NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2013: Why Event's Popularity Was Restored in Houston

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 16:  (C) Host Nick Cannon interviews Jeremy Evans of the Utah Jazz and Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors after Ross wins the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest part of 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Toyota Center on February 16, 2013 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With popularity waning in recent years over the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, the 2013 event from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas may have put the event back on the map.

Gerald Green (Indiana Pacers), James White (New York Knicks), Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), Eric Bledsoe (Los Angeles Clippers), Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors) and Jeremy Evans (Utah Jazz) all took the floor on Saturday night looking to make the biggest impression on the crowd, but it was Evans and the rookie Ross who took center stage.

It was an enticing finale, as last year's defending champion took on an up-and-coming rookie for slam dunk rights.

To restore faith in the slam dunk contest, the easiest way is to be as creative as possible and bring back historical dunks from when the competition was respected and highly anticipated.

The finalists did just that.

Evans windmill-dunked over what turned out to be a portrait of himself slamming it down, which was one of the most creative dunks we've seen in years.

While his next dunk wasn't as creative or impressive, Evans' height and elevation on his second dunk was enough to get the crowd on its feet.

As for Ross, he went old school.

Paying tribute to former Toronto Raptor Vince Carter, Ross donned a No. 15 Carter jersey and slammed home a behind-the-backboard windmill dunk that undoubtedly factored into his 2013 title.

Continuing the Carter trend, Ross went through the legs and over a ball boy on his second dunk, which even had rapper Drake on his feet.

Some are complaining that there were too many misses during the contest, but with the high level of creativity these guys are trying to accomplish, fans should expect a few blemishes here and there.

All in all, the 2013 contest was a complete success.

Sure, we all want to see LeBron James and Blake Griffin going head-to-head in the finals, but that doesn't appear to be happening any time soon.

As long as the contest continues to follow 2013's blueprint—the most creative dunks and a throwback approach—the contest should be in good shape in the years to come.


Follow me on Twitter: