With the revelation of the D-League dunk contest, an idea that is born of a conversation with Aaron Barzilai of BasketballValue: If the best dunkers in the world might be outside the NBA, how about an open competition?
Invite D-Leaguers, Euroleague players, whoever ... the summer before the big contest, have an open contest. You could sell out a largish stadium with this! Make it a big event. It could be at Rucker Park, Barcelona, Tokyo, New Orleans ... wherever.
The winner gets to be All-Star Weekend's fourth dunk contestant, with a chance to compete against three big names.
Usually those NBA players vs. non NBA player competitions don't get off the ground, because everyone is scared the NBA players will get hurt. But in this case, they won't even share the court at the same time. It's a solo gymnastics competition.
And it will solve the current problem: That All-Star Saturday Night might be anchored by the world's second-best dunk contest.
There could be a business concern, too: Why would the NBA give a non-NBA player a platform to embarrass NBA players? And my answer is: To get a wholly revitalized event. If an outsider wins in 2010, how hot will that 2011 contest be?