After a very impressive, fluid, clean and powerful but — for him — routine first dunk, Gerald Green was sitting pretty in the 2013 Dunk Contest. He got a perfect score of 50 on his opening act, so it seemed time to pull out something funky. Play around a little bit and give the crowd something fun while also scoring enough points to beat out James White and make it to the finals.
For Green, that shouldn’t be a problem.
But he unfortunately tried to go too big.
Before the contest, Green had said that he had something planned that could rank up there with the best dunks in contest history. His second attempt was it: the famed “Earl Manigault” double dunk, in which he would attempt to dunk the ball with one hand, catch it with the other and then dunk again before landing. (NYC playground legend Earl “The GOAT” Manigault, says the legend, could pull it off.)
To do so, Gerald cut down the net in NCAA fashion, which added a nice build up.
He just couldn’t pull it off.
The first of the two dunks was easy enough on all of his dozen or so tries, and with a little help from the rim, he had plenty of time for the second. He just couldn’t grab the ball cleanly with his left hand to put it back through. Quite the shame. Had he pulled it off on the first or second try, it would have been very well received. I’m not sure it would rank up there with the all-time best, but it would have been one of the coolest “well, that was neat” dunks for sure. Right up there with the “Oooooh … Wait? What did I just see?” factor of the Vince Carter elbow hang or the Dwight Howard sticker dunk.
It isn’t so much an awesomely fluid or powerful dunk that makes you leap out of your seat. But it is a great way to show the world that you are barely human. It’s more like flexing for the crowd than lifting a heavy weight.
Which is what makes it the perfect second dunk. It certainly would have been the high-scoring dunk that he needed to advance if he did it cleanly on his first three tries. Had he got it on one, it was a guaranteed 50.
And had he advanced, he reportedly had something cool planned in which Lance Stephenson would throw an alley oop to Paul George who would throw a mid-air lob to Green. The aerial aesthetics on that would have been neat and Gerald’s elevation almost ensures that it would be NBA Jam brought to life.
Too bad it never happened.
He was eliminated after time ran out on his tries to do the double dunk. And since this contest has minimized the amount of actual dunking that goes on in favor of a silly format and theatrical encouragement, that low score meant he was done for the night. After two dunks. Because, yeah, that’s what the NBA should be doing: getting the world hyped up about a dunk contest and then letting Gerald Green and James White attempt a combined four dunks.
You can see all the misses below.
While the video up top shows what could have been.
Tags: 2013 Dunk Contest