This past weekend’s NBA dunk contest proved two things.
First, JaVale McGee is one of the most althetic big guys in the league. Second, when the voting is left to the fans, they can be easily swayed by shiny cars and gospel choirs.
With a choir singing “I Believe I Can Fly”, Blake Griffin won the dunk contest based on name recognition and a gimmick dunk over a car, a fact that was not lost on JaVale.
"Definitely, he came prepared with a car," said JaVale, who changed his custom PEAK shoes before each dunk. "Nothing is going to beat that, unless I bring a plane out or something."
There was a rumor circulating before the contest that JaVale had a dunk planned that involved taking a hundred dollar bill out of the net with his teeth. Unfortunately Serge Ibaka performed a similar dunk that left JaVale without a final jam. Having exhausted his impressive dunks early with no back-up planned, JaVale basically handed the contest to Griffin with an unflashy power slam off the backboard.
The loss aside, JaVale display some of the most difficult dunks ever seen in the contest. Looking at his performance, it is impossible not to see his stock climbing within the league. He raised his national profile, and some eyebrows, and the Wizards can only benefit from the buzz he created.
As gimmicky as the dunk contest is, it could bring some momentum to the team as they approach the second half of the season.