Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Shaq's Dunk Contest Solution

I was catching up on some reading recently and flipped through the ill-fated May 2007 issue of SLAM magazine, the one which had one Dirk cover and one Shaq cover.

I was reading the Shaq Q&A, and Big had some interesting thoughts about how he'd change the Dunk Contest. I've agreed with those people who've suggested that the NBA should up the grand prize enormously (it's currently $35,000). If the winner's pot were, say, $1M, I think it would not only draw bigger-named players into the competition, but also increase the amount of fan intrigue.

Beyond just having more marquee names in the event, I think there would be a lot of buzz generated in terms of people simply wondering and discussing: "Who's going to win the $1M." It's really the tried-and-true formula for every TV game show ever: people like to watch other people compete for big sums of money.

Lang Whitaker of SLAM was talking with Shaq about whether he might stay in the league in some capacity after retirement. Here's one question from that exchange:
    SLAM: I actually figured the perfect job for you would be Commissioner of the NBA. Because you've got the business side, you've got the popularity, you've played in the League forever, all of the players respect you.

    SHAQ: No, that job is too hard. I would like to be the President of All-Star Relations. For example, this is how I would make the Dunk Contest interesting: David Stern has all these sponsors, right? So, Rolls Royce would be the number one sponsor. First place would win that brand-new Phantom. Second place would be a Maybach and third place would be a convertible Benz or something like that. And then you'll get the Vince Carters and the Kobe Bryants, and then it'll be real.
You know, I actually think that would be kind of cool, wouldn't it? If you had those cars parked somewhere in the arena, and the players could drive away in them at the end, you can't tell me that that wouldn't be compelling to both players and fans alike.

There's pretty much no chance it could happen, though, both because it seems a bit too hip-hop to give away fancy cars for the NBA tastes at this moment in time, and also because it seems like there could be complications for sponsorship reasons -- I'm sure that the good people at Toyota, who are official sponsors of the league, wouldn't look too kindly on spending a lot of money on the league yet not having one of their cars represented as a prize, for example.

Oh well, it's a fun idea to think about, nonetheless, from the man who's given us nicknames like The Big Fundamental, The Truth and Flash.... Keep the ideas coming, Big.

12 Comments:

At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about having the league donate $1M in the name of the winner. What superstar would not want to help kids w/ cancer?

 
At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

noble as it is, it wouldn't motivate players to join. and have you ever watched game shows with celebrities playing for charities? i've always found them to be very dull.

 
At 12:54 PM, Blogger M. Haubs said...

Yeah, this is one of the problems, for sure - as much as a big prize would draw in a lot of players/fans, it would really turnaway a lot of fans, as well.

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They should have a "fans" dunk contest where fans send video of their dunks and then certain number of finalistr are chosen to do their dunks during the all-star.

 
At 3:08 PM, Blogger Ken Hanscom said...

Shaq's idea, next to $1M prize would be the most beneficial in terms of getting the best dunkers out there. We're all getting tired of seeing rookies / sophomores in the contest and folks like Dwight Howard getting robbed. This short of giving away a jet is the most plausible.

 
At 3:32 PM, Anonymous Stephen said...

Nice idea.
But restrict the dunk contest to 3 from each All Star Squad and the previous 2 champs that aren't on Squads.At practice each player has to do 2 dunks and let teammates do the scoring. Just before the TNT broadcast let the 8 contestants have 1 or 2 dunks,scored by the TNT crew,and the 4 top scores are the participants in Dunk Contest. Missed dunk and you're out.All the prelim dunks could be edited to nice package before contest.
$1mil,first,$500thou second,$250thou third and $100yhou forth.(Or 4 differ sponsors vehicles on one end of court for winner,3 for second,so on.Gifts for Mom,Posse and wife/girlfriend :).

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lexus is a Toyota brand. Do rich athletes like Lexuses?

 
At 7:26 AM, Anonymous The Spin said...

Shaq's right on with the dunk contest idea! There's really no doubt about it, there needs some change. How excited can you really get knowing that the contest will feature Gerald Green again? That being said, I couldn't imagine a serious prize like a Rolls coming into action. I'm sure there are some sponsors out there ready to dish out something good. It just comes down to what the Vince's and LeBrons would want in order to make them compete. Check me at www.clutch3.com

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger jawad said...

How about this -- Toyota expands their relationship with the NBA to be a "Toyota/Lexus -- official vehicle sponsors of the NBA", offers a three vehicles as prizes --

- Lexus LF-A (the Sports Car - Toyota is a sporty company!)
- Lexus LS600H (the luxury Hybrid - Toyota gets to tout it's eco-friendliness)
- Toyota Tundra CrewMax (the big pick-up)

If they're not "prize worthy" enough, maybe Toyota could have a (very) limited edition "NBA Edition" of each vehicle.

Maybe to spice it up, they could have the dunk contest winner get the first pick of the cars, the runner-up pick second, etc...

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definately think that this idea should go strait to the dumpster. what a ridiculus idea of putting more money in these contests. these players are some of the richest people in the world just giving them money is stupd give it to the poor dont waste it on athetes who have money. jeez

 
At 8:56 AM, Anonymous kamagra said...

One of the best slam dunks competitions that I watched was when Larry Johnson appeared in the 1992 competition, he was an enormous force behind the rim, awesome player.

 
At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Lucy said...

I consider everyone ought to browse on it.

 

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