Last week the NBA said that Dwight Howard could not have the hoop raised two feet higher during the NBA's All-Star Slam Dunk Competition. So on a regulation 10-foot-high rim, Howard still proved he could elevate a dozen feet.
On his second dunk of the night, Howard threw down a seemingly bland one-handed tomahawk. But upon inspecting the aftermath, the Orlando Magic center placed a sticker with his off-hand atop the backboard — 12 feet, 6 inches off the ground. The sticker featured himself with some kind of shit-eating grin and also had a Sharpie inscription: "All things through Christ, Phil 4:13." Clearly Jesus gave him enough strength to slap that thing 4-1/3 cubits above the fertile ground.
I don't know what it is about stickers. Perhaps they remind us of an innocent time in our lives when a little piece of paper with one sticky side would entertain us to no end. Even if you sucked at Skee-Ball, you usually still had enough tickets to claim at least a few stickers or a Tootsie Roll.
On a night in which I was shocked to have it on, Howard's sticker dunk elicited an actual hearty laugh. But the five esteemed dunkologists as judges — Michael Jordan, Julius Erving, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, and Vince Carter — rated the dunk as merely a 42 out of a possible 50. Howard finished third among the four competitors, which included the Chicago Bulls' Tyrus Thomas, the New York Knicks' Nate Robinson, and the Boston Celtics' Gerald Green.
Green went on to win the contest, including a dunk in which his competitor Robinson was gracious enough to stand in the paint as Green, tearing off his jersey to reveal a throwback Dee Brown uni, leaped over his 5'9" adversary for the jam.
The fan favorite, though, seemed to be Howard and the sticker. Most other 21-year-olds would piss and moan that the big bad basketball league wouldn't let him execute his most desired dunk. So he made up a decal that demonstrated he could elevate that high and still dunk.
The All-Star Weekend is about the fans, and while I'm not about to get my Hanes in a wad about a travesty in a dunk contest, perhaps the NBA could learn from American Idol and give fans a voice in these types of events through some kind of online voting. However, this would be a poor idea with the three point contest.