NBA All-Star Game: Looking Back At 1998, The Last One In New York City

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Feb 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Terrence Ross (right) reacts after receiving the slam dunk contest trophy from television/radio personality Nick Cannon during the 2013 NBA all star slam dunk contest at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

-Slam Dunk Contest

Normally the Slam Dunk contest is the Mariano Rivera of All-Star Saturday, as it is always the closer and last event of the night. Well in 1998, there was no Slam Dunk Contest, which is why the Three-Point Competition was arguably the most hyped up event.

With the lockout in the 1999 season canceling All-Star Weekend altogether, there was no dunk contest for two seasons. It came back with a vengeance though, as Jason Richardson electrified the competition, starting a run of some of the most impressive dunking performances right up there with the greats like Michael Jordan, Julius Erving and Dominique Wilkins.

There are some fans that probably wish the Dunk Contest would be taken out nowadays, as things have become stale. Too much product placement has taken some of the fun out of it, as it seems some years certain players are pushed along because the NBA would benefit from it. Changes to the format have also caused fans to be upset, as they haven’t added much to the competition.

The hardest thing for the Dunk Contest nowadays though is that stars no longer partake. It is usually younger players that struggle to get off the bench in the regular season trying to make a name for themselves. Could this be the year that excitement is added back into the Slam Dunk Competition?