How To Fix The NBA Dunk Contest
Slim, Creative Consultant, Miami Beach, FL
February 19, 2015

Brooklyn – Last night was 2015 NBA All Star Saturday Night at the Barclays Center. It is professional basketball’s fan appreciation showcase featuring the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker 3 Point Contest, and Sprite Dunk Contest. The most coveted event this year was the 3 Point Shootout with: Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, James Harden, Kyle Korver, Kyrie Irving, Marco Belinelli, Wesley Matthews, and J.J. Redick. NBA On TNT‘s analyst/former NBA player Kenny Smith made the suggestion for 2015 to close with the 3 Point Contest rather the Dunk Contest prior to the showcase. Why? There has been a lack of creativity and buzz regarding the dunk contest for several years. Fans have not received the same quality in comparisons to previous years. 

Our team at Innovation Genius submitted a proposal for a new revamped version of the NBA Dunk Contest during the summer of 2014. We believe our plan would have been the perfect closing opportunity for All-Star Saturday Night. Our plan for 2015 was to incorporate non-NBA dunkers to perform along or against NBA Stars. Our format included judging and social media responses from the fans. This is how it would’ve worked:

Zach Lavine & Andrew Wiggins. 2015 NBA Dunk Contest.

Photograph by The Source

Competitors for the dunk contest will be selected per fans voting. An open ballot will be provided on for selection. Voting for NBA players will open simultaneously as NBA All-Star voting. Two non-NBA dunkers will be selected from fan voting from a ten-athlete ballot. (I.e. Kenny DobbsJustin DarlingtonPorter MaberryRafal Lipinski) This open ballot will also be available on Each open ballot will be presented on NBA on TNT. When the voting period ends, the top four NBA and top two non-NBA players would be formally announced on NBA on TNT.  

Why should the NBA Dunk Contest be any different?

If people challenged the authenticity of the NBA Dunk Contest by using non-NBA athletes, our response refers to the other activities of All-Star Friday & Saturday nights. The celebrity game mixes athletes with people of prominent positions in government, music, and film/TV with current NBA players. The Degree Shooting Stars event comprises of a current NBA player, a former NBA player, and a WNBA player. The weekend is a fusion of people that are not just NBA players. The fans appear to love it. Why should the NBA Dunk Contest be any different?

Kevin Hart – 2015 NBA Celebrity Game MVP.

Photograph by

All-Star NBA players have not been actively participating in the Dunk Contest. The most noted NBA player to NOT ever participate in the Dunk Contest is Lebron James. All-Stars perform in the All-Star game for the fans. It is a reflection of fans voting. Peer pressure will not get someone of Lebron James caliber to perform in the contest. However, fans possibly will. If two million fans vote for Lebron James to participate in next year’s contest, it will be hard for him and others to turn it down. Adding non-NBA dunkers not only pays homage to New York’s legendary street basketball history but also will draw a new spark into the event. It gives back to the art. This is basketball coming full circle in New York City: ABA, NBA, Rucker Park, MSG, and the Barclays Center. This could draw larger celebrity and corporate attention putting NBA All-Star Saturday Night on a grand stage.

This is what the NBA Dunk Contest should’ve looked like in New York…Do you agree? Vote Yes or No for a new revamped dunk contest for 2016 in Toronto below. Maybe we can get the NBA on board this time and tell us what you think.

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