â†µI come here not to judge the relative merits of Mike Taylor's dunks. Here are some in practice, a little less over-exposed than a certain in-game windmill. The point is, almost despite itself, the NBA has found itself a new dunking sensation -- near the end of the season, and without the benefit of an appearance in the Dunk Contest, which is really what the event's for these days. That is, until LeBron sleepwalks through it next year, in an appearance ingeniously buttressed by any number of Nike ads and viral campaigns. â†µ
â†µThe league already seriously messed up this opportunity once, twice, three times with James White -- all because he couldn't hold a spot on an NBA team 'round All-Star Weekend. Taylor's emerged organically, and while he may not be White's equal (stress: may) as a showman, or an actual player of Andre Iguodala's caliber, he's here, he's dunking, and we're all transfixed. At this point, Mike Taylor doesn't need the Dunk Contest as much as it needs him. I'd say the league pretty much screwed up this whole "rising stars" angle, wouldn't you?â†µ
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