motivation for the 2nd half of the season.

Posted by: CBell29 | February 20, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

A 'real' dunk contest -- meaning a legit competition -- would probably include some required dunks that all contestants had to complete, in addition to 'show' dunks. It would probably be divided into categories such as under 6', under 6'8", 6'8" and above, etc. Extravagant props would likely be prohibited.

That's not what the NBA offers, however. Probably because the present format gets better ratings among the punters.

Give you an example: a Super Bowl tie-in called Puppy Bowl, on Animal Planet, featuring cute dogs playing with footballs, drew 9.2 million viewers.

This was more legitimate than that, at least...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Mchale was saying earlier in the week that for young players, just being there over the weekend for one of these ancillary events often gets them hungrier to become part of the league's elite. Let's hope it goes the same for Mcgee and Wall

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2011 10:12 AM

An improbable probability according to Samson151.

He says that McGee won't benefit from being in the event at all. AMAZING!!!

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

"He says that McGee won't benefit from being in the event at all. AMAZING!!! LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Of course I didn't say that, my grandiose friend. I said it won't make him a better basketball player. Because, after all, it doesn't have much to do with basketball. Oh, there's a ball, and hoop, and a tall guy, but that's about it for the similarity.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I don't wanna suck up but Mike Lee has the story 100% on point. DeRozan and McGee should have been in the finals but this contest seemed to belong to Blake Griffin before it even started. OKL CTY player was robbed as well because he did jump from the free throw line. McGee's swag was waaaaay above 100 and if he had moved that car back a couple of feet or changed it's position and jumped over it, I'm sure he would have completed that dunk as well but not sure he had a chance with a text voting system while on BG's home court. If that wasn't a "tilted" voting system, nothing in the world is. BG displayed some good stuff but not enough to win this one.

Posted by: zack5 | February 20, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"An interesting use of language -- the writer uses the nickname to disparage McGee and the post to disparage Leonsis and the team.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 9:34 AM | Report abuse "

And everything the "writer" wrote was true.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Now if Sacramento would only trade us Cousins.....

- Ray

You know, I was against this until after seeing how john Wall and Cousins played together. They seem to gel really well. I think if the Wiz end up with a pick in the top 5, the Kings would trade him straight up for our number one draft pick.

Posted by: demonj21 | February 20, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

How did the name "JaTravel" originate?

Not so long ago, a lot of the Cleveland haters were on this blog criticizing LeBron for traveling too much as he thrashed Les BouleS time after time. They made up a name for him as "LeTravel."

LeBron's whispers of sweet nothings into Gilby's ear as he stood on the free throw line was the catalyst in Gilby's fall from stardom.

JaVale, with his limited offensive skills, attempted to do more than his scrawny body would let him in one game, whereby he was whistled for several travel violations. Thus the name "JaTravel" was born and the rest is another sad chapter in the history of Les BouleS.

It'll be another trip to the lottery after this season...despite what hope FLOP tries to brainwash the team into. It won't be the first time they ignored him.

Currently....3rd worst team in the East and 5th worst in the League at .278 "winning" percentage. 5 games ahead of rock bottom from a Cavs team led by MeTawn.

http://espn.go.com/nba/standings?group=1

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Note to C.Bell29; Way to "represent" you're right on with your post about Lord Commissioner Stern it's all about anointing the next star whether its Griffith, Durant, or whomever,didn't see the dunk contest but both my son's told me that Blake wasn't as dynamic as the other participants anyway like you said let's hope McGee uses this as motivation to get better the second half of this season.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 20, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

JaGoalTend would make sense at least.

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Of course I didn't say that, my grandiose friend. I said it won't make him a better basketball player. Because, after all, it doesn't have much to do with basketball. Oh, there's a ball, and hoop, and a tall guy, but that's about it for the similarity.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 11:21 AM

Really, ole' chap. You must realize that it isn't as simple as all that. However, the fanfare or lack of it as you say not being a boon to McGee's basketball improvement on the floor is such a glorified statement. How could you know something like that?

Isn't it true that one's initiative and drive to achieve, to succeed, to do better, TO BE BETTER, could come from just about anything.

For McGee to just see his mother walk onto that court and be apart of something involving him that millions can only dream about could spur any person to do almost anything. This, that McGee has just experienced could and probably be a tremendous boon to his psyche.

How is it that you can come to your glorious conclusion that what has happened to McGee last night and the whole All-Star event put together will not inspire him to become and be a better basketball player.

FOR REAL SAMSON151.

Samson151, drop back an punt on this one. You are missing it on this one. Be big about it. We all miss a few evernowandthen.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

A funny/good nickname for JaTravel would have been McFly if he had performed the Dr. J. dunk from the FT line and won the contest even though Ibaka did it. I don't know why JaTravel said he was discouraged by it. Note also that one of the commentators laughed at JaTravel after every time he spoke. I think it was Dwight.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW, JWow had an atrocious showing in the skills challenge.

Again, where was Leonsis, Mr. "marketing" machine.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 20, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

McGee really got huge Wow's from me. When he went out on that first dunk attempt on two goals and missed and then missed again and then I am going, "He can't do that, he can't do that, aww man."

Then he makes it and go Wow! Wow! Wow!.

I think the judges felt he could not do it afer the inition misses as well and that's why he got all tens.

I feel very proud of both Wall and McGee and how they represented the Wizards. Even though the All-Star event is all show and fanfare, it is a big, big, deal for the NBA.

I'd blogged a few threads back that McGee should include his mother and the WNBA angle in this event, though someone said it was a good basketball decision by McGee when he said it wasn't.

Funny how things turn out, huh, and it was a great decision to include his mother just like I had figured.

This event that concludes today, I am sure will be a great boon to both McGee and Wall on the basketball court.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Javale McGee has to be so proud of his mother in that, because of what she has accomplished, she was able to add to his accomplishment on the basketball court, yes Samson, his accomplishment on the basketball court, in the All-Star Gala.

How many NBA players, ever, can now boast like McGee. Surely, LeBron James cannot. People can pooh pooh the event all they want. This was special though and I hope to God that McGee doesn't let anyone, Samson151, tarnish, diminish, or downplay what he has just been through.

If Flip Saunders should ever open his mouth to slight the Slam Dunk Contest and McGee's participation in it again, it would be criminal.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"Really, ole' chap. You must realize that it isn't as simple as all that. However, the fanfare or lack of it as you say not being a boon to McGee's basketball improvement on the floor is such a glorified statement. How could you know something like that?Isn't it true that one's initiative and drive to achieve, to succeed, to do better, TO BE BETTER, could come from just about anything.For McGee to just see his mother walk onto that court and be apart of something involving him that millions can only dream about could spur any person to do almost anything. This, that McGee has just experienced could and probably be a tremendous boon to his psyche.How is it that you can come to your glorious conclusion that what has happened to McGee last night and the whole All-Star event put together will not inspire him to become and be a better basketball player.FOR REAL SAMSON151.
Samson151, drop back an punt on this one. You are missing it on this one. Be big about it. We all miss a few evernowandthen." LarryInClintonMD.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Most of the above is well-meaning gibberish. I say finishing second in the dunk contest doesn't make McGee a better basketball player. Larry insists it could 'inspire' him to new heights on the court.

Or not.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"How many NBA players, ever, can now boast like McGee."

Yep, that's what was missing from Javale's game: something more to boast about.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Of course it's subjective, but did Griffin do anything that topped McGee's dunks? Let's consider a few things: (1) Griffin is being promoted as the next superstar, (2) the contest took place in Los Angeles and (3) the winner was announced without showing the voting count. And oh yeah, Griffin used the offical car of the NBA as a prop. It would have been interesting if the judges could have decided like they did in the earlier round. With all due respect to Griffin's efforts, the "secret ballot" ending appears to be a product of the NBA's propaganda machine.

Posted by: LA55 | February 20, 2011 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Larry-- I think you're losing it. You're not making any sense. And to be so snide on top of it and telling Samson to "punt" on this one - solely, it seems, because you just laid a bunch of gibberish on the computer? It's one thing when you just type random letters into the computer about Flip and Livingston. It's another when you act all snide and point to yourself because you're "right" on a point, like BF78 or DCMAN. If it were left up to me, I'd say just go back to the pure gibberish.

Saying McGee's participation in a CONTEST is not going to help him pick up the nuances of the NBA and Flip's system is a pretty obvious point. Not one to disagree on and then get all snide about. Losing it.

Also, for all your back-patting, it seemed pretty darn obvious that JaVale was INCREDIBLY EMBARASSED about his mom. She show-boated with the kisses and the waving, for no reason at all. I like her, but it was clearly embarassing for some 23 year old professional athelete. It seemed obvious that he HAD to include her (likely because she insisted) and did so, because he's a good son. But to say it helped him or anything is wrong.

Posted by: Urnesto | February 20, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Also, this dunk contest does seem typical McGee: out of control/phenominal athleticism - but then lost it in the head department: got intimidated by Ibaka taking his dunk and Blake over the car, didn't have a plan B (ie, a 5th dunk in case someone took one of his others - as did happen), and kinda gave up on the last dunk.

Also, I'm not seeing DeRozan. On TV and online, everyone said it was McGee and Ibaka who should have won. Blake did win. And now Mike Lee is coming out of left field and saying DeRozan?? I honestly didn't hear anyone else say DeRozan.

Also, has anyone else noticed that Dwight Howard has now made a point to cut on JaVale as a "light-skinned brother" on at least 4 ocassions? Once in a Mike Lee interview, once on a courtside interview last nigtht, and twice in the TNT "booth" with Barkley, etc. Not sure what it means, but it seems to mean something to Howard.

Posted by: Urnesto | February 20, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Most of the above is well-meaning gibberish. I say finishing second in the dunk contest doesn't make McGee a better basketball player. Larry insists it could 'inspire' him to new heights on the court.

Or not.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 1:16 PM |


won't which you said means will not, as in to become.

doesn't which means does not, as in final, no future impact.

So Samson151, you changed your statement from

"Of course I didn't say that, my grandiose friend. I said it won't make him a better basketball player.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 11:21 AM "

As your partner in crime Kalo_ramo is fond of saying, "Stop moving the goalpost".

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 20, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"If Flip Saunders should ever open his mouth to slight the Slam Dunk Contest and McGee's participation in it again, it would be criminal.LarryInClintonMD.Posted by: LarryInClintonMD"

Criminal? Another word that should be looked up in the dictionary prior to applying it...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"won't which you said means will not, as in to become.doesn't which means does not, as in final, no future impact.So Samson151, you changed your statement from
"Of course I didn't say that, my grandiose friend. I said it won't make him a better basketball player."LarryInClintonMD.
Posted by: LarryInClintonMD

OK, the above is what I mean by gibberish.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Give you an example: a Super Bowl tie-in called Puppy Bowl, on Animal Planet, featuring cute dogs playing with footballs, drew 9.2 million viewers.

This was more legitimate than that, at least...

Posted by: Samson151

Hey, those puppies worked hard all sesaon to make it to the Puppy Bowl.

Posted by: ts35 | February 20, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Imo, McGee's overall dunks were better. He didn't help himself by not having a plan B in case someone else did one of his dunks, but I mean c'mon. They bring out the official car of the NBA and the choir? Plus, they let Kenny Smith pretty much go wild with the mic. Only heard a little bit from Darrell and almost nothing from C-Webb.

It is also symbolic to me that a Wizards player was able to start strong but not know how to close it out in the 4th. Not sure what he could have done, but as someone else said, having them leave the car out there or even move it a bit farther out might have worked. Given the deck stacked against him, it probably wouldn't have mattered, but I would have liked to see him finish stronger than he did. His first three dunks were so ridiculously athletic he deserved a real shot at the crown.

Posted by: ts35 | February 20, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

From an article on All-Star game ratings:

"Mike Reynolds -- Multichannel News, 2/20/2011 11:43:29 AM

"With its NBA telecasts on pace to score its highest Nielsen marks in its 27 years covering the sport, TNT executives hope its presentation of the Feb. 20 All-Star Game from Staples Center in Los Angeles will rebound in the ratings from last year.
The Feb. 14, 2010 contest, played before a basketball record crowd of 108,713 at Jerry Jones's Cowboys Stadium, posted a 3.8 household rating, 4.4 on the cable side, 4.4 million households and 6.9 million watchers on TNT. That was off 9.2% from the 7.6 million who watched the 2009 game, which grew 20% over the 2008 contest. The 2010 All-Star extravaganza, minus Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant who sat out with an ankle injury, went head-to- head with the third night of NBC's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

As to the Larry/Samson debate about whether attending the All-Star Weekend will or can make someone a better player. I think it can. Being around greatness can definitely be inspirational. Will it? Imo, the weekend definitely relit the fire under J-Wall. As for McGee, to me it remains to be seen. The only thing I feel is certain there is that it will inspire him to be a more creative dunker. So in that sense, it may lead him away from the things he should be focusing on. Hopefully I'm wrong about that.

Posted by: ts35 | February 20, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

JM being robbed on the slam-dunk contest might give him that edge to play with a "chip on his shoulder" attitude. Being that close to beating the NBA's chosen "Next Superstar" might propelled him to greater play on the court. For every annointed superstar, there are always 3-6 players who battle them throughout the superstar's careers in order that they may obtain that superstar status as well. Griffen may be McGee's frontrunner that he chases throughout his career. He may not get their, but he will be a better player for trying.

Posted by: SPUD2 | February 20, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"As to the Larry/Samson debate about whether attending the All-Star Weekend will or can make someone a better player. I think it can."

My argument wasn't about attending the weekend. It was that participating in the dunk contest wouldn't -- because the dunk contest isn't actually basketball. It's a manufactured TV event featuring players who are already particularly good at dunking, and includes no other useful basketball skills, so how in the name of Elvis could it possibly improve anybody's performance in a game? I suppose if somebody leaves a car out on the court during a Clips game, Blake Griffin would be prepared. Other than that, it's all about the entertainment value.

Of course, so's the Puppy Bowl...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

And let me affirm, no disrespect to those Puppies...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Well I really enjoyed the show. Yea I know it was not a real game, but to see JWall do well in the rookie challenge and J. McGee show himself well made me feel real proud to be a Wiz fan.

I just wish J. McGee would have decided to do the MJ/Dr.J free throw slam dunk. Ibaka barely got off of the floor. If McGee had did it you would have seen him way off of the floor and his elbow above the rim as he soared in. Man that would have been nice.

That dunk as his final dunk would have brought the house down, even after Blake's car jump.

Posted by: BulletsFever | February 20, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

What do yall think about an Andray Blatche for Gerald Wallace trade? Would Charlotte do this? We could throw in a guy like Al Thornton or Yi in to sweeten the pot and make the money work - neither of them will likely be here next year anyways, at least not at their qualifying offers.

Posted by: dfresh58 | February 20, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, I think the impetus for Charlotte would be to add some frontcourt scoring (non-existent in Diaw & KWAME (god lord..)).

Posted by: dfresh58 | February 20, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

(*good lord)

Posted by: dfresh58 | February 20, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

McGEE got my vote. That two-ball dunk was totally awesome, but the under the bank board windmill jam going away from the basket just blew me away. My goodness!

Posted by: glawrence007 | February 20, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

JaVale McGee did fantastic. He didn't win officially but I think he elevated himself in the minds of many. With the proper coaching he will become one of the top big men of his generation. He was creative and phenomenal. I was impressed but not overly impressed with Griffin's last dunk only because it was over the smaller height of the car...but it was entertaining and had all of the trappings, and aspects that people loved. Hurrah for JaVale...the best is yet to come!!! Will the Wizards pull off any trades before the deadline?

Peace.

Posted by: zbopjazz | February 20, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

The actual contest is more pressure than any Wizards player gets during the regular season. Javale would have looked like a FOOL if he couldnt pull off his very first dunk, that 2 basket insanity and time was running down with him having missed a few times. Watch the replay, that is an insane dunk, I mean seriously crazy thing to do. The timing to get it done is no joke, and the type of thing that nerves ruin. Pulling it off with that much pressure (think of all the past legends sitting there) rather than folding is definitely a nice test of mettle that he passed.

They say confidence is everything for nba players and at one point DHoward said "His swag is at a million right now." I think Reggie said "He's walking around like he's Jordan."

That's great stuff for him, and you can only guess how many legendary players talked to him, told him to work hard, etc, etc. "You can be so special if you work at" type talk.

All that is nothing but positives for a Wizards player, not sure why anyone would deride or belittle it. Our guys need all the help they can get!

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2011 5:51 PM | Report abuse

but the under the bank board windmill jam going away from the basket just blew me away. My goodness!

That was insane, he's pretty much a one-of-a-kind athlete. Let's hope he can turn it into top10 big man over the next year.

Posted by: divi3 | February 20, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"With the proper coaching he will become one of the top big men of his generation."

Maybe at one point he needed more coaching, but I think now, after two seasons in college and 3 in the NBA, it's mostly about effort. Applying it in the right direction.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 20, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

The contest was rigged.

One of the ways to tell was based on the promo that they had running up to the contest. Nothing but McGee and Griffin.

Also, would they have really allowed a final to go forward featuring the "official car of the NBA" without Blake Griffin? Unless there was some kind of contingency plan in place to have someone else do the stunt, there was no way that that stunt wasn't going to be performed.

Overall I thought the 4 put on a great show. McGee definitely was the most creative. If the contest was purely based on creativity he would have won hands down. Griffin had some great dunks too -- as did the other contests, but it seemed like the props also meant that some of the outcome was scripted too.

Posted by: JPRS | February 20, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

so how in the name of Elvis could it possibly improve anybody's performance in a game?
Posted by: Samson151

Confidence, attitude, demeanor, learning to compete. He was put center stage of the pro basketball universe for a night with one of the rising stars of the game, and acquitted himself well, if only in a dunking contest. The only way to learn to function in big moments is to be put in big moments.

We obviously won't know if it has any effect -- positive or negative -- on his performance, but it's not out of the realm of possibility to think that it could.

Uh, thankya, thankyaverymuch.

Posted by: ts35 | February 20, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Well there are two sides to the argument in this thread and both are correct. 1) It absolutely will not have an impact on his basketball skills or acumen. But, 2) It absolutely is probably the most focus and pressure he has received as a player and he acquitted himself well so it can only help in some intangible ways as ts35 pointed out very well.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 20, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

I assume that missed attempts don't officially count in the dunk competition, but they probably have a psychological effect on the judges. McGee did have a lot of missed attempts. When he made the dunks, he was great, but just imagine the effect if he had made them first try.

Posted by: PostSubscriber | February 21, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

only thing that dissapointed me about McGee is the fact that it seemed like he didnt know the rules or something. Its like they had 1 more dunk then he thought they had. How could he do all those dunks and then when the very final chance comes to win, you have nothing left?

Come on McGee, come on C-Webb. Its like they ran out of dunks. Maybe it was Ibaka's fault. Maybe they planned on doing that mouth dunk thing but Ibaka stole it. I could also see McGee maybe having a FT line dunk in him also just to show people that the in game one was a fluke but Ibaka took that too. Thats the only problem I had.

You already know that you arent going to win against Blake "The Media Darling" Griffin, espically in LA unless you come wit it and he just didnt do it. However, I also say he was robbed on that last dunk because his 1st one shouldve counted. It might wasnt completely clean but how was that not a dunk? Its like they were trying to make sure that he didnt win. Crooks....lol

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 21, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Mcgee mama took the spot light from him with what ever she called that hand movement she was doing and kissing the so call judges, and getting her shine on.

Posted by: maejude | February 22, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company