The NBA is full of athletic phenoms that bless us with amazing highlights night in and night out, but one of the most attractive and spectacular players in today’s game is the young Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant. The second overall pick of the 2019 Draft already proved in two seasons that he will be a star in this league, averaging 19.1 ppg and 7.4 apg last season while propelling the Grizzlies into the playoffs.
There is no doubt that Ja is an All-Star in the making, but what made him really loved amongst NBA fans is his impeccable athletic ability and flashiness. At just 6’3” and 175, Morant is far from being the most imposing psychical figure on the court, but he makes up for it with his vertical, speed, relentless and fearlessness when driving down the lane. Even though he is more known for having some of the best-missed dunks in NBA history, Ja is still considered one of the best dunkers in the game, as a Dunk Contest appearance would be a sight to see for all NBA fans.
When he came into the league, Ja expressed his interest in participating, but as time has passed, that desire dyed down. Ja became pretty critical of the show, voicing his frustrations with the judging via Twitter earlier this year.
It’s a true shame that a player that is capable of jumping over his opponents or throwing self-lobs in-game not to show what he’s got in the dunk contest, but Ja recently revealed in an interview with Taylor Rooks there is one way he could be persuaded to participate:
“A million dollars. If they give me a mil, and I’ll get in the Dunk Contest. So until then, I’ll be watching and just sending my tweets out for the judging and stuff.”Ja Morant, Bleacher Report
That is a nice business move from Morant, as I could definitely see the NBA benefit from having Ja in the Dunk Contest and actually profiting from the investment. Morant then explained how the Dunk Contest lost its charm and why he has a problem with the judging.
“I feel like now, you know, you just see so many like crazy dunks in-game that when the dunk contest come, you just don’t appreciate the dunk as much. And not too many people can do the dunks guys are doing in that Dunk Contest. If you look at it that way, it’ll be a lot more, you know 50’s.”Ja Morant, Bleacher Report
Ja is on point, as the dunks that were considered extraordinary 20-30 years ago in the dunk contest slowly became in-game dunks for some of the best athletes in today’s NBA. That spoiled the judges and fans, as the expectations for Dunk Contest participants have become sky-high. It is virtually impossible to please everyone from performing a spectacular dunk that has never been seen before without missing, all while putting on a show along the way.
That’s why the NBA has faced vast criticism about the Dunk Contest, as the once-favorite event of All-Star weekend became a Hollywood show filled with ad placements. As a response to the criticism, the NBA decided to tone it down and go back to the basics with the concept. That is the right way to go, as a contest with a few guys like Morant could definitely revitalize the whole image of the Contest. Hopefully, the NBA brings out their checkbooks and gets Ja in. The NBA fandom wants to see it.