I tuned into Saturday’s slam dunk contest and was surprised with how entertaining it turned out to be.
Blake Griffin, Javale McGee, DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka put on a pretty fun show, though I’d argue McGee should have won over Griffin.
Nothing will ever truly impress me, though, after the unbelievable dunk I witnessed in 2006.
It was my first month in Galveston, and I was told that a guy from a local high school, T.J. Fontenette, was a part of the AND1 Tour. AND1 came to Houston for a show that month and “The Air Up There” was promising to put on an unforgettable performance for his hometown crowd.
For those that aren’t familiar with the AND1 Tour, it was basically the streetball version of the Harlem Globetrotters. It had started off small, but picked up in Season 4 when ESPN2 started broadcasting it.
Fontenette was a contestant on the show in Season 5, and was good enough to become a regular player for the streetball team.
The game was pretty fun to watch, and Fontenette put on a show with some pretty spectacular dunks. However, as the final seconds ticked off the clock, Fontenette did this…
O. M. G.
I was literally in shock like the rest of the crowd about what I had just witnessed. I kept looking at the highlight on the video board to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me.
You can see me over The Professor’s left shoulder at the 33-second mark of the video. I’m at the end of the scorers’ table wearing a red striped shirt. You mostly see the back of my head, because I was still watching the screen.
I had already written my feature story heading into the game, so I only had one small mention in the next day’s paper about the 720-dunk.
However, in the next issue, I wrote a column trying to detail the spectacular dunk. I’m not sure if words could do that dunk justice.
Video of the dunk wasn’t available at first, so the AND1 Media Relations Director called to ask if they could post a link to my story on their website. Uhh…YEAH!
The column wound up on several message boards before the video of the dunk was released.
Eventually ESPN got a hold of the video, and Fontenette became a star. The highlight ran on SportsCenter ended up on the morning show Cold Pizza.
He did give me a semi-shout out on ESPN (he said a writer from his hometown newspaper instead of my name), which was cool.
AND1 was pretty good to me, giving me exclusive interviews with Fontenette the rest of the year. They also sent me a special edition of his shoes, before they had even been released to the public.
I’ve been lucky to see some pretty exciting things in my sports writing career. Without a doubt, that moment is in my top five.
So excuse me for not getting too excited about the dunk contest. I don’t think I will ever see anything as incredible as the 720-degree dunk.
• A RoboCop statue in the Motor City? I can think of no better way to spend $50k (Via Andy)
• I try to explain Cullman, Ala., to people in Texas. I worked in Cullman for two years. I think this commercial, followed by the “Making of” video pretty much sums up Cullman.
I drove by that place at least once a week. And yes, there are a lot of people in Cullman just like Mr. Robert Lee.
• I’m not sure which is more ridiculous — the Carmelo trade talks or the NFL CBA negotiations. Maybe they can trade ‘Melo for Roger Goodell and solve two problems at once.
• Sports Guy is coming out with a new sports/pop culture website. This has a lot of potential.
• After one week, I’m already hooked on the new season of Survivor. There are some crazy bastards this season.
Bear Down and Keep the Faith!