December 23, 2010
After knocking himself out of the 2009-10 season after hurting his knee during a dunk attempt, it's still OK to cringe a bit every time you see Blake Griffin(notes) readying a launch. And apparently, now we have to worry about his head knocking the rim just as much as his knees handling the descent.
It speaks to the level of credibility that the Dunk Contest owns these days that when word hit Wednesday that Blake Griffin was open to the idea of entering the NBA's annual stuffing show, we were actually more concerned than excited. Would Griffin, clearly the master of the in-game dunk just two months into his NBA career, be able to in any way match his prowess in an exhibition setting? Was there a risk of him needlessly hurting himself in the process?
About 11 minutes into Wednesday's Rockets/Clippers matchup, the worries became outright fears. Because Blake went and did this:
That's a 6-9 guy jumping off a surgically repaired kneecap with his head at the rim, cats and kittens. And that's Blake on the reg. That's a word I use, now.
As for the Dunk Contest, we'll just pull this quote from a very good Q&A Blake sat down for with the great Steve Aschburner, as posted on NBA.com:
NBA.com: Tell us, right here and now, that you're going to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest.
BG: That would be cool. If it's something that the league wants me to do, I'll probably try to do it.
NBA.com: Do you already know what dunks you would do?
BG: Not really. I really don't work on them a lot. If it turns out I'm going to do it, I'll try to think of something creative.
I'm not one of those mopes that wants to do away with the Dunk Contest. I look forward to it every year, and even though we're disappointed just about every year -- for a Saturday night in February, during the early evening, spent inside watching basic cable? You could do much, much worse.
But even if Blake takes to the stage, merely jumps a lot, and doesn't really bring the house down ... who gives a rip? We're not even two months into the NBA season, and the guy has absolutely turned the league on its ear with his particular brand of nasty.
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