Michael Jordan Dunk Drive: 'Best at Everything,' Says Kenny Smith

Shifting NBA dynamics spotlighted in dunk contest discourse.

by Nouman Rasool
Michael Jordan Dunk Drive: 'Best at Everything,' Says Kenny Smith
© Grant Halverson/Getty Images

In a recent engaging discussion on "The Stephen A. Smith Show," Kenny Smith shed light on a pivotal moment that underscores the competitive spirit that defined the NBA of yesteryears, particularly highlighting Michael Jordan's unparalleled ambition.

Unlike many of today's NBA talents who often sidestep the dunk contest, Jordan embraced it wholeheartedly, aiming to assert his dominance across all facets of the game. Smith reminisced about a revealing conversation with Jordan, during their time together at North Carolina, where Jordan's intentions for participating in the dunk contest were crystal clear.

"He wanted to prove he was the best at everything, not just selective aspects of the game," Smith recalled. This anecdote served as a stark reminder of the shift in mindset from the era of Michael Jordan to the current generation of players.

Jordan's willingness to compete in both the dunk and 3-point contests exemplified his competitive zeal, a stark contrast to the prevailing attitude among modern players.

Edwards' Missed Chance

The conversation then veered towards the present-day dunk contest, with Stephen A.

Smith expressing disappointment over Anthony Edwards, a promising talent and former No. 1 draft pick, opting out of the dunk contest. Smith saw Edwards' absence as a missed opportunity to herald the arrival of a new era in the NBA, potentially inspiring his contemporaries to elevate the competition.

Furthermore, Stephen A. Smith pointedly criticized LeBron James for his lack of participation in the dunk contest, suggesting that it significantly contributed to the event's declining allure. Smith argued that James' absence set a precedent that has deterred other high-profile players from participating, diminishing the event's status as a must-watch spectacle.

This discourse not only highlights the evolving dynamics of NBA competitions but also ignites a conversation about the responsibility of the league's leading figures to uphold and enrich the traditions that have captivated fans for decades.

As the NBA continues to evolve, the balance between individual brand building and contributing to the league's heritage remains a topic of spirited debate.

Michael Jordan