Last night the NBA's dunk competition took place in Orlando, Florida. The cast of players in attendance (Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Dwight Howard) looked better than the actual players (Chase Budinger, Paul George and Reggie Evans) who were in this year's dunk contest. However, with that pushed aside, the NBA decided to change the rules for this year's dunk competition; the fans now decided who won the contest via Twitter.
This is an intelligent way to get the fans involved, however, it has no place in the NBA dunk contest. Over the past few years the dunk contest has grown worse and worse. Star players no longer want to participate in the contest. In the past, the dunk contest is where the great ones would show off their athletic ability and prove that they were the best dunker in the NBA.
Now the contest has come down to who can we beg to be in the contest this year. This is a sad and pathetic statement. The best of the best should constantly want to be proving they are the best. Lebron James has never been in a dunk competition which says a lot about his character. All of the great ones (Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dr. J) have all at least competed in the dunk competition. The fact that stars like Lebron won't be in the dunk contest almost forced the NBA to get the fans more involved by voting for the winner. Fans would never watch the dunk contest with a bunch of "no-name" players in the competition.
By allowing the fans to vote via Twitter, the NBA has grown with fan support. However, fans should not determine the winner of the dunk competition. Let's say Kobe Bryant were to enter the dunk competition next year. Because of his popularity, Kobe would have an excellent shot to win the crown. Another player who people may not have heard of might have had an electrifying dunk, but it wouldn't have mattered because fans will vote for players they like, not who had the best dunks.
The NBA needs to find a way to get star players to want to be in the competition again. Once they find that solution, they can get rid of the fan vote via Twitter, leading to an "unbiased" dunk competition.