It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman, No! It's Dwight Howard. The Orlando Magic forward shot to glory by winning the 2008 All Star Dunk contest, recreating the famous 'Jordan flight' or rather taking it to a whole new level. He did it wearing a Superman cape and left the spectators breathless.
This year too the hype for the Slam Dunk event was no different. Posters of Howard with a Superman costume could be spotted everywhere. But as it is known worldwide, the Man of Steel had only one weakness - K ryptonite. But no one could have imagined a similar fate for the 6'11'' Howard, whose reign was ended by Nate 'Kryptonite' Robinson of the New York Nicks to win the 2009 All Star Slam Dunk contest.
Robinson had to literally scale past the towering Howard to win the coveted championship. The six-footer climbed over Howards' shoulders to dunk an absolute beauty.
Robinson saved the best for the last. He only resorted to such extreme measures after Howard had completed a rebound dunk from the side of the board. Robinson then asked Howard to stand in front of the basket, and completed the dunk.
"I really think a lot of appreciation should go to Howard for being such a great sport and agreeing to assist me in the dunk," said Robinson.
But the evening did see Superman take off after Howard dunked an 11-feet board to qualify for the finals.
In the three-point shooting challenge, two-time defending champion Jason Kapono of Canada lost his title to Daequan Cook of the Miami Heats. The Saturday night fever in the All Star weekend is over and it is time for some serious basketball as the Western conference looks to win back the title from the East in their home arena.
NBA set to enter Indian market
If we thought we have missed some live gravity-defying actions from the stalwarts of the game, then don't get disheartened. It may happen even in India soon. The NBA is eyeing to expand its wings and tap the Indian market in its bid to become a more powerful global entity. And going by the NBA's admittance, this should happen as early as June this year, when Los Angeles Clippers' star player Baron Davis visits India.
Davis’s mission would be to popularise the game in India. Interaction with fans (both young and old), young enthusiastic players, corporates are just a few steps on his agenda. And Bollywood? “Well, that too. Would love to meet some people there,” he said.
Even NBA commissioner David Stern believed it was possible to expand the game in India but the aim would never be the dislodge cricket from the top. "Everyone has heard about cricket and will not try and compete with it,” he said.