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Armchair Observations: A Humor Column

By Matt Napolitano, Humor Columnist

Breaking News:  Knicks guard Iman Shumpert will be sitting out this year's Sprite Slam Dunk Competition at the All-Star Game in Orlando. He will be replaced by Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans. Translation…huh?

If you haven't seen the roster for this year's slam dunk competition, it looks more like the cast of a VH1 reality show than that of elite superstars. Going for glory this year are Chase Budinger of the Rockets, Paul George of the Pacers and Derrick Williams of the Timberwolves. That collective "who?" I just heard was not a bunch of owls, people!  It's a collective WTF as to the rag tag bunch of misfits trying to slam dunk.

What gives?  Where's Blake Griffin?  Where's Dwight Howard?  Hell, I would settle for Gerald Green at this point instead of the cast of "Rebound".

I am really stunned Dwight Howard is not taking part of this, considering the All-Star Game is happening in…oh, Orlando…where he plays (whether he likes that or not is a separate column).  We need Superman or in this case, Obi-Wan Kenobi, because he is the only hope for this mud heap getting any ratings.

And what happened to Blake?  I mean the man jumped over a Kia Forte to win the Slam Dunk Contest last year.  You have to come forward with something amazing when you have an act like that.  I want to see you jump a Hyundai Santa Fe or a Subaru Forester.  Elevate your game, Griffin!  Instead, he takes to the sidelines.  Sorry, Blake, that's just weak sauce, man.  I know the Clippers are actually worth watching, but something's gotta give.

As if I couldn't get less excited, there are actually rule changes this year.  Must David Stern take the fun out of everything!  The guy's a bigger buzz kill than Buzz Killington (insert Family Guy cutaway here).

Here are the new rules:

1. Internet and text voting, crowd is out of it:  yea, the crowd is out of it.  Because every person in Amway Arena doesn't have a cell phone with the internet, Facebook, Twitter, or texting capabilities.  Highly doubtful.

2. One time period, three attempts, no eliminations:  Sending two people to the bench was the best part, especially when Nate Robinson was doing these contests.  Not to mention it's all scrubs in the competition this year, they know the feeling.

3. No legends on the sideline to judge:  Only electronic voting again.  This is like not drinking in high school and then getting hammered in your first weekend of college.  No Michael Jordan, no Spud Webb, no Dominique Wilkins, no fun.  Let the judge vote and the fan vote count as one.  This is the saddest excuse of democracy since Greece.  I mean Greece now, not Greece when they created the whole thing.  Pick up a newspaper…oh, wait a minute.

Regardless, don't expect anything like blowing out the candle on a cupcake on the rim or capes and accessories this year.  It's going to be a dull as the time share meeting before the rest of the vacation.  All-Star Games should be cool and heck, the Rising Stars game will be Lin-sane.  Okay, even I'm getting tired of it.

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