NBA Gets Rid of Dunk Contest

Associated Press

The NBA has decided to discard the dunk contest, once the highlight of All-Star Saturday.

It will be replaced by an event called “2-ball” that will team one NBA and one WNBA player from the same city in a shooting contest in which points are awarded for shots taken from different spots on the court.

“It’s a big change. The NBA slam-dunk contest is kind of a tradition, but it’s been down in the past few years and the competitors have not stepped up,” said Laker swingman Kobe Bryant, who won the contest last season in Cleveland.


The league plans to unveil it’s “2-ball” plans at a new conference Wednesday, and no one at the league office was willing to comment Monday on the demise of the dunk contest.

All-Star Weekend is being held at Madison Square Garden in New York this season.

When Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan engaged in their epic dunk-off in 1985, the idea was relatively new. However, the contest lost some of its luster over the years, even with the prize money rising to $20,000, because of a growing sentiment that all the great dunks had been done.

“It was the same dunk over and over,” Charles Barkley said. “There’s really nothing else you could do. I think some dunkers were really good, but nobody got excited about it because they had seen it before. So it’s going to be good that they try something new.”

The NBA’s first dunk contest was held in 1984 and was won by Larry Nance. Jordan won the contest twice, in 1987 and 1988, Wilkins won in 1985 and 1990 and former USC standout Harold Miner was the other two-time champion, winning in 1993 and 1995.


The Philadelphia 76ers suspended guard Allen Iverson for Monday night’s game against the Boston Celtics, reportedly for missing practice a day earlier.

Billy Hunter, the 76ers’ vice president of basketball administration, announced the decision before the game, saying Iverson had violated team rules.

“It’s unfortunate, but team rules have to stand and be upheld,” King said. “We look forward to having Allen back soon.”

Iverson had 29 points against New York on Saturday night, but only two assists as the Knicks beat the Sixers, 95-83. On Sunday, he reportedly skipped practice. He sat on the Sixer bench in street clothes during Monday’s game at the FleetCenter.

“Who knows why Allen does what Allen does sometimes. I can’t figure that out,” 76er Coach Larry Brown said. “Obviously, we’re a better team when Allen plays.”