NBA Legend @CedCeballos Talks Blindfolds, Dunks, and All-Star Weekend!
It only seems like yesterday, but this year marks the 20th anniversary of my NBA slam dunk championship during All Star weekend in Orlando, Florida. Wow!
After already winning the contest, I shocked the world by performing my last dunk while wearing a blindfold, and the world is still talking about it to this day.
I was the first to add outside props to the dunk contest, and it started a long lasting trend. At the 2012 NBA All-Star game, Chase Budinger paid homage to my blindfoled dunk while I was out on the court offering up some pre-dunk advice. I was so happy to be a part of it. Chase made the dunk, but unfortunately did not come out victorious. That honor went to Jeremy Evans.
I know that a lot fans feel the dunk contest has lost some of the excitement in recent years without the big name stars participating, but it is young guys like Chase that are keeping it special. I would like to say great job to the guys who participated, you really entertained me and I loved it!
The big question today revolves around why the big names stars are not in the contest? I think that blame has to got to go back to the league. The fans want more, and to give it to them we need to give the players more time to rest by extending this event. The prize money is nice for a younger lower paid guy, but for players making 20 to 40 million dollars a year the rest is more important to the player, his team, and the season.
A player puts in a lot of work being at all star weekend with the many press, appearances, events, and dinners to attend. It can be an exhausting grind. The reality is the guys are just like everyone else. They want to interact and have fun with the fans, and they also want to spend some quality time with their family and friends to make the event special for them too .
As a former all-star I get a chance to walk around today and observe how much work goes into an event like the All-Star Weekend. I understand that the NBA’s focus is the fans, but if they also put more focus on the players needs, like added rest, it will make for an even better overall experience for the fans too.
This is one of the main reasons the big names are not in the dunk contest. They would much rather goof around with fans than be dragged around all day with the media circus of the dunk contest. So from this all-star and dunk champ perspective, my advice is to please give the players an all-star “week” rather than just a weekend. If this could happen, I think we would see more stars involved with the dunk contest again.
As someone who has participated in two of the dunk contests as a player, and now wathcing them every year as a fan, I still really enjoy them and want to see this tradition floourish. The dunks the guys are doing are great, and they show a lot of great jumping and creative style.
I would like to take a moment and ask all of you fans out there, What do you think can be done next that has not yet been done, what would you like to see in 2013?