Was NBA All-Star weekend fixed?

All-Star weekend in the NBA drew a lot of attention from Blake Griffin being in the dunk contest, the "Groupie Mecca" that it has turned into, David Aldridge likening it to "Black Thanksgiving" and just because of the massive collection of NBA superstars for an entire weekend. The NBA has long maximized it's opportunity to market individual stars and this weekend was no different.

Overall, I thought the weekend's events were mostly entertaining, but there are certainly significant issues with the events. The Rookie/Sophomore game wasn't bad, the highlight of the celebrity game had to be Scottie Pippen blocking the **** out of Justin Bieber, and the skills challenge and the 3 point contest were mostly uneventful.

As it is nearly every year, the real draw was to be the Slam Dunk Contest and the All-Star game itself on Sunday. With the event being held in L.A. at Staples Center and Blake Griffin being the new darling of the NBA, he entered the contest as the prohibitive favorite to come away with the title. After all, the other participants were certainly talented, but they lack the star power of Blake Griffin.

I, as most others, fully expected Griffin to walk away victorious, but as the contest unfolded, I became more and more uncomfortable. Griffin is a tremendous athlete and outstanding player, but his dunks were average given his ability and the other dunks performed by his competitors.

Add to this, Serge Ibaka was completely robbed for having perhaps the most impressive "foul line" dunk in the history of the contest and DeMar Derozan performed some incredible dunks despite not being rewarded by the judges.

I honestly think that if any other player performed the dunks that Blake Griffin performed, they not only wouldn't have won the event, but they probably don't make it out of the first round. And finally, the car dunk performed by Griffin was a joke in my opinion. Charles Barkley said immediately that it wasn't that difficult or impressive of a dunk. That was not just average, but a below average dunk. There are probably 50 players if not more who could perform that dunk with ease while there are maybe 5 or 6 players who could perform some of the dunks performed by the other contestants.

There is no question in my mind that the event was fixed for Blake Griffin to win in his city and as a method for the NBA to continue to market their bright new star. I know it's just for entertainment, but the fact that Griffin won with those dunks is a complete joke.

Fast forward to the actual All-Star game and myself and others correctly predicted that Kobe Bryant would put on a show and win the MVP in his city. Kobe did shine and I'm not saying he didn't deserve the MVP, but is there any doubt that it was predetermined that Kobe would go out and earn the MVP as the game was held in L.A. for potentially the last time in Kobe's illustrious career?

Again, the weekend was more entertaining than in some previous years, but the NBA could try a little harder to hide the fix from its fans.

Check out my blog for more stories, analysis, and opinion: Raw Sports

Comments

It's not a really a question, of the course the dunk contest was fixed! The final dunk of the contest required extensive preparation including a script involving a choir, a car, a DJ, and Blake Griffen. The final dunk was set up as an entertaining climactic finale and also as an advertisement for the event's sponsor, Kia automobiles. But for the event to showcase this climax/advertisement, Blake Griffen had to make it to the final dunk! You can always count on the NBA for pre-planned basketball-based entertainment (the games are that way too!).

THANKYOU for writing this,

the dunk contest was obviously rigged and this is one of the few if not only news stories to come out of it.

astonishing if you take into the variables.. the judges scores not adding up, the blantent advertising deal, demar derosen's first dunk being sandbagged.

It was disgusting, i used to check the boxscores for the clippers curiously.. no though, not only do i now hate blake griffen and the clippers, i'm totally done watching games on tv, i threw out my NBA mouse pad, i removed NBA.com from my homapage list, and the tickets to the remaining 26 games this season are already for sale on ebay.

I wish more writers would speak the truth.

Thanks for the comments guys. It was awful IMO. The whole weekend was more scripted than a cheesy WWE pay per event.

Ibaka's dunk from the free throw line, while quite impressive, wasn't flashy or powerful. The fans didn't go crazy either. These things along with dunk attempts matter in the contest. DeRozan used quite a few attempts just to palm the ball, half spin and dunk it over his head (Something that could be done during a game by many players short enough). Blake had the audience on his side right through and of course made very powerful dunks and his flashy behind the head 360. Even if Ibaka was underscored Blake and McGee made it to the finals fairly. From there its in the fans' hands and therefore the winner was obviously going to be Blake just because of who he is. That doesn't qualify as "fixing".