I was lucky to talk to Fabian Greiser, who was a participant at the Slam Dunk contest at the French All Star game this past weekend. I just asked Fabian if he would want to write a little diary for us and take some pictures. So if you ever wonder what an Slam Dunk contest looks like from the view of a player – here you go:
arrived in gaude de gallue at about 3pm.
got picked up and drove to the hotel next to the gym!
got a bag full of nike gear, and 2 pair of shoes to choose from after practice!
5.30 practice in the gym, put on jerseys for a little introduction-video, after that time to check out the court and test my shoes…
i was just a little bit jumping to test the floor, the other guys started showing off right away….
done with practice and took shower in the hotel…we went out a little sightseeing in the night of Paris with our driver from the hotel.
drop off at meeting place with kadour ziani and some friends for dinner…
then back to the hotel and fell asleep dead-tired!
got up at about 9.30 had breakfast.
signed the contracts with nike and the rest of the organization,then went to the gym for training at 11.30
i relaxed at the hotel-room the whole afternoon.
we met at 6 at the hotel lobby and went to the gym. in front of the arena were thousands of people, i was really impressive. we went by them and walked up to the back entrance, the gym was half filled with people when we entered.
after getting the last instructions the TV was at the locker room to tape our “pre-game” routine.
we were watching the skills contest and the first quarter before we got finally ready and warmed up in another “gym”.
the dunk contest started.
i was second in the contest, first was Kevin lescot, then me, Steve lobel, max konguere and the favorite in this contest – guy dupui.
Kevin started with 2 misses for his first dunk, he tried u windmill over 2 people on the knees.
then it was my turn, i started off with and basic dunk for me, but actually one of my favorite dunks, -a 360 reverse from underneath the basket. – i finished it easily but couldn´t come up with the pump i wanted to, anyway….the crowed loved it was the saw from the only white boy in the contest and i just couldn’t´t wait for my second dunk.
the 3rd was Steve lobel, he won the contest already 2 times so the crowd expected some high performance, -as everybody does, because he is just another slam nation member.
Steve didn´t disappoint the audience and finished his first dunk perfectly and with a lot authority – a great power windmill dunk above 2 guys on bending over!
now it was max konguere´s turn. i was his first participation in a dunk contest, so he was quite nervous and also in his warm ups he didn´t show anything, so everybody was really expecting something!
he took one guy from the lil helpers and he gave him an alley-oop pass over the glass from behind the basket, max was going up und under and finishing easily! the crowed went crazy! i was one of the best dunks i have ever seen live! he was really happy about finishing the first round properly!
finally the crowd got what they were waiting for, guy dupui´s first attempt!
guy started of with and amazing alley-oop windmill over 6 persons bending down, his head was way above the rim and the windmill was really nasty! -the crwoed loved it and he got the high score in the first round!
we come to the second round, again kevin started.
this time he also couldn´t finish his first attempt but come back great with his second try by flushing down a proper trough-the-legs but jumping with 2 legs!
so it was my turn again, i went down on the other end of the floor to get my helpers set up, i placed 6 of them kneeing right inside on the edge of the paint.
i went back to the half court line and started to cheer the crowed up a little bit! the were feeling it… – i started my attempt, i ran and jumped of the edge of the paint, goin up and over the guys with a 360 and almost missed the dunk, it went on the rim – i actually thought i missed it, but ball went up and in – that wasn´t just what i wanted to -i wanted to flush it properly…
so i went for my second try… i went just a little far more outside than the 3 point line, cheered the crowed up to get some little more motivated for myself and started running again, jumped and totally got hung on the rim with my second attempt!! -damn, i was really mad about myself because this was the first time that i ever missed the 360 in a contest…well -there still was a little chance for me because the others gotta make their second attempt, so still a little hope but i wasn´t expecting anything…
it was steves 2nd dunk, he got 2 guys standing up straight and tried to dunk a windmill over both when he got hung with his right leg on one of the guys and fell on his back really hard…
it was big “oufff” going trough the gym, but he got up and just held his back…luckily he was alright!
now max 2nd turn, everybody was pumped because his first dunk was really impressive!
he took 2 people and placed them straight in front of the hoop, he went almost all the way back to the half court-line and tried to finish with a 360 pump-up but the ball slipped and he missed it, also his second try was no good and so he had to give it up for guy.
guy came back strong by finishing spectacular with a alley-oop rider above 2 guys bending down!the pros on the side jumped up and the crowed was unbelievable loud!
i was no doubt that guy was going straight to the final, but what about the second, everybody of the rest missed 1 dunk!
-then the showed the stats, it was max who made the final round by just a couple more points than us….
well, it was max who went first because he had a little lower score than guy.
the first round wasn´t that good, max finished with a crazy windmill and guy with a nice alle-oop pump reverse. it came to the big showdown in the second round – max started great with a loop pass from steve lobel on the SIDE of the backboard and he hammered it down although it wasn´t a good pass at all, he had to use the whole wingspan he got, – and i can tell, that was about a huge gap between his left hand with the ball and the rim!
there was hell a pressure on guy, he asked his direct opponent -max- to give him the final alley-oop pass. guy placed to guys on the left side of the basket and wanted to get an -off the glass-pass from max. he instructed max how to pass the ball and went outside the court, guy ran, max gave the pass guy jumped over the both guys on the ground catches the ball and landed, he gave max another instruction how to pass right and went for his second try.
max gave the pass properly and guy jumped way above the guys below, grabbed the ball, going between the legs bringing´ the ball all the way back up and missed it!
the judges counted the first try even guy didn´t even touch the rim, guy was really upset about that and it was clear that max koungure was the new slamdunkchampion in paris!
he really deserved the win because he showed a lot of variety in his dunks, and it was a great performance he showed on the floor!
it was guys first loss in a dunkcontest – although you can´t even say a loss to a second place in contest with such great participants… -whatever.
after the contest we went back to the locker room, i took a quick show -not to miss anymore of the game and went back to the arena to watch the french players beating the foreigners in a tight, quite good and entertaining game!
as soon as the game was over and the mvp and the winners of the contests were honored we went to the buffet with all the media, players and organization… so another great day in my basketball-life ended slowly while we were talking to different people….
it was really sad that they didn´t organize any players-party or anything like it, but well actually i was tired enough to go to bed and it was already 1am…
i got up at 9am, had some awesome breakfast, packed my stuff and took a shuttle to the airport with the beautiful cheerleaders from Barcelona and now i am sitting here, waiting on my plane to leave and writing this short article….