The NBA Slam Dunk Contest rattles fewer and fewer rims each year. Competitors nobody recognizes rehash old throw-downs and don't keep our eyes glued to the show. Shaquille O'Neal's either. Yesterday, the Diesel suggested that former winners Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter join his teammate LeBron James, who has never participated, in a real dunk contest with a portion of the prize money to benefit Haiti. There's no way that'll ever happen, in part because Black Mamba and Vinsanity are applying for their AARP cards, but we appreciate the big man trying to shake things up. Think Complex doesn't have ideas of our own to fix this thing? Well, you're wrong! Check out five ways that we would improve the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
BATTLE FOR THE AGES
• Young, single-million-dollar paupers have much to prove. Rich old vets have a lot to lose (mainly their hops). Make them face off in the timeless struggle between upstarts and stalwarts and the Dunk Contest has got an attractive new
RACE TO THE TOP
• Blacks, whites, Latinos, oh my! (And a token Chinese player for the nation of billions.) Why should we all get along when it's so much more exciting to be on the brink of a race riot? Pit players against each other based on their skin color and you take three steps backwards socially, but you also take one giant step forward in Dunk Contest watchability!
• The NBA already mixes in WNBA "stars" for its "Shooting Stars" competition, but imagine if one of the two or three women who can "dunk" managed to emasculate a guy with a jam on national TV! No, we can't imagine it either, but since when has it not been enjoyable to watch women be dominated? It's worked for centuries!
WELCOME TO THE BIGS
• There's nothing less impressive than a 7'1" dude jumping a quarter of an inch to rock a 10-foot rim. That's why big men always fail out of the Dunk Contest. Raise that rim to 12 feet and start the big men's "Long Division" (pause), though, and the contest could reach new heights! OK, many of those gangly bastards probably still won't get much higher than a quarter of an inch off the ground, but average dudes will delight in seeing the freaks come up short for once.
BREAKS OF THE GAME
• Rooting for an injury is evil, but forcing players who are recovering from microfracture surgery on their knees to dunk against each other is evil genius. When you know that T-Mac's next attempt could leave him doubled over with a potentially career-ending re-injury, even the lamest rehashed dunks seem to have new snap, crackle, and pop!