When Gerald Green made it clear before the start of last season that he's through with the Slam Dunk Contest, we understood the move, but it still bummed us out a bit. On one hand, Green has already competed in three All-Star Weekend dunk competitions — winning in 2007, placing second in 2008, and failing to make the finals in 2013 — and, at age 28, was eager to leave behind his "just a dunker" reputation as he began his first year with the Phoenix Suns. He did a pretty good job of it, too, finishing fourth in Most Improved Player voting after averaging a career-high 15.8 points per game and shooting a sterling 40 percent from 3-point land for a surprising Suns squad that came within one win of the final Western Conference playoff berth.
On the other hand, though ... I mean, Green is really good at dunking.
I'm all for fadeaway game-winners and third-quarter explosions to beat the MVP that wind up getting immortalized in video game form. But there's just something about watching Green's dunks — so effortless in his explosion, so furious in his finishes, with hang time that seems more amenable to measurement with a sundial than a stopwatch — that makes you want to see him do it forever, even if he'd prefer to move on.
Luckily for us, the former preps-to-pros leaper still spends some time during the offseason showing off his springs. Luckier still: he rolls with people who know when to hit record.
Reasonable people can differ as to which flavor of off-the-wall practice-gym throw down they prefer — Blake Griffin's, LeBron James', Anthony Davis' or Green's. But I think we can all agree that the basketball world's a more fun place when Gerald's launching, levitating and lowering the boom. By all means, keep working on that jumper and those defensive slides to become a better all-around player, Gerald. Just give us some of these every once in a while, too, OK?
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