Dunk contest spoiled by flawed judging system

Dunk contest spoiled by flawed judging system

referring to 2016 and Saturday night.’ data-reactid=”17″>“I feel like I should have two trophies, you know what I mean?” he told reporters, referring to 2016 and Saturday night.

And he’s right.

“I did four straight 50s – five straight 50s,” Gordon said. “That’s over. It’s a wrap. Let’s go home. Four 50s in a row in an NBA Dunk Contest, it’s over.”

Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon dunks the ball during the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

Dwight Howard got a 49 for this dunk on Saturday …

… Which means anything better than catching a lob and throwing it down merits a 50. A standard windmill merits a 50. A through-the-legs jam merits a 50. Going through the legs three times, or five times, or 20 times in mid-air … merits a 50. Rewarding relative mediocrity and unremarkableness makes rewarding true excellence impossible.

The problem with the dunk contest, therefore, is simple: too many 50s. The scale is skewed. There’s no room at the top of it to differentiate between good and great and out-of-this-world. Gordon’s off-the-side-of-the-backboard, up-and-down-and-around, 360-degree cradle was ridiculous.

In the eyes of the judges, it was no different than … this:

So, you want to fix the dunk contest?

Set that Gordon dunk as the standard – as perfection – and work down from there. Think of a soft, simple two-handed slam as a 1. Recalibrate the scale from those two endpoints. Because the current one no longer gives greatness its due.

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