Slam-Dunked: What was MJ Thinking?

Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images

D Howard’s sticker-12-feet-up-jam was … well, he shoulda been a finalist.

What was MJ thinking?

This was best All-Star Slam-Dunk contest in years. But the best two dunkers did not reach the Finals, in part because Michael Jordan appeared to have misplaced his “9” and “10” placards during the early rounds.

Gerald Green of the Boston Celtics won, deservedly so. He smoked Knick-midget Nate Robinson, who once again needed about a gazillion dunks to throw one down. Green showed creativity, showmanship and chutzpah. His off-the-side-of-the-backboard number was original. His homage to Dee Brown’s “pumps” dunk was cool (and probably lucrative). And his throwdown over the defending champion was a symbolic changing of the dunk.

But the best dunk of the night occurred in the opening round. and the man who should have made the finals was Orlando magic forward Dwight Howard. His sticker dunk was the baddest thing I’ve seen since Doc took off from the free-throw line and Vince Carter (the best dunker ever in my book) took the alley-oop from “cuz” Tracy McGrady in 2000 to win the Dunk Fest. Maybe the judges just didn’t see it like those of us watching on TNT.

When I saw what he did, when I saw the replays, I said, Game Ova. But Howard only scored a 45, thanks to an “8” from MJ, and he was not able to reach the Finals.

DH will return next year, and that dunk WILL be the one we discuss for years to come.

The Sticker D:

See Gerald dunk:


14 thoughts on “Slam-Dunked: What was MJ Thinking?

  1. Juan says:

    Dwight wears adidas, Green wears Reeboks, and Nate Robinson wears Nikes.

    Who did MJ/Nike give the higher scores to? He gave ’em to Nate right?

    That’s just one thought.

    That was an impressive dunk by Dwight. I was glad to see one of my favorite college players of all time, Jameer Nelson out there with Howard. Love Jameer’s game.

  2. wyclefdoug says:

    When I was a senior in HS, Jameer single handedly destroyed my HS’s bball team in the state championship. That boy was bad.

  3. Juan says:


    Was Jameer a bowling ball with legs then too? Love his game. All heart.

    Jameer got jobbed in the draft. Dickey V was enraged like I’d never seen him before when Jameer got slighted. Most of the ESPN pundits were up in arms about Jameer getting ignored by GMs. I had never seen them go out on a limb like that and actually appear like they had an actual opinion on it, rather than the fake argument/devil’s advocate type of stuff they do normally.

    Loved watching those St. Joe’s teams (he and Delonte West).

  4. Since everybody’s talking about Jameer, I remember when my school ended their NCAA hopes and dreams back in 2003.

    AND MJ obviously was not thinking clearly on Saturday night.

  5. Juan says:

    I remember ALL the teams that knocked off my college and college hoops team.

    Damn you NC State, Pitt, Oklahoma.

    One never forgets. It hurts. It still hurts.

  6. Maryann McLemore says:

    I don’t know for sure why Michael did not grade the dunk a 10; however, I did not think it rated a 10 because pressing the sticker on the backboard gave the guy longer hang-time that did not come naturally.

  7. Mark says:

    Howard made me believe again that big men can bring some originality and exciting creativity to the slam dunk contest. The boy is bad!!

    As for Mike, it seemed like he was holding out for the one that was going to set the place on fire. He must have forgotten that all the cool dunks are already in the bag. I’m convinced DH had more in the bag that we didn’t get to see.

    Oh, well…there’s always next year.

  8. Brian says:

    I don’t know if that’s really the “baddest” dunk since Vince because Jason Richardson’s 2003 final dunk against Desmond Mason was probably the most creative and innovative dunk of all time, nobody has done that dunk again. Bounce from floor, 180 under the legs reverse dunk? Loco.

  9. Folks at the dunk contest behind the judges said MJ had the 8 in his hand before Howard even dunked the ball.

    Whether he did or not its the main reason participation in the contest is woeful. Dwight only got in the contest because the NBA asked him to. There’s nobody anxiously waiting to sign up. And had the game been somewhere other than Vegas (say Oakland or Sacramento) there would have been fewer than the four that signed up this year.

  10. SJH says:

    I think the stars have stopped participating because they’ve got nothing to gain and their pride is on the line. If you’re Kobe, you don’t want to enter another dunk contest, risk screwing up and lose to Gerald Green. It’s cool when they’re up-and-comers looking to make names for themselves, but once they’ve reached All Star status, they’re just risking reputation.

    The last established star to be in the contest was Vince Carter, and he was only in his 2nd season.

    That’s why I think LeBron won’t do it. He competed in the high school dunk contest (and won), but I don’t think he’s confident that he could break out something innovative and rock the crowd. Honestly, if LeBron entered it, his showing would disappoint people. He gets up high, but he’s not flashy with it. He’d have lost to Nate Robinson last year. How bad would that have looked for him?

    But I think people don’t give the new boys the credit they deserve. The names aren’t big but the dunks are getting better over time. I watch the NBA, high school, NCAA and streetball dunk contests and some of the “all-time great” dunks get topped all the time. I’ve seen about 10 guys take off from in front of the free throw line. Hell, I saw a kid do it in person in high school. But people refuse to give it up and say what they’re seeing now is more innovative.

    Every year Jason Richardson put on a show. He was doing stuff you’d never seen before. Nate put it between the legs like Vince last year. And a 5’8″ man jumping over another man is special. If Jordan, at 6’6″, had jumped over Spud Webb, the fans and highlight reels would be polishing his ass nonstop and calling it the greatest dunk ever. This year’s contest was boring (the league should’ve let Nate bring out his poker table and raised the rim 2 feet for Dwight Howard), but overall, it’s still the most exciting event in All Star weekend.

  11. Jacob says:

    I agree with SJH. Some dunks lately are just not as impressive. The winner is the guy who creates the most hype.

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