Paul Pierce says the Slam Dunk Contest nowadays is like an ex-girlfriend: ‘You just gotta let her go’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA star Paul Pierce compared the NBA Slam Dunk Contest to an ex-girlfriend, saying that at some point, one has to move on to something else.

Clearly, Pierce wasn’t impressed with Saturday night’s Slam Dunk Contest at the All-Star festivities in Indiana.

This year’s competition was between G League player Mac McClung, New York Knicks forward Jacob Toppin, Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown and Miami Heat forward Jaime Jaquez Jr.

McClung ended up coming out as the winner, his second straight title, defeating Brown in the final round.

Arguably McClung’s most impressive dunk of the night came when he tossed the ball to himself while jumping over someone.

The NBA Slam Dunk Contest has lacked star power for years, and while Brown should be commended for coming out to try to revive the contest, it clearly didn’t move Pierce too much.

There is a ton of history with the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, with some of the greatest players of all time — like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Vince Carter and Dwight Howard — winning the event during their careers.

It’s hard to see a scenario where the NBA gets rid of the event altogether, but it seems that more and more people believe that the competition is struggling each season.

The Slam Dunk Contest used to be Saturday night’s marquee event each year during All-Star festivities. Many fans have posted on social media longing for previous dunk contests, especially the epic showdown that Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon had in 2016.

The NBA may want to consult with some of the game’s top players and dunkers to see what it would take to get them to compete in the competition. The lack of big-name talent in the Slam Dunk Contest has certainly hurt the lore of the event in recent seasons.

The league could also look to move the event up in the night and instead end on the 3-Point Contest, which has featured more star players as of late and now has a back-to-back champion in Damian Lillard.

Share This Article
Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.