By Andrew Dykstra

I’m hoping I don’t make enemies with this one, but here it goes.

Why is the basketball slam dunk an ESPN top 10 play… ever? I don’t get it. Basketball players are giants. So the rim height, relative to their own height (plus long arm length) makes the jump for them an easier task than it would be for the average sized person. Secondly, the rules in basketball give full advantage to the offending player because everything is a stupid foul these days. What can a defender do except stand there like a cone, flat footed with his hands in the air?

Watching these highlights, it’s the same thing every time. You see the dribbler drive to the hoop and gain momentum. You see the defender make his stand and the dribbler plow him to the floor, slamming the ball and screaming like he’s done something great. And it really irritates me when after, he gives dirty looks to the poor guy he just ran over, as if there was something the defender could have done about it. It bothers me enough that basketball is not a contact sport, but to try and give credit to a player who has rules and biomechanical advantages on his side is simply ridiculous. My solution, give defenders more help to make the dunk a harder task.

The more impressive play in basketball is the blocked shot. With rules generally against the defender, the block involves ultimate timing and precision. It’s ESPN’s fault for putting the dunk in the top 10 because there are so many harder tasks in many other sports. With hockey as a great example; try balancing on ice while hitting, passing or shooting while using a stick where others use their hands. There are more impressive plays in the world of sports than the basketball dunk.

As an update, I have an official offer from my MLS team but I am waiting to sign. There are other developments going on that may help my situation but I do have a bird in the hand as of now. Could be signing in the next week or two.

Andrew Dykstra was a four-year starter in goal for the VCU Men’s Soccer Team from 2005-08. He spent two seasons with the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer and played the 2011 season with the Charleston Battery of the USL. For Dykstra’s other blog posts, check here.

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