So here we are, one week away from the most exciting weekend of the NBA season...or is it? All-Star Weekend has always been my favorite thing of the NBA season, whether it be the Dunk Contest, the contest with a current player, WNBA player and former player (I honestly can't keep up with the name of it, they change it every year), or the All-Star game itself. However, in the past few years I think the NBA has lost a significant portion of its fans for the All-Star Weekend, because quite honestly I don't think it's exciting anymore. I decided to take a poll for this article, so let's take a look at the data:

80% of people said their favorite part of All-Star Weekend is the Dunk Contest, but 60% of people said they haven't watched in a while because they don't know anyone competing in it anymore, or they weren't being creative anymore. I finished off by asking people, without researching, who won the Dunk Contest last year. Not a single person could name the winner...can you? I'll give you a hint, it's not Blake Griffin, he didn't even compete in it last year. I know what you're saying right now, "But Justin, he won! He jumped over the car while there was a choir, I saw it!!" Yes, indeed that did happen...two years ago! Last year the Dunk Contest winner was a young man by the name of Jeremy Evans. Yep, I hadn't heard of him either. Last year's Dunk Contest was easily the most disappointing NBA-associated contest I've ever seen...it featured Derrick Williams, Chase Budinger, Paul George and Iman Shumpert. Shumpert would later get injured and be replaced by eventual winner Jeremy Evans. 

Up until two days ago, I had no intentions of watching the NBA Dunk Contest, or any other part of the All-Star Weekend other than the always entertaining All-Star Game on Sunday night. Then the NBA shocked me and hopefully everyone else with the Dunk Contest participants: Terrence Ross, defending champ Jeremy Evans, Eric Bledsoe, Kenneth Faried, Gerald Green, and James White. I'm gonna go ahead and give this one to James White hands down. The guy is a freakin' beast when it comes to slam dunking. Honestly I think it will just come down to Gerald Green and James White...Jeremy Evans won last year simply because it was a fluke of a contest, and the rest of them can throw down hard in a game, but can they be creative enough to impress the judges and not just slam it home as hard as possible? I'm actually excited to watch this, because Green and White are extremely creative. We've seen Gerald Green in the Contest before (he actually won in 2007 and was runner up in 2008) and he did one of my favorite dunks, where he blew out a candle on a cupcake that was sitting on the back of the rim...that's what I call creative!

Overall, I am looking forward to All-Star Weekend, specifically the Dunk Contest, a lot more now than I was before...but I still think it is going downhill. I can't say I've ever watched the Skills Challenge before, and I've never really been too interested in the Rising Stars Challenge or Three-Point Contest. They were exciting back when they first came out, but watching a guy shoot threes can get a little boring after a while. But hey, that's just my opinion, and you are entitled to yours. So in conclusion, I'm excited for All-Star Weekend and I hope you are too.