BY ANTHONY ALFORD
The NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest went from Jordan/Wilkins in the 80s, to Vinsanity (Vince Carter) in 2000, to Ross/Evans in 2013. I doubt many even knew of Terrence Ross or Jeremy Evans prior to this year’s Slam Dunk Contest.
The contest, by many standards was a snoozer. But the TNT crew of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaq, and Kevin Harlan managed to make it entertaining.
The broadcast team took a “tell it like it is” approach to their telecast. Barkley and Shaq routinely noted the lack of playing time the players involved get on their respective teams. Some may argue it took away from these players’ moment of glory, but the comedy used in their commentary kept viewers watching. Barkley mocked comedian Kevin Hart, the attire worn by high-ups, and asked his TNT bosses to pay LeBron James to be in next year’s contest. The commentators understood their viewers did not want serious basketball talk all the time and let their personalities shine.
The TNT crew did their best to entertain their audience and tried to treat the event like a big deal. But, no matter how well an event is covered, if the event itself is crap, then it’s still crap.