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Paul George calls Dunk Contest “a joke”

Feb 28, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest Getty Images

 Paul George feels the same way about the dunk contest that you do — it was a joke and the NBA’s biggest stars need to take part.

Of course, unlike you, George was part of that “joke” this year. He had some good jumps, going over Roy Hibbert and the glow-in-the-dark dunk (see below).

Here is what George told the Indianapolis Star on Tuesday as he returned to the Pacers from a weekend in Orlando.

“(Not to) take nothing away from the dunk contest, (but) it was a joke,” George said. “I guess whoever had the biggest celebrity involved in their dunk was going to be the winner. I guess I should have tried to reach out to some people.

“If you leave it up to fans, they probably wouldn’t have known who Larry was. I think I was destined to lose it.”

Remember, the fans voted for the winner. Although, if it went to the guy with the biggest star in his skit it would have gone to Chase Budinger. No offense to Kevin Hart, but Diddy is bigger.

The consensus after the dunk contest ended was that the league has to motivate its biggest stars to be part of the event.

“I agree, you have to have the faces of the league come back and get involved in it,” George said. “That’s what really made it big back in the day when you had Jordan and Dominique going at it. That was the All Stars and the guys that were the men in the league. That’s what fans want to see.”

  1. alldonesmith - Feb 28, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Talk about sour grapes. The blunt and ugly truth is that the only dunk of the entire night that would have belonged in a REAL dunk contest was the dunk that won. Get over yourself, Paul George.

  2. jjordannba - Feb 28, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    I’m pretty sure even the casual NBA fan knows who Larry Bird is

    • slopmcflop - Feb 28, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      Sure sure, but point is it shouldn’t come down to who they’re with, what props they’re using, they should be judged by the quality of the dunk itself. Last year, Blake won it by having one of the least impressive dunks he had all year. Sure, it was a lot more gimmicky, but is that what it’s about? I thought it was the DUNK contest, not the, “see who has the better celebrity/prop/gimmick and happens to put the ball in the basket in the meantime” contest.

      Leaving the vote up to the fans just encourages this kind of nonsense.

  3. jjordannba - Feb 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Honestly i feel that a great dunk contest to since the superstars don’t want to do it would be these semi-star players: Jr Smith, Iguadala, Josh Smith, and John Wall. Since Josh Smith is always left out the allstar game he might want to get involved in All-star weekend, Jr Smith always wants some shine, and i know if asked John Wall would do it for sure

  4. Josh - Feb 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    He has a valid point. The best dunk that involved no gimmicks got zero recognition (Williams off the side of the backboard). When Iguodala does it, people call it a sham that he doesn’t win the dunk contest. When Derrick Williams does it, he’s not even mentioned on the SportsCenter recap of the night.

    BTW, the lights out dunk was nice, but it would’ve been better received with the lights on because then people could actually see that it was a pretty sweet dunk.

  5. vikingsinla - Feb 28, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    The reason why players such as Paul George are in the dunk contest is precisely why players such as James, Bryant, and Wade never will again.

    The former NEED the dunk contest to market themselves. I like Paul George, he’s a decent player with a nice ceiling, but outside of Indy, he’s a nobody. Same with DWill, Budinger…hell, Evans is the 12th man on the Jazz, and he won the damn thing!

    The latter are already household names, with massive endorsement deals, and 2-3 guaranteed segments on Sportscenter should they so much as even sneeze.

    Someone of their stature entering the dunk contest is like a normal person entering the Special Olympics. If they win it, they don’t gain anything they don’t already have, and may even face backlash for the voters being biased. If they lose it (especially to a periphery player like Jeremy Evans) they take a huge rep hit and suddenly the kids aren’t buying their shoes/jerseys.

    Its lose-lose. Once a player has “made it”, there is no advantage to doing it anymore.

  6. therisky1 - Feb 28, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Wow, somebody is a sore loser. Maybe if he didn’t have to use his hand to jump higher, take multiple attempts, turn off the lights so nobody can see what he is doing, and then take even more attempts on his last dunk he would not have to whine about losing.

  7. glink123 - Feb 28, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    get rid of the dunk contest. it’s a sad joke.

  8. 78deville - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    Sprite is the sponsor or the Slam Dunk Contest. It’s surprising that they haven’t found a way to motivate a couple of their own $pokesmen to participate.

  9. inthearex - Feb 29, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Lebron’s a joke.

  10. pellypell - Feb 29, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    I would be mad too if I had two first names.

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 29, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      hahaha nice.

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