The NBA Dunk Contest has been a staple of the league for decades. In the past, it has featured some of the greatest and most memorable basketball moments ever.
But after the 2016 contest, there has been a noticeable dip in approval ratings.
This year, despite some impressive dunks, both fans and analysts seemed more disappointed than ever before. Online, countless Tweets were posted slamming the event and calling for a change.
It's clear that something is wrong with the dunk contest. Whether it's the amount of missed attempts, the lack of star participants, or simply a decrease in the quality and creativity of the dunks, something isn't working.
It's also possible that the contest in 2016 was so good, it ruined the competition for good. Aaron Gordon may have warned us years ago.
“I have some fears that I ruined the dunk contest, that people aren’t going to want to do it anymore,” Gordon said. “I hope that people see ‘Mr. 50’ and are inspired and continue to elevate that dunk contest because there are still dunks that haven’t been done. I’m not going to do them, but I hope somebody comes in and does them. It’s a great event. It’s beautiful for the game.”
Fortunately, the NBA is pretty good at adapting and changing pre-existing formulas. They've changed the skills challenge and All-Star game with varying degrees of success, so there's no reason to believe they would not be open to testing out different ideas for the dunk contest.
Whatever the case, the NBA has to save this classic event. If done the right way, it's easily the best and most exciting part of the night.
This year, it wasn't like that for many fans.
Let's hope that changes soon.