DeMar DeRozan(notes) came through with a sterling showing in Saturday's dunk contest, and though he didn't make it out of the first round, we gave the Raptors high-flyer an A grade for his efforts.
DeRozan's not exactly happy with the results, though. The second-year guard was the only contest participant that didn't roll out a prop before a slam. Blake Griffin(notes) came out with a Kia, and a choir. Serge Ibaka(notes) brought on a cadre of flag-waving cheerleaders. JaVale McGee(notes) brought in a whole separate basketball hoop. DeMar just dunked.
And Tuesday, to the Associated Press, he vented:
Asked Tuesday if he thinks he was robbed when he didn't reach the final of the competition, DeRozan replied, "I think so." Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers won by leaping over a car to edge Washington's JaVale McGee in the last round.
"I'm a dunker. Dunk contests, you go out there and dunk. I'm not into all the props and everything," DeRozan said at shootaround before Tuesday's game against Charlotte. "I try to come out with a creative dunk and do it and go from there. My fans liked it and you can see the reaction from a lot of people afterward.
"If there's a dunk contest next year I'll do it. But not no prop dunk contest."
It's a noble sentiment, if one can be noble about a dunk contest. Everyone has their own personal batch of rules. Michael Jordan dribbled when he attempted his free-throw line dunks, even, because that bow to the rule book gave his slam more basketball cred, in his eyes, than merely running to the line and taking off.
But as we've learned over the last decade or so, just about every dunk has been done to death. And though Griffin's jump over the car in the final round was pretty tacky, there isn't a whole lot of room for improvement in this particular field if outside elements aren't introduced.
You may have been robbed, DeMar, but these are the new rules. You can't show up to a dunk contest without a car to jump over. Everyone knows that.