The Slam Dunk Contest Live Blog, Where Everything's Between 9 And 10S

Also, everything's worth two points and millionaire athletes break out an arsenal of props that would make Carrot Top blush. Sounds like fun!

11:00 — Well that's over. We had some laughs, learned the skills by which point guards are measured (by dribbling through mannequins), and saw two — TWO! — backboards on the same side of the court. What madness! Also Stan Lee is pissed that no NBA stars enjoy his comics.

I think we're done here. There's an hour of Valentine's Day left; don't be wasteful. Invest it wisely by ensuring the girl you're stalking doesn't hear you in her pantry. See you in the next live blog, whenever that is.

10:58 — Aw, I was hoping Robinson had a really high-pitched jockey-like voice. Maybe he should've sucked some helium before the interview.

10:58 — And the winner ... RUBEN STUDDARD! NATE ROBINSON!

10:57 — Cheryl Miller, ballbuster.

10:55 — The guy who always wears the cape tried to do the Julius Erving and instead pulled off the rare Bryant Reeves.

10:54 — I just texted my vote. I nominated "MUTE REGGIE." Like they say, you have to vote your conscience.

10:52 — LeBron James tonight gets one steal, taking the thunder from this competition by announcing his entrance into the 2010 competition. Just wait until Dwight Howard jumps over Scott Boras and Manny Ramirez holding up the jersey of the team he signed with.

10:50 — After Duh-wight's off-the-skinny-part-of-the-backboard slam, Little Robinson hops over his opponent. Well, most of his opponent. It looks like his junk hit the back of his head.

10:48 — Nathaniel Q. Robinson resurfaces with a green Knicks jersey. Nice to see they just took Stephon Marbury's salary and infused it into a uniform. What a pleasant, creative use of cap room!

10:46 — I love how in the "vote for this year's winner" graphic, they include a montage of dunks from, um, other years. Guess they didn't have anything good from this year.

10:42 — And he dunks the ball into the hoop, and people are ecstatic. Also, keep in mind ... same gag as last year. NBA: WHERE CREATIVITY HAPPENS.

10:40 — OMG A SECOND BACKBOARD. AND DOUBLE OMG, THE SAME CAPE HE USED LAST YEAR.

10:37 — Nate Robinson uses his teammate as a trampoline. The judges give him 9-8-8-8-8. Maybe the judges would be in better spirits if they didn't accidentally sit on the complimentary 20-ounces of Sprite that marketers put on their chairs.

10:37 — J.R. Smith solicited the help of NBA legend Sonny Weems (!?!) to pass him the ball from Section 102.

10:33 — Finally, Fernandez converts the behind-the-back-of-the-backboard pass. He gets only 42 points, because all of the judges really thought The Others was vastly overrated.

10:31 — Pau Gasol's passing isn't all that great. He should just dunk then pose with the slant-eye, like a good native son.

10:30 — If Fernandez really wants to bring the Spanish flava' into this competition, he should dunk the ball immediately after getting chased around by a bull.

10:26 — After numerous failed attempts, Ced Ceballos gave Duh-wight a ∞10. My calculator just broke. Kenny Smith has a problem with that dunk being scored 50. 48 would be just fine, though.

10:24 — You know you just want to put Nate Robinson in your pocket and carry him with you at all times.

10:22 — Rudy Fernandez takes his jersey off to reveal a "Martin #10 jersey." Nobody knows who he is except for Kevin Harlan, who PAID ATTENTION IN THE MEETING, who says it was in tribute to Fernando Martin.

10:21 — J.R. Smith begins with a "double bounce." HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE UNCREATIVE DUNK! 8 out of 10.

10:21[unmute] All right, let's see if the broadcasting's any b... [mutes]

10:18 — HOLD THE FUCK ON. It's now a rule that you have to have someone else assist you in a dunk? F'in beaurocrats.

10:17 — I was only off on the start of the dunk competition by about 140 minutes. Hey, people have won Price is Right contestants' row bids by undershooting far, far more than I have.

Not-Exactly-The-Halftime Video

The Japanese have seemed to surpass the Western hemisphere in many things. We can now throw in an automatic bartender machine. Now with fewer sad stories and funny accents!

10:02 — DEE-quan? DIE-quan? DAY-quan? Something off the board completely? Use fewer vowels, mothers.

10:00 — Ah, it's way more satisfying to watch Daequan Cook shoot 3-pointer after 3-pointer accompanied with Johannes Brahms music in the background. I feel enlightened.

9:59[mute]

9:58 — Daequan Cook also finishes strong and goes to 15. Bud Selig wishes both of them could win.

9:56 — "Kapwn3d" or "mentally Rasharded?" Lewis finished 15 points, one more than Kapono. Boy, when TNT said they knew drama, they weren't kiddin'.

9:54 — Oh no! Kapono only got 14 points in the final round! He is clearly not among the greats when it comes to 3-point All-Star shooting, such as ... um ... that one little white dude.

9:51 — God, imagine what Kenny Smith and Reggie Miller are saying now, when the camera isn't on. [shivers in fear]

9:49 — Dwyane Wade's eyeglasses brought to you by Opti-Twizzlers.

9:46 — Oh, heavenly Ra, stop bringing up anything, guys. CUT THEIR MICS. ALL OF THEM.

9:45 — Roger Mason, Jr. is the guy that ran Itchy & Scratchy Studios, right?

9:44 — Danny Granger gets eliminated. Reggie Miller deserves to have his mic cut off.

9:38 — These TNT guys realize that they are on TV and what they're saying is being picked up by their magic microphones and transmitted across the world, right? They are aware that this will not be tape delayed and dubbed over with insightful commentary, right?

9:35 — Crimony. Perhaps Kenny Smith and Reggie Miller should take this outside.

9:31 — Jason Kapono appears to be taking this competition seriously in the interview. Maybe Reggie Miller was right. Kapono's entire career is centered around this format.

9:29 — The 3-Point Contest. FINALLY, a contest the suburban family can get behind.

9:23 — "The NBA: Where caring happens." Aw, and here I was pretty sure apathy was the backbone of the first three quarters of most games.

9:16 — In the finals, Derrick Rose takes Devin Harris to the Schoolhouse Rock, the one where they sing a patriotic ditty about driving Indians from their homeland. ♬ Ohhh, Elbow Room, Ellll-bow Room ♬

9:14 — You put the time and effort into an obstacle course, and yet in no part of this challenge do you have to stick your hand up a giant nose to find the flag.

9:10 — Tony Parker finishes last in the skills comp. For Phoenix, this is almost as thrilling as, y'know, beating the Spurs in any playoff series.

9:07 — Wow! What exciting PASSES! Did you see how Mo Williams took the ball and threw it toward the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

8:59 — Time for the PlayStation Skills Challenge. Not what it sounds like, f'in n00bs.

8:57 — Now that that's out of the way, we can finally get to 30 minutes of scripted filler. Phew!

8:53 — Laimbeer would do well to ask Dan Majerle where he had his anti-aging surgery. Hint: it's the same guy who did Matthew Broderick, which, ironically enough, had he not had the surgery, he'd look like Bill Laimbeer. Circle of life.

8:52 — The Suns made their first five shots, then had about 30 seconds to nail that final shot and just couldn't do it. That sort of sums up every Phoenix Suns regular season in the last five years.

8:48 — Detroit finishes their second round at 58.4. They wasted a lot of time because, out of habit, they ran their halfcourt offense.

8:45 — San Antonio, as strange as it is, couldn't get Tim Duncan or David Robinson to make a half-court shot in enough time, so Phoenix wins! Wait ... there's another round?

8:44 — THREE POINT FIELD GOAL. DAAAAAAN MAAAAA (silent J) ERRRRRLLEEEEEEEE. Also, why did they pick Leandro Barbosa as the Suns representative? I didn't see a shot on the board where you drive to the basket, miss a layup, and have someone else tip in the rebound.

8:38 — Michael Cooper hits the long shot for the Lakers. The lesson here is that the league's old, old men? They still got it.

8:36 — And Laimbeer knocks down the almost-half-court shot. He should have fouled someone as he walked off the court.

8:35 — My, Bill Laimbeer's shoulders have not aged well.

8:33 — The Shooting Stars competitors are announced. Robert Blake appears to be a late scratch.

8:26 — You can send a text message of who you think will win the slam dunk competition! Because of the sheer volume of votes they expect, they fired the 15-year-old girl in charge of handling the texts and hired a 13-year-old girl. This is serious shit here.

8:24 — Oh, I just had a bag of pretzels that were stale and flavorless. I give them an 8 out of 10.

8:19 — Oh, sideline lampoonery! Cheryl Miller razzes her little brother Reggie on him never dunking. Wait ... OH MY GOD, THEY'RE SIBLINGS?

8:16 — This is either proof that the NBA isn't fixed, or proof that the NBA doesn't want you to think it's fixed: the NBA Finals MVP trophy is now named after Bill Russell. Had they done this a year earlier, it would have raised too many flags.

8:12 — Well blow me down (and run a red light). Charles Barkley was just in a T-Mobile ad. And it involves him at a restaurant. Why wouldn't it?

8:10 — Oh, hell, this is the entire skills competition. All right, screw it, we're going to watch that instead.

8:06 — The TNT announcing crew has already fixed the H.O.R.S.E game for next year. Funny, I didn't hear they're going to bring in Rick Reilly to broadcast it.

The Slam Dunk Contest Live Blog, Where Everything's Between 9 And 10

Pre-"Game" Babble

So, holy shit, in TNT's lead-in to the contest, they just aired a video game dramatization of what dunks could look like in 10 years. They had LeBron James dunk after jumping from the 3-point line, Dwight Howard throwing down a double-windmill, Nate Robinson dunking twice in a row, and Vince Carter dunking over the entire French region of Alsace doing a 720° jam. They then had past legends asked if any of these were possible. What do you think, Kevin Garnett? That's like asking if anyone, in real life, could collect 100 1-Ups in World 3-1 of the original Super Mario Bros. Personally, I think it is possible in real life, provided that reality exists solely in Chris Andersen's mind.

It doesn't matter how many twists they take or how many Wilt Chamberlain groupies they can leap over, because every dunk will be rated between "ten" and "almost ten." Since I just bought the entire series of The Critic on DVD, let me sum up the dunk rating process in one IMDB-stolen quote:

Duke Phillips: Why the hell do you have to be so critical?
Jay Sherman: I'm a critic.
Duke Phillips: No, your job is to rate movies on a scale from "good" to "excellent".
Jay Sherman: What if I don't like them?
Duke Phillips: That's what "good" is for.

So get your Shermometer out, write Sprite on your favorite pep poster and lower your rim down to 7 feet, so you too can re-enact Dwight Howard slamming it down in a full Furry ensemble.