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NEWS | Feb. 20, 2010

Here’s one quick fix for NBA dunk contest

By Airman 1st Class Patrick McKenna 316th Wing Public Affairs

This past weekend's NBA dunk contest has come under fire for being what most would agree was a lackluster event, and that's putting it nicely.

The event not only featured no elite players, but more importantly, there were no dunks that were worthy of water cooler discussion. The NBA needs to realize this contest isn't getting any better and without some changes, it's going to become even more of a bore.

The first remedy Commissioner David Stern should consider is changing up the prizes awarded to the winner. No, it's not what some have suggested, which is to increase the prize to try and lure the stars of the league back to the contest. To put it bluntly, in this economy, it'd be insulting to Joe Fan that NBA players who already make millions of dollars a year should have to be paid more for winning the dunk contest. Instead, the NBA should take a page out of the Major League Baseball playbook and see how they've managed to keep the annual Home Run Derby entertaining - by getting charity and more importantly, the fans, involved.

Have each dunker play for a charity of his choice and, also, have a fan from his team's city there to watch. Whatever dunker wins will have a generous amount of money go to their charity, and their respective fan would receive some nice prize (all expense paid trip to NBA finals, a car, etc.)

If the NBA seriously wants casual fans to care about the dunk contest, they need to care more about those fans than the players' wallets.