The All-Star slam dunk competition is a preview to the star-studded All-Star Game that involves some of the biggest National Basket-ball Association (NBA) stars.
It is the highlight of the All-Star Saturday night that also includes the three-point contest, skills challenge and shooting stars competition, and basketball fans wait for the mid-season break every February to see players flying over props, doing twists and turns in the air to slam the ball in the basket.
Fans from Orlando had filled the Amway Center on Saturday thinking of Michael Jordan's brilliant efforts in their city 20 years back or of the electrifying atmosphere Los Angeles Clippers' All-Star Blake Griffin created when he flew over the hood of a car last year to win the slam dunk contest. But Saturday's competition in All-Star Weekend 2012 lacked the usual fizz and was a pale shadow of the glory days.
In a departure from the past, fans were given complete voting power and cast their ballots by text message after each of the four participants competed in three one-dunk rounds, which got a thumbs-down from the ticket-paying fans.
With top stars keeping away from the contest despite a top prize of $50,000, this year's contest was graced by some lesser-known players and left many a fan disappointed even before the eventual winner Jeremy Evans of Utah Jazz could be crowned.
(The writers’ trip has been sponsored by NBA)