Friday, March 02, 2007

Wasn't there a movie about this?

During the 80's and early 90's the slam dunk contest captivated basketball fans. Unfortunately the intense adulation for graceful feats of sky walking led a generation of young basketball players to believe being "like Mike" wasn't emulating the endless hours MJ spent working on his shooting and basic fundamentals, but instead focusing a good part of their basketball development on moves rarely used in an actual game.

Consequently the quality of American basketball has slipped. Now the best player on the best team in the NBA -- and the likely league MVP -- is a German, the league's two-time defending MVP is a middle aged, South African-born Canadian, the number one pick in last year's draft was an Italian, and when the United States plays other top basketball playing countries in international competition we have just as good of a chance of losing as we do winning.

Our only hope is the rest of the world will get as hung up on the superfluous slam dunk -- and the easy gratification of the oohs and the aahs that it brings -- as we did.

There have been promising developments on that front in Europe, where slam dunk contests have been popping up all over the place. Only if all European contestants are as earth bound as the fellow in the video above, I can't see the slam dunk catching on to the point of poisoning the continent's youth.

Of course the whole thing may have been a clever ploy to get to know a cheerleader better.

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