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24.10.14 0758
The W - Basketball - Candace Parker wins high school all-star dunk contest -- against dudes
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Alpha Dog
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Since: 10.2.03

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.39
http://sports.espn.go.com/ ncw/columns/story?id=1771877 (ESPN)

Okay, I caught the "skills" competition of the McDonald's High School All-Star gathering, with the crown jewel of Ms. Parker's performance in the dunk contest. After reading the hype from the above column, I was all set to watch another huge moment in sports, but instead I am left with a question: When, oh when, will basketball come out of the closet and finally brand itself "sports entertainment"?

I do not want to demean Candace Parker's accomplishment, as she does seem like a talented player and was very articulate in the post-dunk contest interview, but to compare that moment to Billie Jean King's or Annika Sorenstam's moments of gender equity in sports is reaching at best and pandering at best.

Not to play conspiracy theorist here, but did anyone watch this? While Parker does have hops and was able to get the ball down (barely), there was no way those dunks were winning any legitimate "competition". Watching the "attempts" and body language of the successive "competitors," (Parker went first) it's pretty clear they knew that even an MJ-Dominique circa 1988 type of performance wasn't going to win the day, so multiple risky attempts resulting in missing dunks were the rule. Darius Washington was particularly laughable with THREE attempts at the Jason Richardson off-the-bounce-and-thru-the-legs that he couldn't get above the rim.

It seemed pretty clear that it was known that "if the girl throws down, she's gonna win" and if not, then the five remaining "real competitors" would have a real competition. Pete Thamel's misguided praise aside, they were about the most vanilla dunks one could imagine. Dee Brown pumping the Reebok Pumps into the no-look it wasn't.

Now don't misunderstand, I'm not trying to hate on Candace Parker. I am hating on:

- Decision-makers that make this happen in an artificial attempt to drum up interest. Wouldn't it be enough that Ms. Parker can attempt to compete with All-Americans in this competition? Is it realistic to expect her to win?

- Anyone who holds this up as a true step in gender equity in sports. It is NOT, plain and simple, but rather it is pandering. Now Ms. Parker did compete, and that is a certainly a smaller but more valid step, but this does not rival Billie Jean King beating Bobby Riggs. I realize it is a dunk contest and not the 7th game of the NBA Finals, but it should still not be triumphed for more that it was.

- But my biggest problem is with the game of basketball and what it has become. It is now about as fixed as boxing and a step away from pro wrestling. This is a game that has given us, in order of severity: Grant Hill and Jason Kidd "tying for the Rookie of the Year", Michael Jordan beating 'Nique in the dunk contest in Chicago, referee "Knick Bavetta", the "Ewing Lottery" in 1985, and the Lakers shooting 27 (TWENTY-SEVEN!) free throws in the 4th quarter of Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals (yeah, that's a shout out, CRZ). And that is just off the top of my head.

Basketball: Who booked this crap?

(edited by Alpha Dog on 31.3.04 2109)
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ekedolphin
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.52
Having not seen the competition, feel free to tell me if I'm totally off on this.

But I think giving the win to Candace Parker (assuming she didn't deserve it) would be sort of a Spud Webb sort of thing. Maybe Webb's dunks weren't particularly spectacular, but you gotta consider the guy's 5'4".

Parker might be kinda like that. She's a woman, she can dunk, how many women can say that?

I agree that it isn't exactly a groundbreaking moment for gender equity in that she's not in an actual competition with men (i.e. a game) and beating them. It's not like she scored 40 points in an NBA game or anything. Still I guess her accomplishment is kinda impressive-- unless it's a publicity stunt.



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Since: 2.1.02
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.31
If I was one of the girl's opponents, I would have just mirrored each dunk she did, and put it on the judges to be fair and unbiased...

It should be known that she was using a girls ball too...(smaller and easier to palm)

what a sham...and the McDonalds game was just AWFUL this year.



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wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.75
    Originally posted by Alpha Dog
    I do not want to demean Candace Parker's accomplishment, as she does seem like a talented player and was very articulate in the post-dunk contest interview, but to compare that moment to Billie Jean King's or Annika Sorenstam's moments of gender equity in sports is reaching at best and pandering at best.


Well while I agree it wasn't exactly her being better than the guys, it wasn't that much different than King's win. She was playing a man 20 years past his prime while at the top of her game. In tennis, that's a ridiculous difference. There was no way he could have beaten any women even near the top at that time. It was way more hype than substance.

Just as this is.
HitTheSnoozeButton
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Since: 2.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
I watched, and while her dunks were obviously unspectacular, she did make all but one of them, IIRC. The pseudo-Dee Brown dunk wasn't bad, and she DID do this in spite of a lingering ACL injury. Apparently, she could do much crazier stuff when both legs were solid.

In regards to the game--well, at least it seemed like the guys were sort of trying out there on defense (though with predictably bad results). I'm just glad that the first half, which was the only half I watched, featured some defense and effort, and didn't turn into a glorified dunk contest within the game.

Additionally, I found it quite funny that the supposed best high school players in the country couldn't handle an EXTREMELY sloppy press at the end of the first half (anyone who watched knows exactly what I'm talking about).

PS: If I ever hear the phrase "Dunk and Advance" ever EVER again, someone at ESPN is going to get a fruitcake in the mail. Sheesh.



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Since: 23.5.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.88
Thought this was an interesting take on the dunk contest.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ espn/page2/story?page=whitlock/ 040401



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Since: 11.7.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
I saw her dunks. They were pretty basic. She won because she hit the dunks and she was a girl. 'Nuff said.



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Alpha Dog
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Since: 10.2.03

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.39
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    But I think giving the win to Candace Parker (assuming she didn't deserve it) would be sort of a Spud Webb sort of thing. Maybe Webb's dunks weren't particularly spectacular, but you gotta consider the guy's 5'4".

    Parker might be kinda like that. Still I guess her accomplishment is kinda impressive-- unless it's a publicity stunt.


I remember Spud's performance, and believe me that was NO fluke, no patronization or false hype about that.

You know all the dunk contest attempts now that are lobs off the floor to one's self? Spud was the first. No one had ever seen anything like it. Such a little fella doing all of that, all well as a sweet double-clutch reverse jam in that same contest to seal it, and Spud's win was legit.

And as for it being a publicity stunt: gee, ya think? Trust me, dude, if you saw the body language in the guys that followed Candace Parker, you'd know what was up.

    Originally posted by wmatistic
    Well while I agree it wasn't exactly her being better than the guys, it wasn't that much different than King's win. She was playing a man 20 years past his prime while at the top of her game. In tennis, that's a ridiculous difference. There was no way he could have beaten any women even near the top at that time. It was way more hype than substance.

    Just as this is.


While I agree in the sense that Billie Jean King's win over Bobby Riggs isn't quite the same as beating, say, whoever was the top player back then (McEnroe? Connors? Rod freaking Laver?), King earns points because she was the first. This was UNPRECEDENTED, as women had been more or less browbeaten by men for decades, or even centuries, and the women's rights movement was in full swing. King's victory was unique and special for it's time and place in that point in history just as much as her accomplishment.

I think the key difference here was that Bobby Riggs WANTED DESPERATELY to win, whereas Candace Parker's victory was manufactured and patronizing. The 5 guys she "competed" against might as well have gone out in Al Snow's old "Job Squad: Pin Me, Pay Me" t-shirts.

While it's very nice that Candace Parker has hops and game and can ball with the fellas, let's save the praise and adoration for a true watershed moment in women's equality in the sporting world. I think it should come around, say, 2012, when 22-year-old Michelle Wie holds off a charging Tiger Woods and Justin Leonard in the final round to win the Greater Hartford Open or somesuch.
Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.56

    While it's very nice that Candace Parker has hops and game and can ball with the fellas, let's save the praise and adoration for a true watershed moment in women's equality in the sporting world. I think it should come around, say, 2012, when 22-year-old Michelle Wie holds off a charging Tiger Woods and Justin Leonard in the final round to win the Greater Hartford Open or somesuch.


Aha, Tiger always skips the GHO, so this could never happen!....seriously, Wie will win a men's tourney before 2012. She is scary-talented.



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