Ten days ago Celtics Life writer three toe wrote the following column: Everything so convenient for NBA in dunk contest. Today it turns out a lot of his suspicions could very well be right as an official NBA memo has been discovered that was sent out over an hour prior to the dunk contest, but listed Blake Griffin as the 2011 Dunk Contest Winner. This information comes courtesy of benmaller.com (worth a click to read the entire article) and also has the following tidbits:
The NBA did send out a corrected version of the release later Saturday night, but that’s not enough for those people who believe that the first version proves the event was fixed.
According to a mole who works for a popular basketball website, Griffin WAS asked about this official release being sent out claiming he’d won before the contest had even started. He wasn’t happy.
Facts about Blake Griffin on All-Star Weekend
Click to view full size press release
- Subway spent a reported $3 million in a Blake Griffin media campaign All-Star weekend. ZERO was obviously spent on JaVale McGee of the Wizards.
- NBA officials forced Blake Griffin to use a Kia, the official car sponsor of the league, rather than a higher end car he wanted to use for his final dunk. This product placement paid off in a commercial and possible endorsement deal for Griffin.
- Blake Griffin is the most searched athlete in the world on YouTube. It would have been bad for the NBA’s business if he had lost the dunk contest to a scrub from the Wzards.
- Nike had an entire marketing campaign planned around Blake Griffin winning the dunk contest. They began to reveal the plan this week for the Nike Hyperdunk 2011 10.0 for Blake Griffin.
Now I'm not as much of a conspiracy theorist as others, but for a league that has had it's credibility questioned after the Tim Donaghy gambling scandal, you can't blindly dismiss this.
Yes this was only a dunk contest and not the 2002 Western Conference Finals where Chris Webber and the Kings got completely hosed in L.A. by the league's mandate to have a 7th game, but it simply shows the NBA will "fix things" in the interest of making more money. That can't be good.
An ironic kicker: Who was JaVale McGee's dunk coach for this dunk contest ten days ago in L.A? Chris Webber.