Where Did They Go? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   As I was watching the NBA All-Star festivities, including the slam-dunk contest, I began to think back to past contests. I tried to remember the best player I've ever seen compete, and it was Shawn Kemp, who participated three years ago. I've seen reruns of contests from the eighties and noticed that these players were the best of their time. Maybe you've heard of some of them: Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Julius Erving. Now look at recent contests with players like Antonio Harvey, Jamie Watson and Chris Carr.

Where have all the stars gone? Since these players are the rulers of their leagues, why don't they like to compete? I would rather see an eight-time scoring champion who is probably the greatest basketball player of all time than a guy who plays twenty minutes a game and averages six points. Shaquille O'Neal is the most prolific dunker in the NBA, but he has never been in a slam-dunk contest.

This year I watched the competition with some excitement because Kobe Bryant was a contestant and he had just finished high school. He won the contest. If the superstars aren't going to participate, I think the rookies are the next best thing, but I still wish for Jordan's airborne acrobatics. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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