When hometown star and pre-competition favorite Blake Griffin won the NBA slam dunk contest Saturday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, many people seemed satisfied with the outcome.
But the young forward’s performance didn’t blow away everyone.
Fellow competitor DeMar DeRozan complained the competition has turned into a prop contest. Even former NBA player and current full-time father Shawn Kemp has entered the debate.
Kemp found his way out of a pile of diapers and canceled child support checks to give an interview on KJR in Seattle with Dave Mahler and Ian Furness.
“I’m a big Blake Griffin fan, but that dunk at the contest might’ve been the weakest dunk in the dunk contest that I’ve seen in a long time,” he said as transcribed at sportsradiointerviews.com. “I love the choir, and all that stuff was great, but you at least gotta jump over the car, though, right? He swung over the car and landed on the hood of the car. I think he should at least be able to jump over the front of the car.”
Kemp, 41, supposedly has lost a great deal of weight, but at the end of his playing career, he couldn’t jump over a flat tire.
At least one fan has taken credit for the idea of Griffin taking an alley-oop pass from inside of a car parked on the court. After Griffin went on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” earlier this month and asked for dunk ideas, the Clippers star was flooded with suggestions on Twitter.
One apparently came from Michael Scrivner, whose Twitter handle is yoscrib.
“@blakegriffin Seen you want dunk ideas on ESPN Park a car on the court Jump over the car while the driver throws you oop through the sunroof,” Scrivner’s tweet read.
Scrivner told TMZ he expected at least a “shout out” from the superstar for the idea.
“If he already had the idea for the dunk, why go on ‘SportsCenter’ asking for ideas?” Scrivner said. “It would be one thing if I had said to just dunk over a car, but the dunk was spot-on everything I suggested.”
Just another problem that could have been avoided if DeRozan could get his wish of no props in the dunk contest. Of course, Carrot Top no longer would be among the favorites to win next year’s competition.
■ FINALLY — The Caltech men’s basketball team quietly ended the nation’s longest conference losing streak with a 46-45 win over Occidental on Tuesday in its season finale.
The Beavers’ last conference win came over La Verne on Jan. 23, 1985, a 310-game span.
The Pasadena, Calif., school has produced a record 31 Nobel Prize winners, is home to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and boasts the highest median starting salary of any college in America among its alumni.
Still, its basketball team stinks.
■ NAME CHANGE — Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria has asked fans and the team to stop addressing him by his nickname, “The Mexicutioner.”
He thinks the name is inappropriate as his homeland of Mexico continues to deal with surging violence and drug crimes in the streets.
Guess “The Decapitator,” “The Smuggler” and “The Mule” also would be rejected.
COMPILED BY ADAM HILL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL