So You Wanna Talk Some Slam Dunk…

It’s February, and if you’re any kind of basketball fan you are yearning for one thing, to get you a big ol’ plate of some fine slam-dunk, the crowning-jewel of NBA All-Star Weekend, always best served fresh and hot. Why the new NBA brain trust would look at February 14th as a date and think that that might not cause some scheduling conflicts is perhaps outside of my comprehension. Alas, you curse the name of Mr. Silver, and forever tarnished is the association with the host city of New York. You might get to thinking of past slam dunk glory and of pints you shall never see again.

I remember even as a young boy I faithfully watched, before We were The North, before nary a team could be found in the Commonwealth, in a fantastical era of giants and heroes such as His Airness, Sir Michael. It was truly a wondrous spectacle to behold for a young boy with basketball dreams.

It was during my high-school playing years that a slightly different NBA brain trust decided, in their infinite wisdom, to cancel the dunk-contest and at such an impressionable age I was sorely deprived for two agonizing years of my annual festival to the gods of the dunk. It was just after the dawning of the millennium that most auspiciously my devotions were restored. It was in the middle of my senior season as the only white kid on the team, at a very highly-ranked hood-school in North York, when the contest was revived to near-universal laudations. There was a buzz about the coming dunk-fest featuring hometown boys in two of the four slots. My team-mates were more frequently busting-out the show dunks in warm-ups, whilst I was ever-more-likely to be to be the ‘ooper than the receiver. We had played a game on the Friday night, and it was a sore and fatigued me that was resting at home, patiently explaining to my then-girlfriend how it was just going to be on in the background whilst we talked about our feelings and how she would hardly know that there was an epic throw-down going on at all. That all went out the window as soon as the Duke of the Dunkdom, Sir Vincealot. performed the 360-reverse windmill and I quite literally, fell out my chair. My mind was reeling at the sheer Vinsanity of what I had just witnessed, I heard someone snapping their fingers and screaming ‘oh…’, endlessly, than I realized that person had been me…

A decade and one-half has eclipsed since Vince, and those most lofty heights have yet to be surpassed. Perhaps we shall see something tonight. Though it remains difficult to soar above giants it is why I tune-in, even the Feast of St. Valentine be- damned…


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