On Thursday night, we relayed the idea that Blake Griffin could have a disappointing All-Star weekend later this month, merely by just playing sound All-Star level basketball in the game but by failing to come through with the sort of never-seen-before dunks we're accustomed to seeing from the Clippers' big forward. Mix those unfair expectations and perhaps a second or third-place finish while defending his Slam Dunk title, and you've got a recipe for sad Blake.
Griffin, smartly, has responded by passing the torch and deciding to retire his Slam Dunk Contest run after one championship season. Telling Arash Markazi at ESPN Los Angeles this on Thursday:
"As of right now I don't plan on being in it," Griffin said Thursday night. "Those dunk contests aren't my thing, I said that last year. There's a lot of guys that can put on a great show and do some good stuff."
Indeed. And as we brought up in Thursday's post about LeBron James' possible inclusion in the contest, there just aren't a whole lot of things to do with a ball (or two, if you're Larry Nance) and a 10-foot (or higher, if you're Dwight Howard) rim. Or two rims, if you're Javale McGee.
Adding a bunch of unknowns to the mix has been tried before, but the NBA has also dropped the ball on a few of those unknowns over the last half-decade or so. Still, the league has to try to rebuild the contest in an organic way, and not like, say, Lorne Michaels hiring 47 semi-stars (some aged 47) for "Saturday Night Live" in 1994. Going with unknowns may not please Tony Kornheiser on some random Thursday in late February, but it might be best for the health of the contest.
And, for someone expected to lead his team deep into the playoffs, the health of Blake Griffin. Because, remember -- there's always DeAndre Jordan.
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