Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins gives his brutally honest take on the 2022 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
It’s no secret that the 2022 NBA dunk contest was a disappointing affair, with Shaquille O’Neal’s iconic expression pretty much summing it all up. One of the most anticipated events of the All-Star Weekend was a disaster, earning criticism from all ends.
What followed was a series of recommendations from fans and trade analysts to implement to make the dunk contest exciting again. None of the participants in this year’s dunk contest got it right in their first attempts. It seems like Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine have set the bar impossibly high.
During a recent episode of TNT’s The Steam Room, two-time dunk contest winner Dominique Wilkins shared his views on the contest held at Cleveland. The nine-time All-Star discussed his recommendations with Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley.
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Wilkins didn’t mince his words from talking about the absence of athleticism, star power, and picking up talents from the streets.
Dominique Wilkins talks about the NBA adopting a new model for the dunk contest.
The recent 75th-anniversary edition of the All-Star Weekend saw the dunk contest come under scrutiny. There was an absence of excitement, with players looking less prepared. Neither of the high-flyers were able to give the audience an adrenaline rush.
In a recent conversation with Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins suggested some points to make the dunk contest relevant again.
“Well, first of all, those guys were trying to do dunks that they couldn’t do and it was too difficult,” said the former scoring champion.
“And the fact that no one made a dunk on their first dunk, and I’m looking at the athleticism, wasn’t much athleticism in the dunk contest. There’s a couple of things, you gotta have some star power, you gotta have some real high-flying athletes and I tell you, one guy I would love to see is Ja Morant. He probably win it hands down, this kid can go.”
“One of the things they have to do in the dunk contest is to only allow one miss, that’s it. If you allow a guy four-six attempts it takes away the element of surprise and the fans get bored. And there’s another thing too if you wanna make it really interesting, my partner has been talking about this, find the best dunkers around the country, street dunkers and have two or three be a part of the dunk contest go along with some of the NBA players, man you’re talking about an electrifying event.”