The NBA took the Slam Dunk competition to the twitterverse this past weekend. Fans could cast their votes by tweeting with the hashtag “#SpriteSlam” followed by the letter assigned to each player. This voting style is very similar to casting votes via text, but it also brings fans into the conversation. We could all get instant feedback from fans around the country to see which dunk was the nation’s favorite.
The NBA is making a great effort to improve their presence online in the social universe. They post videos, tweets and photos to NBA.com, and they also have a mobile app to take all the entertainment on the go.
The All-Star Weekend is known for thrilling individual performances and big name players bringing the fans to their feet. This year was a little different. The dunk contest this year lacked the big name players of previous years. I watched the dunk contest and was still unsure who had won after it was over.
The league needs to also listen to the negative reactions on social media about All-Star weekend. Many people called out the big name players for taking the weekend off and not taking part in the dunk contest. I can remember seeing Michael Jordan, Vince Carter, Clyde Drexler and Kobe Bryant in past dunk contests. This year? Chase Budinger (Houston), Jeremy Evans (Utah), Paul George (Indiana) and Derrick Williams (Minnesota). Who? I only recognize Budinger and Williams because they played college ball for Arizona. These guys are no-names in the early stages of their careers. Where are Lebron, Dwight Howard, Dewayne Wade and Derrick Rose? They are in the stands watching as if they were fans.
One middle school student even called out Lebron. The NBA and the players need to listen to the fans and make something happen next year. If they don’t, they should cancel All-Star weekend because it is no more than a glorified weekend off from work for the big name players.